In the 17th chapter we see the first true adversity faced by God's chosen when they are attacked by Amalekites. Now these were bad people, no other way to describe them. In fact throughout the Bible the name Amalek is associated with sins of the flesh, our old self that seems to never go away. As an army they were cowards in their strategies. They attacked the Israelites when they were famished and weary, which may same like a sound strategy, but they revealed their cowardice ways by attacking from behind, violating the elderly and the sick. The Amalekites were an army with no backbone!
Moses called a young man called Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
Now here is the really amazing part of this story-
As the battle raged below Moses stood on the hill with his arms raised, lifting his staff towards the heavens. In this position the makeshift Israelite army successfully raised their swords against this well trained army of milksops. But Moses was an old man, and as his tired limbs lost their strength. His arms would tremble under the great strain and slowly begin their decent. The opposing army would claim the lost strength of Moses and begin again their barbaric destruction of God's children until Moses could find the strength to once again raise his arms in victory.
And now we meet two incredible men. Two warriors. But no better description can be given than to call the two men...friends of Moses. For only true friends could offer such a sacrifice.
"When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset." Exodus 17:12
Until sunset! Can you imagine this incredible sight as the two stood next to Moses, transferring their own waning strength into the arms of their friend.
The battle was one by Joshua and his clan of wanderers through the help of three men on a hill and God.
Ten months ago I began my own battle against cancer. And although cancer can certainly be a scandalous and cowardly enemy it wasn't my Amalekite. As I mentioned earlier, in the Bible the Amalekites became representative of the flesh and the ongoing battle we all face against the desires of the flesh. Most often we think of this as sin, but I believe the battle can also be plagued by our own doubts. Doubt is not a sin, even when we are doubting God. Doubt is as much a part of who we are as any other emotion or flaw.
I have tried to stand like Moses with my arms lifted towards the heavens as I fought a long battle against doubt. There were days when I felt incredible inward strength and battling doubt came easily. Yet there were many other days (and late nights) when my arms began to tremble and I felt the strength depart from them like water over great fall. Doubt would line up like a battalion and begin their slaughter of my hope.
But so many of you became my Aaron and Hur. It was your prayers, your support and words of encouragement that lifted my weakened arms, restoring to them the strength called Hope. I needed to stop and thank you all for being at my side for so long now. Thank you.
But I also needed to ask you to remain at my side for a short while longer.
Last week I had a biopsy done of two growths inside my throat. That was Thursday, and today I still have not been provided with the results of the biopsy. And Amalek has returned with his soldiers of doubt.
I have no strength left to raise my arms. The battle has been long, I am tired.
God Bless you my friends.