Yes. Post done.
Ok, no. There’s lots of reasons. But one big one is because we need friends. Folks who got our backs. People who remind us what we love and what we’ve got. Weight-lifters. Let me explain…
I’m reading through Exodus at the moment and God’s led his people out of slavery in Egypt – but they’ve not yet reached the promised land. They’re no longer slaves, but they keep forgetting…grumbling and despairing and breaking out in all kinds of stress-induced rashes. Hoarding
shoes manna. Thinking that stuff will fix them. Setting their hearts on celebrity leaders and cow bling. Moaning about the quality of the wafers/coffee/sermon length (‘TEN commandments! I’ve got Sunday lunch in the oven’).
I know it’s a stretch, but try to put yourself in their shoes. (Mmmm shooess..)
In this wilderness, there are lots of dangers. Hunger and thirst, battles for leadership, sickness, Watergate (God provides) and now, Amalekites. Moses tells Joshua to choose some men to go and fight. But the real battle is closer to home. The next day, Moses stands on top of a hill, holding up the staff of God. When he raises his arms, they win. But when he lowers them, they lose. As he pictures a cross, then the one called “Jesus” (Joshua – same name) wins. But without the cross – they haven’t a hope.
You can guess what happens next. Moses starts to fade. His arms are so tired he can’t keep them up. So he does what we all do. He calls on his mates. And they fight for him.
They find a stone for him to sit on. Then they stand on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. His hands are held steady until sunset. And the Amalekites are defeated. (Exodus 17)
It’s a wonderful picture. The battle is the Lord’s and He has won. But each of us has a part to play. Some are fighting in the front lines. Persecuted by enemies who seem much bigger than them. But when they grow faint we can lift their arms. And as we fall, they lift ours. Thank God for church.