January 27, 2017
Read: Exodus 17:8–15
Bible in a Year: Exodus 16–18; Matthew 18:1–20
Aaron and Hur held [Moses’s] hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.—Exodus 17:12
Stories in the Bible can make us stop and wonder. For instance, when Moses led God’s people into the Promised Land and the Amalekites attacked, how did he know to go to the top of the hill and hold up God’s staff? (Ex. 17:8-15). We aren’t told, but we learn that when Moses raised his hands, the Israelites would win the battle, and when he lowered them, the Amalekites would win. When Moses got tired, his brother Aaron and another man, Hur, held up Moses’s arms so the Israelites could triumph.
We aren’t told much about Hur, but he played a crucial role at this point in Israel’s history. This reminds us that unseen heroes matter, that supporters and those who encourage leaders play a key and often overlooked role. Leaders may be the ones mentioned in the history books or lauded on social media, but the quiet, faithful witness of those who serve in other ways is not overlooked by the Lord. He sees the person who intercedes daily in prayer for friends and family. He sees the woman who puts away the chairs each Sunday in church. He sees the neighbor who reaches out with a word of encouragement.
God is using us, even if our task feels insignificant. And may we notice and thank any unseen heroes who help us. —Amy Boucher Pye
Dear Father, thank You for creating me and gifting me in my own unique way. Help me to serve You and others faithfully and to appreciate those You have sent to help me.
Unseen heroes are always seen by God.
INSIGHT: In Exodus 17, it’s interesting that the task of holding Moses’s hands in the air did not fall only to Moses. Moses needed Aaron and Hur’s aid. It seems that the need for help is part of the point of the story. The entire army and the nation of Israel itself were depending on him. If he had failed—and on his own, this was virtually a guarantee—Israel would have lost the battle and many people would have died. Perhaps the dramatic moment when Moses realized his need for help prepared him for applying this lesson to his life. The leadership of the nation was too much responsibility for him alone. He needed help (see Exodus 18). The battle with the Amalekites reminds us of the reality that we do not, cannot, and need not stand alone. J.R. Hudberg
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