Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
EXODUS 17: 8-13.
I was reminded of this Biblical story recently in my devotions, in it we find Moses doing the work of a Mighty Man of God. Before the approaching battle the Israelites had seen Moses stretch out his staff in prayer, and God parted the Red Sea saving them from their Egyptian pursuers. They soon forgot that deliverance and grumbled about hunger for bread and meat, Moses prayed and God provided quails and manna. They grumbled again about being thirsty, Moses prayed and God provided water from a rock. In their endless whinging the Israelites learned one thing, that when Moses prayed God answered.
The Amaleks were the first aggressors against Israel after God rescued them from the Egyptian army. It is here we first encounter Joshua, who will eventually replace Moses as leader. When the young man hears Moses’ plan to defeat the Amaleks he didn’t question it, he simply obeyed. Bible historians assume that the Israelites were armed thanks to the debris on the sea shore after the demise of the Egyptian Army earlier. Moses, Aaron (his brother) and Hur climbed to the top of the hill so that all the troops in the valley could see Moses.
As the battle began Moses lifted the rod of God and his hands to God in prayer. The Israelite army was encouraged, not by the rod or even by Moses the man, but by the knowledge that God listened to Moses. They knew God would answer Moses’s intercession as He had done in the past. But when Moses tired and his hands dropped so did the confidence of the Israelite army. This was a long battle requiring hours of intercession by Moses; so it is often in our life—we too need much prayer. Moses grew tired after a while. Aaron and Hur were there for this reason, to encourage and physically lift Moses when he flagged. They kept his hands and rod aloft for all to see, and importantly for God to see. The final result was a complete victory over the Amalek aggressors for the glory of God, and further evidence to the Israelites of their prayer answering Almighty God.
We can learn much from this story. The obedience of Joshua to Moses the man of God is not just commendable but a great example of faith in action. The encouragement that the people took from a praying Moses can be seen today as we are encouraged by those we know to be strong intercessors in the church. Moses sets a high standard in prayer that we can learn much from. There are men and women in church history who were fervent prayer warriors, just like Moses. An example was the Evangelist Evan Roberts of Wales whose prayer life reaped a huge harvest . Evan prayed for long hours into the early morning hours, beseeching God for a big harvest of souls across his whole country. Almighty God answered Evan Roberts with the Welsh Revival (1904-1905) and at least 100,000 souls saved for the Kingdom! Do we believe as Moses did that God will answer prayer? How much of our personal time do we give to prayer? Take note from our scripture today that people of prayer require support. Do we know our church prayer warriors? Is there any way we can support them? Maybe you should join them!
Dear reader, there is a myth that goes around, that prayer is work for women and old people – our quoted scripture busts that myth for sure. There is nothing more manly than going to battle on your knees for God, it is the frontline of battle against Satan. Every soldier of Christ can step up to the battle line, irrespective of age, gender or physical ability. In these perilous days the church needs all the prayer warriors we can recruit, as we march into the End Times. Finally, my dear brethren answer His call – let us pray together!
Guest post by Alan Kearns, Fife, Scotland
See more of Alan’s posts visit his blog “Devotional Treasures”.