But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. (Exodus 17:12 ESV)
The journey from the house of bondage to the land flowing with milk and honey was not an easy one.
Chapter 17 completes a hattrick of occasions where the people of Israel bitterly moaned and complained against God because they didn’t have something essential. Despite proving Himself to be a provider on those occasions the people of Israel simply reverted to type when it came to difficult circumstances.
Meanwhile their first physical threat came on the scene in the form of the Amalekites. for whatever reason the people of Amalek opposed the progress of the people of Israel. In times like this where conflict is required, the people of Israel – more used to servitude than warfare – could do with a helping hand.
Once again the abundant mercies of God were shown in this episode by giving them something to focus on in the fight. Even when the leader’s arms wearied there were those on hand to lend their support. It’s not about the one guy at the front, it’s as much about the support system of leadership that gives a focus to get the victory in the battle.
Also worth pointing out how dangerous it is to make yourself an enemy of the people of God. Opposing God’s people on God’s purpose is opposing God – and when God makes a note of that to be recorded in history that will not work out well for you. After all, where are the Amalekites now?
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden