Exodus Message #32 Victory Over Amalek Ed Miller April 21, 2021

Listen to audio above while reading full transcript below (also available for download in Word at www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)

As we gather in the name of the Lord I remind my heart and yours of that indispensable principle which is total reliance on God’s Holy Spirit.  We need to trust the Lord to turn our eyes to Christ.  I’d like to share a couple of verses before we go to prayer.  We’re going to introduce the fourth outworking of redemption which is victory.  We’ve looked at the truth of guidance, of joy, of provision and now we have victory.  I want to open with these victory verses.  1 Corinthians 15:26 says, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”  Verse 54 says, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  Death is man’s most unsolvable problem, and if God can solve man’s most unsolvable problem, everything is included in the greater.  So, we have victory in every area. 

Father, we thank You that You are the Victor, and we thank You that we can trust the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts to turn the eyes of our faith in a fresh way unto Jesus.  We ask you to do that for us, and we wait upon You and thank You.  We know You are the only One that can reveal Yourself.  Thank You for Your word and for Your Spirit.  Now, Lord, we commit our session unto You in the matchless name of Jesus.  Amen

Welcome again to our study of the Lord in the book of Exodus.  I always like to emphasize that because we want to study the books of the Bible, but the goal is not to know the books of the Bible.  The Bible is given that we might know the Lord.  Everything in every chapter is designed to turn our hearts to Him.  We’ve come in our meditation to the fourth blessed outworking of redemption.  You’ve been saved by power and blood, and these are the things we can expect in our life now that we’ve been saved.  They are maintained, of course, by continual union with the Lord. 

The principle of victory is illustrated in Exodus 17:8-16.  It’s the story of the victory over Amalek at Rephidim.  Last week we looked at the clincher principle of provision.  In other words the Lord is not only our Provider; He’s our Provision.  All our springs are in Him.  This was illustrated by the story of the smitten rock.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is pictured by that rock that was smitten by the rod of Moses.  You remember when that rock was smitten, rivers of living water came out, and those rivers flowed for 38 years slaking the thirst of all His children.  1 Corinthians 10:4 shows us that we’re not on our own in that interpretation, “All drank the same spiritual drink; they were drinking from the spiritual rock which followed them.  The rock was Christ.”  So, we have the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of that great scene.

The miracle and revelation of Christ as the food and drink of life took place at Rephidim.  Exodus 17:1, “All the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.”  The story we’ll look at now also takes place at Rephidim.  Exodus 17:8, “Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. Right after the miracle of the water from the rock came this battle.

The story of the victory of God’s people over Amalek at Rephidim is told in nine verses.  That’s a short story, but those nine verses are packed, not only with interesting facts, but with spiritual reality.  There’s wonderful principles in these nine verses.  Before we look at the spiritual side of the story, by way of introduction I want to make a couple of general observations, and some of it is just for your interest, but I want to call attention to these things.  I’ll focus on a couple of these things as we go through.  My first observation is this, that in those nine verses the Holy Spirit introduces things for the first time in the whole Bible.  You’ve got more than a couple of thousand years of history so far, and for this to be mentioned for the first time is important.  In my personal study I take special note of those things that are mentioned for the first time, because very often that gives you the key of how that will be developed and how you’ll study it in the future.

These verses describe the first military conflict that Israel ever had; the first time they’d ever been attacked.  Wasn’t the war against Egypt a military conflict?  Yes, but that was the war of redemption, and so Israel had nothing to do with it.  That was God’s war against the gods of Egypt, and we’ll have nothing to do with the war of redemption.  This is the first time on earth that Israel was ever attacked. 

There’s another first in Exodus 17:9, “Moses said to Joshua,” that’s the first mention of Joshua in the Bible.  Before that he’s not mentioned.  Exodus 17:10, “Joshua did as Moses told him and fought against Amalek, and Moses and Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.”  That’s the first time we are introduced to Hur.  He’s not mentioned before this.  Who was Hur?  Nobody knows.  Josephus, the Jewish historian, said that it was the husband of Miriam.  Another Jewish commentary says it was the son of Miriam.  We don’t know.  We know in Joshua 14 there’s a man called Hur who is the son of Caleb.  It could be the same one.  We don’t know who he was.  We’re just going to call him, and you’ll see why later, he’s everybody because he’s nobody. 

It’s also the first mention of writing in the Bible.  Exodus 17:14, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this in a book.’”  The reason why I bring this up is because some destructive critics say that in Moses time writing had not yet been discovered, so they say that he didn’t write the Pentateuch, and somebody else did.  The fact is there are six references in the Bible to Moses writing.  That’s not a problem. 

It’s also the first mention in Exodus 17:15, in the KJV you have the word Jehovah Nissi, and if you have another translation it might have translated those words as the Lord our banner.  “Moses built an altar and named it ‘The Lord is our banner’”, Jehovah Nissi.  I’m going to comment on other first mention things as we go through the study.

Let me say a word about Amalek and give you a couple of facts about this enemy.  We know for sure that Amalek is the grandson of Esau, and some think that one reason for this unprovoked attack at Rephidim was that Amalek and the Amalekites were carrying a grudge because of what Jacob did to their grandpa, Esau; he stole the birthright.  These people are on their way to the Promised Land.  The Amalekites thought it belonged to them and was their promise and they stole it.  We’re not sure exactly why.  Did the Amalekites hate Israel?  I’m going to give you a 100% answer on that.  They hated Israel. I know from Psalm 83:2&3, “Behold, your enemies make an uproar.  Those who hate you have exalted themselves.  They make shrewd plans against your people.  They conspire together against your treasured ones.  They have said, ‘Come and let us wipe them out of the nation, that the name of Israel be no more.’”  That’s how many Arab nations felt, and how they still feel to this very day.  In Psalm 83 he gives a list of those that hate Israel that way, and if you notice in verse 7, “Gebal, Ammon and Amalek.” 

So, the Amalekites hated Israel and wanted them annihilated off the map.  Whatever the reason they hated, we know they hated Israel.  Here was their tactic.  Deuteronomy 25:17&18, “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary.  He did not fear God.”  They were cruel and merciless.  They had no compassion.  This is guerilla warfare, terrorism; they are waiting in the bushes and they are getting those at the end of the line and knocking off women, children and the infirm, and so on.  We’re going to look at that more closely in connection with a spiritual principle, but for now just know that Amalek hates Israel, and this attack becomes important.

I’m homing in on this particular enemy because of what God says about them at the end of this story.  Notice verse 16, “The Lord has sworn, the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”  This is an enemy that is going to be with you always, from generation to generation.  They are not going away.  Is that literal?  No.  It’s not literal.  I know because of 1 Chronicles 4:43, in the days of Hezekiah, Simeon annihilated the Amalekites.  Literally they didn’t endure for generation to generations.  What does God mean?  What does He mean in verse 14, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this in book as a memorial recited to Joshua, ‘I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”  There’s a difference between blotting out an enemy and blotting out the memory of that enemy.  That’s one of our principle we’ll pick up in another study. 

The reason I’m bringing that up is because I think Amalek, it’s clear because of his ancestry, and he’s from Cain, and from Esau, and from Ishmael, and later on Herod comes from him.  We know it’s easy to say, “He pictures the flesh.”  We know Ishmael clearly is a picture of the flesh.  You know that enemy will be there from generation to generation.  You’ll always be fighting that. 

I think it includes more than victory over the flesh.  I think Amalek represents every enemy.  It includes the flesh.  In Numbers 24:20, “He looked at Amalek and took up the discourse and said that Amalek was the first of the nations, but it’s end will be destruction.”  What does it mean that Amalek was the first of the nations?  The answer is they were the first to attack Israel.  They were the first ones that ever attacked Israel.  God is writing a Bible here and since this is the first war, and it’s Amalek that pictures every enemy, I’m making this suggestion; that every enemy you will ever face in your Christian life, the flesh, the world, the devil, and death itself is dealt with in this story and every principle of victory that you will find as you go through the Bible is in these nine verses; everything about victory is right here in seed form, in picture form.  That’s the challenge.  I think the Lord wants us to see that wonderful proof of His victory.

One more introductory comment and then we’ll begin the wonderful principles of this fourth outworking of salvation by power and blood.  Notice verse 8 and how it begins, it says, “Then Amalek came and fought against Israel.”  God is calling attention to the timing, “Then they attacked; at that moment; then.”  At what moment?  Remember that God is writing a Bible and He’s giving life principles.  On the level of earth why did Amalek attack?  On that low level my guess is it’s because they are in the desert and somebody just found water.  That might be one reason.  Over and over again you see them fighting over wells and that kind of thing.  They liked water.  That might be one reason.  Or maybe they were fighting over the Hatfields and McCoys because of Jacob and Esau.  I don’t know about that.  But there is a spiritual reason, as God writes His Bible.

Look at the history of the people we are studying.  They were saved from God by power and blood, and saved from Egypt by a mighty miracle.  They saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.  They entered into the joy and they sang the song of Moses and danced the dance of Miriam.  They had just discovered that “all of my spring are in Him”, that Christ is the food and the drink of life, and that He is all-sufficient, more than sufficient.  Now they are on their way to Sinai, to the land overflowing with milk and honey.  It was at that point, then came Amalek.  When you start seeing Christ as God’s everything and start seeing the Lord as the food and drink of life, you better believe that the enemy is going to come, because they don’t want you to arrive at the land flowing with milk and honey which pictures Christ.  They want to stop you dead in your tracks.  In the history when they come to this climax of seeing Christ as everything, then came Amalek.  That’s when Satan attacks, to stop your progress and to keep you from advancing and going forward in the heart knowledge of the Lord.  This enemy now in an all offensive attack, attacks God’s people.  That’s enough background, so let’s take this wonderful picture and look at some principles.

The story is very easy to visualize.  I like to divide it into three scenes.  Scene #1, verses 9&10, “Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose men for us, and go out and fight against Amalek.  Tomorrow I’ll station myself on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.’  Joshua did as Moses told him and fought against Amalek.  Moses and Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.”  Scene #1: They are at the top of the hill and there’s a battle.  On top of the hill there are three men.  In the valley there’s Joshua and whatever army he could muster.  Here’s scene #2, verse 11, “It came about when Moses held his hands up Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down Amalek prevailed.”  So throughout the day sometimes they had victory and sometimes they had defeat.  When the hands were up they were winning.  When they were down they were losing.  Scene #3 is in verse 12, “Moses’ hands were heavy, and 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.”  The third scene is Aaron and Hur propping up the arms of Moses toward God in heaven.

Those three scenes, the mountain and the valley, the uplifted rod and the rod pointing to earth, and the ministry of Aaron and Hur contain probably more, but I have six principles to share with you about victory, and we’re only going to begin that here, and won’t finish that.

The first principle of this outworking of salvation, of victory, is a principle you would expect by now.  You’ve hear me teach enough and would expect this principle would be first.  There’s no victory apart from this truth.  Exodus 17:15 illustrates the point, “Moses built an altar and named in ‘The Lord My Banner, Jehovah Nissi’”  In other words victory is a Person and His name is Jesus.  That’s the first principle of victory.  The word “banner” here, the Lord is my banner, the Lord is my flag, as American citizens our banner is Old Glory, the stars and stripes, the American flag.  As American Christians our banner is Jesus.  That’s who we pledge allegiance to.  We can’t even dream about victory.  This is why it’s the first principle, if you leave the Lord out there’s no victory.  You can’t leave the Lord out.  We war with Christ as our banner.

Revelation 12:11, as we come to the end of the age, nothing changes, “They overcame Him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.  They did not love their life, even when faced with death.”  And when you come to the very end, the final battle and God overthrows Babylon, Revelation 17:14, “These will wage war against the Lamb, “ see, it’s His battle, “And the Lamb will overcome them, because He’s Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  Those who are with Him are called the chosen and the faithful.”  Brothers and sisters in Christ, I repeat this because I was told in Bible school that nobody leaves what you think they know; they only leave with what you tell them.  So, I don’t tire of telling you over and over again, but I know you know, the battle is not yours; it’s His.  The Lord is the Victor and the battle is His.  In this connection I love Isaiah 59:19 in the KJV, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against them.”  Isn’t that a beautiful picture?  The enemy coming in like a flood and the Spirit of God holding the banner; awesome.  That’s the first principle, 1 Corinthians 15:57, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The second principle is closely connected to that.  The Lord not only gives victory, He is our victory, but to experience Him and victory we’ve got to lay hold of Him.  There’s got to be connection and contact.  He’s the Victor and I’m me but I’ve got to lay hold of Him.  That connection is what we call “faith”.  That’s the second principle of victory.  I’ve got to have faith.  I’m not exalting faith.  Faith is only as great as the object to which it clings, and Christ is the object. 

To understand the power of this principle let me describe the rod that was in Moses’ hand; the staff.  We first met that rod back at the burning bush, and that’s prefiguring what we’re talking about now; victory.  Exodus 4:2, “And the Lord said to him, ‘What’s that in your hand?’ And he said, ‘ A staff.’  The He said, ‘Throw it to the ground.’  So, he threw it on the ground and it became a serpent and Moses fled from it, but the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand and grasp it by the tail.’  So, he stretched out his hand a caught it, and it became a staff in his hand.’”  What is that in your hand?  A staff, a stick, a dead stick.  Exactly right.  The symbol of Moses himself is just a dead stick.  But Moses had a history with that dead stick, didn’t he?  When you think about that rod, with that dead stick, he saw water, a river turn to blood.  With that dead stick he saw frogs and lice and locust invade the land of Egypt.  With that dead stick he saw God open a path in the Red Sea for the redeemed to pass over to the victory side.  And that very day with that dead stick he saw rivers, ocean depths of living water come out of that rock which was Christ.  That rod was not a magic wand.  It was a dead stick, and apart from the Lord that’s all it would ever be is a dead stick, as fruitless as a branch cut off from the vine in the parable Jesus told.  That rod, that dead stick was not only an emblem of Moses, but it’s an apt picture of Ed Miller and you.  We are nothing but dead sticks.  There are big dead sticks and there are little dead sticks, and there are poor dead sticks and there are rich dead sticks, and there are refined dead sticks and there are unrefined dead sticks and there are educated dead sticks and there are illiterate dead sticks and there are ugly dead sticks and there are some pretty dead sticks.  Some dead sticks have a lot of branches, and some dead sticks have few branches, but we’re all dead sticks. 

To have victory, that dead stick must somehow connect to a living Lord.  I want to point out something very wonderful at the end of this story.  We don’t really see it in the English translation.  If you have a New American Standard you’ll notice there is a marginal note that helps a lot.  Exodus 17:16, “The Lord has sworn..” and there you get the picture that God is making an oath and God is swearing, but the Hebrew there is hard to translate.  In the margin of the American Standard Bible it says, “A hand is against is against the throne of the Lord.  Literally, because a hand is on the throne of Yahweh, a hand touching the throne.”  Is that the hand of Moses?  Is that the hand of the Lord?  I call attention to this because we’re looking at the outworking of this truth of victory.  The Lord is the Victor, but some dead stick had better touch the throne, and had better lay a hand on the King who is on the throne.  Touching the throne is what brings the King into the fray.  Touching the throne is what involves the Lord in the battle.  Prayer is only a formality if you don’t touch the throne.

I don’t know if any of you have been to an all-night prayer meeting.  I went to two of them and I think we prayed ourselves in and out of faith so many times.  Only God knows for sure, but as I look back I don’t think we touched the throne.  We had a lot of prayer.  Prayer is not how much time you log in.  It has to do with whether you are touching the Lord, are you touching the throne.  I think all of us have experienced the reality that we’re dead sticks, and I think we’ve also experienced the reality when that dead stick touches the throne.  Wonderful things take place.  We need Him all the time, for everything.  If I lose my pen or my glasses or my keys which I’m always losing, someone loses a pet, someone loses a loved one, I need the same Christ for every one of those.  It isn’t that I can handle losing a key.  I can’t.  I can’t handle anything apart from union with the Lord, and to be honest, neither can you.

Let’s go back to the story and see how this pictures the reality.  I want to develop this second principle of faith, laying hold of the Lord and touching the throne.  1 John 5:4, “This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.”  So, we need faith.  We’ve got to touch and make connection with the Lord.  May God help us as we look at this!  Look at verse 11 again, “It came about when Moses held his hand up, Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.”  That rod, that staff in Moses’ hand, a symbol of Moses and a symbol of us, when that dead stick was pointed toward God and heaven, they had victory.  When that dead stick gave way to nature, because that’s what pulled his hand down, gravity, and pointed toward man and earth, then they lost.  It’s a truth of helpless dependence.  It’s what we call “the indispensable principle”. 

The victory fluctuated throughout that day.  When the dead stick was pointing toward God in heaven they won.  When the dead stick fell down and pointed toward the earth and man, they lost.  Notice verse 12, “Moses’ hands were heavy.”  I’m going to read that much of it because I want to call attention to the plural “hands” because the verse before it mentioned the singular “hand”.  In other words we don’t know what it looked like.  Both hands were involved but did he hold the rod up with one hand and when that hand got tired he switched hands and held it with the other hand?  Or did he hold it with both hands at all times?  We don’t know exactly how he did that.  It’s not important to know how he did it, but it’s very important THAT he did it.  He held that rod up toward God in heaven. 

The Holy Spirit has painted a very beautiful picture with this scene on the mountain and the scene in the valley.  Here you’ve got Moses on the mountain pointing his dead stick toward God in heaven, trusting, praying, believing, depending on the Lord, and then in the valley you have Joshua fighting and engaging in hand to hand combat with a very merciless and no compassion enemy.  Reasoning as a man reasons, wouldn’t you think that the issue of victory would be decided in the valley where there is hand to hand combat? 

Exodus 17:9, “Moses said, ‘Choose men for us, and go out and fight against Amalek.”  Joshua was to choose men, and I’m sure he chose probably from his point of view the most qualified men he could find.  Remember that they are not trained as an army.  They’ve been slaves for four hundred years, and now they are emancipated and free.  They probably got their weapons from the dead Egyptians on the seashore, or it could have been from the spoils of Egypt, but I doubt that.  I know this, they have had zero experience in war.  They’ve never had to do this.  I’m sure he chose the most qualified, the bravest men that he could find, the most dexterous with sword and shield, probably they had some kind of battle plan.  I don’t know, but the story shows that whatever he did, not much depended on what took place in the valley.  Everything took place with what was going on in the hill.  The resources they had, the numbers that they gathered together, the prowess, their skills: in the valley.  Victory depends on what is taking place on the hill, and not in the valley.

My heart goes out in sympathetic love to Christians who haven’t learned these two basic principles.  Christ is our Victor, and we’ve got to lay hold of Him by simple faith.  We have to.  There’s no victory apart from that.  Amalek’s M.O., Motus Operendi, was to sneak attack and wipe out the weak and the helpless.  It’s not a surprise that Amalek attacks the home.  It’s not a surprise that Amalek attacks the church.  It’s not a surprise that Amalek attacks individuals.  But there’s so much emphasis in our day, and among Christians, on how to prepare for the battle in the valley, and very little said about the hill.  There is a lot said about the valley.  So, people read “How to” so I know how to have victory, and they go to counselors to help them fight their battles, and they make vows and promises, and “Resist the devil and he will flee”; principles on how to resist Satan and how we need to learn to schemes of the devil.  So, they study all the different schemes of the enemy, and they fight tooth and nail.  They get program after program, but if they don’t touch the throne, it’s over.

One thing the Lord wants us to learn from this record is this; victory does not depend on the outcome of the battle.  Victory is decided before the battle even begins.  May God help us see this!  I like to word it this way and say, “When Moses hands were lifted up to God in heaven, they were fighting a battle already won.”  The moment that his hands went down toward earth, and flesh, they were engaged in a battle already lost.  Brothers and sisters in Christ, may God help you grasp the power of this truth.  One of the most pitiful things in the world to me is seeing somebody struggle in a battle that is already lost, before they begin.  It’s already lost before it starts.  Victory is helpless dependence on the Lord, and without that you’ve lost before you’ve begun.  Wouldn’t you like to know in advance how something is going to end up before you engaged in it?  You are going to make an investment in some stock, wouldn’t you like to know how that stock is going to do before you make an investment in it?  If I knew which team was going to win I wouldn’t have to waste my cheers.  I could be able to know who to cheer for. 

It’s so frustrating seeing someone fighting a battle that’s already lost.  I’ve had some experience in the lives of others.  I used to pastor a church up in Rhode Island, and I’ve seen people in the home, and they can’t win, and they are fighting a battle, and they’ve already lost before they start.  I’ve seen it in the church and I’ve seen it on the job and I’ve seen it on the athletic field and I’ve seen students in school trying to fight a battle that is already lost, and I’ve seen it in the world, and most of all I’ve seen it in my heart.  I’ve seen Christians struggling with marriage.  That’s a big one, fighting a battle already lost.

I remember one case where they were having marriage problems, and they invited me to counsel.  I’m not going to counsel, but point them to Christ.  That’s all I’m going to do.  In tears I begged them to bring Christ into the battle, and they wouldn’t, and it ended in divorce.  It was a losing battle, before they even began.  They thought, “We’re going to go to counselors and learn how to become a good husband and how to listen to her and she’ll listen to me and we’ll talk it over,” and all that foolishness.  It’s not going to work.  You need the Lord and I need the Lord, and that’s true of every battle.  I need the Lord and I need to touch the throne concerning test sins that are in my life.  I need to touch the Lord concerning relationships that are not right in my life.  I need to touch the Lord on all of these things.  Even to grow in Christ I need the Lord, to be fruitful and to be successful.  I need to live in constant contact with Him and so do you.

When I was in high school I was a little backwards.  They had a sign for me back then.  I don’t know if you are familiar with that.  That’s “Loser”; Ed Miller, the loser.  They would pick on me and call me a loser.  I didn’t know back then that I was a dead stick.  I’m not a loser anymore.  I’m a winner because I’ve learned to take my dead stick and make contact with the living Lord and touch the throne.

Last week I shared this question that they asked.  God saw their heart, and they never said it with their lips.  Exodus 17:7, “They tested the Lord saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’”  Remember God saw that in their heart.  It reminds me of a ethnic joke that I heard.  There was this ethnic and somebody said, “Could you please go in the back of my car and see if my blinker is working?”  And they went back and said, “Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.”  Is the Lord among us or not?  Yes, no, yes, no.  If you are pointing toward God in heaven, yes, and if your arms are down pointing to the earth, flesh, humanity; no.

I’m not glorifying faith.  The honor of the victory belongs to King Jesus, and I’m just calling attention to that.  I’m quite sure the action that was going on in the valley, Joshua and his men, were very aware about what was taking place on the hill.  They were experiencing that down there.  I don’t know if Joshua was in hearing distance with Moses, but if it were me, I’d be saying, as I was backing up, “Come on Moses, put that stick up in the air.”  But I think it must have been an encouragement for Joshua and the army to know that there were people touching the throne on their behalf.  When I’m struggling in the valley and someone says, “I’m praying for you,” that’s tremendous encouragement to my heart.  And when someone is praying I know it.  I can tell when someone is touching the throne on my behalf.  I think Joshua and his men were very encouraged for that.

Let me give you a third principle and then we’ll wrap it up.  Victory is a Person and His name is Jesus, victory requires faith to lay hold of the Person who is our Victory, and then Exodus 17:12, “Moses’ hands were heavy and 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.”  Let me state the principle, and then try to illustrate it.  Helpless dependence is bigger than helpless dependence on the Lord.  Helpless dependence includes helpless dependence on those who are indwelled by the Lord; helpless dependence on God’s children.  Part of childlikeness is receiving help from brothers and sisters in Christ. 

I love verse 12, “They took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it.  Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other.  Thus, his hands were steady until the sun set.”  On the level of earth I think a sword might weigh more than a staff.  I don’t know if that’s the case.  But wouldn’t you expect that you would read that Joshua’s arms got weary and the people in the valley got weary?  To these eyes that’s what it would look like.  It seems it would take more energy to engage a whole day, hour after hour, hand to hand combat with an enemy than being on a hill holding up a staff toward God in heaven.  I think it’s amazing to think that in spiritual things we get tired.  This is my testimony.  It’s exhausting to trust the Lord.  I’m serious.  It’s exhausting to trust the Lord, because you’ve got that pull all the time, going down and taking you to the level of earth. 

Usually when people call for volunteers they don’t even think about the hill.  They are calling for volunteers in the valley.  “We need somebody to teach.  We need people to hand out books.  We need somebody to drive.  We need somebody to prepare meals.  We need somebody to visit.  We need somebody to support missions.  We need somebody to write letters.”  It’s seems like the program is in the valley. They are the ones that need to volunteer.  Brothers and sisters in Christ, may God help us with this.  This is not just a Bible study.  I’m pouring out my heart.  This is reality.  It’s a thousand times easier to volunteer for valley ministry than for mountain ministry.  Moses got weary holding up his hands. 

I suggested earlier that nature is dragging us down all the time.  I want you to look at the ministry of Aaron and Hur.  Who was Aaron?  According to the record he was a brother and he was a priest.  Right in this room I see brothers and I see priests.  Who was Hur?  He was a nobody.  We don’t know who he was.  What was their ministry?  They put a rock under Moses so that he could rest, and they propped his hands up in the direction of Christ.  They were helpers of helpless dependence.  They helped somebody touch the throne.  They helped people be helpless.  Friends in Christ, I thank the Lord for brothers and sisters in Christ who along my path have encouraged me to give it to Jesus, to trust in the Lord.  There are plenty of people active in the valley, but how few select people are there who can slip a rock under you when you get weary, who can prop up your hands to help you keep trusting the Lord and remind you to keep looking to Him. 

I’m leery of a lot of people who call themselves “counselors” because His name shall be called “Counselor”, but if counseling is legitimate, if some counselor will take and set you on the rock, and then help you to depend on the Lord Jesus…  I need the Lord, but I also need you.  You need the Lord, but we need each other.  I need helpers to help me be helpless, to remind me to keep looking to Christ.  What did Moses need when he got so tired up there?  He needed a life not his own.  He needed the Christ that was in somebody else to help prop him up, to live above nature and its pull.  I need every Aaron I can find, every brother and priest that I can find.  And I need every Hur that I can find.  They are the unknown people.  They are the ones that don’t have the education and they don’t have the training and they don’t have the experience and they don’t have the title.  All they know is “trust the Lord”; simple humble everyday Christians who prop you up in the direction of Christ.  I hope that you are more than Bible students.  If you ever see me get weary and discouraged, will you prop a rock under me again?  Remind me to trust the Lord, to give it to Him. 

How long am I going to need these helpers of helplessness?  According to the record it was until the sun set.  This is not a fifty yard dash.  It’s not a hundred yard dash.  It’s a marathon.  It’s cross country.  I’m going to need you until I go to heaven, and you are going to need me until you go to heaven.  You may ask how important was the ministry of Aaron and Hur.  According to this record there would have been no victory without them.  Just think about that.  There would be no victory without them.  I can’t begin to tell you how some people almost embarrassed because they aren’t involved in valley work and they are not involved in this program and that program and they almost feel guilty because they are not.  I’ll tell you, you can point someone to Jesus.  You can help them.  You can put them on the rock.  Remind them.  Tell them.  Remind me and remind my Lillian.  We need to hear it.  May God help us with these!

I want to give you a verse that is not on the sheet, it should be.  Hebrews 12:12, “Lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees.”  Every principle of victory is right here.  We’re going to look at three more, but victory is Christ.  Victory is faith in Christ.   Victory is helpers of faith to lay hold of Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word.  We always have to say what you inspired it to mean.  Will You work that in our hearts?  Lord, give us this ministry that Aaron and Hur had, that we might help one another look to the Lord, and trust You, and then we’ll know we are going to have the victory.  Oh Lord, we thank You for Your word.  Now make it real in our hearts.  We ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen