Exodus 17:9 – And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
Exodus 17:10 – So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
Exodus 17:11 – And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Exodus 17:12 – But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
Exodus 17:13 – And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Hello readers, thank you for reading this blog. We are fast coming to the end of another year and this is a blog I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, and that time has finally arrived. Today I will be using an Old Testament picture to help us see a most vital truth taught in the word of God that is an absolute must for every single Christian.
That Old Testament picture comes way back in the book of Exodus, and an interesting story where Joshua fought with Amalek while Moses stood up on a hill with his rod in his hand, and when Moses held his hands up Joshua was winning, but if he let down his hands, Amalek was winning. The problem was, and you can try it, if you hold your hands up, they get heavy, and Moses’ hands got heavy… which meant Amalek started winning the battle. But just as well Moses had brought two men with him to the top of that hill, who held his hands up and Joshua won a great victory.
What a story it is, and there are many applications of this story, but today in this blog I want to show you a great truth which God has shown to me from scripture. Whenever I read this story of Moses’ hands resting on and being supported and held up by Aaron and Hur, I think back to when Jesus Christ was talking to a lawyer who asked him in Matthew 22 “which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus responded and quoted the first and great commandment, which is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And Jesus also furthermore quoted the second great commandment, which he said is like unto the first, and which he quoted is to love thy neighbor as thyself. And then Jesus said this ” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Did you know that all the law boils down to those two commandments? The entire law is summarize in two simple commandments love God and love others. You get those commandments right, and the rest follow suit. I’ve often had this thought that really, all the law was unpacked into so many more laws because we had to be taught what love for God and others looked like, because we were so deficient of true love. See, we call everything and anything “love” these days, but when you read the law of God, you see that it is not true love, because if it is against the law of God, it is not true love either for God or others.
Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands are a picture of the two great commandments holding the law up and fulfilling it. And there was a victory that came from it, for victory in the Christian life stems from a heart that truly loves God and others. Without love, Christianity is just a list of do’s and don’ts… which we can’t do and we can’t “don’t”. It’s just heavy grind trying to be good and do good without a heart of love for God and others.
The Bible says that the law was given by Moses in the book of John. And in this picture, I see two holding ten up. Where are the ten? Moses’ ten fingers. Everytime you look down at your hands, look at your ten fingers, ten commandments, and see that your hands have done nothing but break the law. When they drove those nails into Jesus Christ’s hands, guess what, not a bone was broken, because he did not break the law in anything he said, or thought or did.
But I just want to think about our Christian life in particular today. Maybe this year your Christianity has been a losing battle. For all of us as Christians, we seem to be losing all the time don’t we. It feels like Amalek is always winning, and our Christian life can feel as heavy as Moses’ hands trying to hold out that rod all day. But Christianity is not meant to be lived as a list of do’s and don’ts… that’s very tiring, that is very heavy and hard work. No, Christianity is meant to be lived out of a new heart, because when you get saved, you get what David wrote of in Psalm 51 “create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me”. We need a new heart, a heart capable of loving God and others, and love fulfills the law, and when we are living and walking in love for God and others… Jesus is winning the battle in our life. Love for God takes your Christian walk to a whole new sphere.
I’ve thought back to the year I’ve had, and my hands have kept hanging down… but Hebrews 12:12 says this ” Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down…” But I can’t lift them up though. I can’t do better, I can’t even want to do better. I need help. I’ve tried living Christian but I just can’t. Because missing in all that has been the two great commandments! I need those commandments written in my heart by God himself. Because when I truly examine my own heart, I see a scary lack of love for God and others.
I’ve just seemed to be fighting a losing battle. And to a degree, that’s what the Christian life is. No, that’s not an excuse to sin, but read this passage, and you’ll read that the war with Amalek is a perpetual war until the day you die. The battle is on. Your life is a warfare, Paul wrote to Timothy to fight the good fight of faith and to war a good warfare. Joshua and Amalek are doing battle in your life. Jesus versus Satan, Spirit versus flesh… who is going to win? Some days it seems Jesus is winning in my life, but other days Amalek seems to be doing pretty well. Who is winning in your life? Who is holding sway? Are your hands down, the rod down, the battle lost? And you’re going to lose it if you don’t love God and love others. You can even have the rod in your hand, but if it’s not being held up, what good is it to you? Moses had the rod, and you can have your Bible and that’s great, but without love, that Bible is an awful hard book to hold up isn’t it.
You can try being good and doing good as much as you want, but if your life isn’t coming from a place of love for God and others… that life will get heavy and hang down quickly… and Amalek will start beating you up. How many professing Christians are seemingly conquered by Amalek because their lives seem to be just failure after failure, and that heaviness just keeps getting heavier. But Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Christianity shouldn’t be so hard, but if you’re trying to be a Christian but with a dark sin and world loving heart… of course you are going to be defeated.
All the force on Moses’ hands was downwards. There is a law of gravity, and we are born under some laws as the law of sin and death which are plunging our lives into decay, loss and ruin. We do not have the power to overcome such a law in our own strength. Moses did not have the power to hold his own hands up. The law cannot save us, it can only add to our burden as it convicts us of our own failures. That law gets heavier and heavier on us. At the cross is where that heaviness is dealt with. Realize that we need a greater power, a greater source of strength. And that’s why I’ve prayed to God to give me a heart to love him and others. The strength of Aaron and Hur was greater than that heaviness of Moses’ hands. There was a law making Moses’ hands heavy and making him drop his hands, but with Aaron and Hur there was a law which brought his hands up and held them steady until the battle was won. There is a greater law than the law of sin and death, there is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
Maybe you are saved but you are in a battle and you feel like you are losing a lot more than you are winning. What you need is love, we all need to love God and love others. And we can’t just conjure that up. We need to ask God for it. The battle is on and now is not the time for your hands to be down. When Moses’ hands were down, Joshua was getting beat. Faith is a fight. Who is prevailing in my life? Am I being conquered by the world, the flesh and the devil? It’s pretty tough trying to live Christian without a heart that truly loves God. It’s tough to obey God if you don’t love him. And that’s why many professing Christians don’t obey him… because they have no heart to. What makes the Christian life work is love, without love, what is the point… is all you have just a dead going through the motions? Read Song of Solomon, why is a love story in the Bible? Love and song, and without those what kind of a relationship is it? Maybe Song of Solomon is so hidden from us because there is so much coldness in our hearts towards God… and Amalek is just having a field day on our battlefield.
There’s many other wonderful details in this story. Aaron and Hur put a stone under Moses to sit on. Man, if you’re going to be there all day, it’s tough to do it standing up. But did you know that sitting down is what you do to rest? And you can rest on the finished work of Jesus Christ. He is our Rock remember, and when you have nothing else, rest in who he is and what he has done for you. I do love the picture of the rod in Moses’ hand, and we do need to have the Bible in our hand, because it is the source of authority in warfare and the fight of faith in our life. Hold up the book and you win, put it down, set it aside… and you will lose. And you see that in Christianity everywhere today. They’ve left the Bible and Amalek is prevailing. But take note, you can have the Bible, but if there’s no love, what’s it worth to you? Faith worketh by love remember!
But today, and at the end of another year, a year in which likely we have seemed to be losing more than winning, realize this key truth pictured in this story. It does come back to love. Often we can “do” Christianity but we’ve done a Revelation 2:4, we’ve left out first love. Our love has grown cold. But love is what holds up the law. On two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Just get those great commandments right and you’ll have the rest. All the rest of God’s law is summarized in those two laws. That’s how vital love is, and love is at the heart of God’s law. Funny that isn’t it? For all those Christians who hate the Old Testament, yet they don’t understand at the heart of God’s law is love for God and love for others.
And we need that love. We need love for God, and if we don’t have it, ask for it. Learn about what your Saviour did for you and the love he has for you… you’d have to be pretty cold hearted not to feel some love for someone who loved you so much he gave his life so you could live… while you hated him. Love is very powerful and love can take all those commandments and laws to a completely new sphere. Christianity without love for God is nothing, it is heaviness, and it will be a losing battle. Your life is a battleground, the war is on, and without the love for God and for others, you’re gonna have real trouble with the Amalek of your lust and pride and flesh and sin and this world and the devil. How long are you going to let Satan prevail in your life? How long is your flesh going to own you? How long will your love for this world excel your love for God? The key to victory is here, and it’s picture in Aaron and Hur. Joshua won the victory because of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands, and in the same manner, love for God and love for others, faith working by love, will be the key difference maker in the battleground of your Christian life.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)