A few years ago I fell and I chipped the bone in my ankle. This was an incredibly humbling season for me because I had to learn how to ask for help, something I still struggle with. During that time I learned that crutches were a pain and pretty hard work, but I was determined to be as mobile as possible. These two sticks were the only thing propping me up because I had lost the ability to put weight on my one leg.
How often do we prop others up after they’ve fallen?
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
I love this story! It shows teamwork and faith in God and his mighty hand working and good prevailing over evil; so many incredible things are happening in this story! But this time around, I noticed something I had overlooked previously. I’ve always read this as a story about Moses, Aaron, and Hur working together with God to provide a victory. Yet, there’s no mention in this story that this is what God instructed Moses to do. I feel like we often forget the role that Joshua played.
Imagine if you were Joshua, the commander of the army and Moses’ apprentice. What an important job! The Amalekites had just attacked Israel and this was their opportunity to fight back, to defeat them – no pressure. How would you feel going into battle? Would you be nervous? Afraid? Angry? Probably. But how would your perspective change if you knew that the man of God, the leader of your people was rooting for you? More than that, what if you knew the favor of God was with you and your people? I think I might fight a little more valiantly, knowing that the victory was indeed mine.
While I believe fully that God handed over the Amalekites to Israel, I think he did it through a group of men who were following after Him. I can picture it: if Joshua ever felt unsure or unsteady during the battle, he could look up to a hill and see Moses, with his staff outstretched, fighting, in his own way, for the victory. I would imagine that the image of his fearless leader propelled Joshua to fight on even when he was tired or scared.
Who are you cheering for? Do you know anyone who’s fighting a battle right now? Now, here’s the real question: do they know that you’re rooting for them? Do they know that you’re in their corner? Is there someone that you’re propping up in prayer who might be struggling to fight for themselves?
I encourage you to reach out to those you love today. Drop a letter in the mail, shoot them a text message, call them, or invite them over for a meal: just let them know that you’re there for them. Write an encouraging word, pray with them, or meet a tangible need that they have, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. I think that it’s easier to fight when you know someone is fighting alongside you, so let’s prop each other up and trust that God will give us victory.