Monday, February 6, 2012

The Power of Encouragement

"Then Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands." (Exodus 17:12, NLT)

Not long after the Lord had delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt by a series of miracles, they found themselves traveling for many days in the desert as they journeyed to the Promised Land. Throughout this journey, the people had tested Moses' leadership by complaining about the food and the water supply. Don't you think Moses got discouraged at times, leading such an ungrateful group? Now, in Exodus 17:8-16, Moses finds himself leading them against the army of an enemy--the Amalekites. During the course of the battle, it turns out that as long as Moses held up his hands with the rod of God in them, the Israelites would win the fight. However, when Moses put his hands holding the rod down, the enemy would win. As the battle continued, Moses' arms became tired.

Enter our encouragers, Aaron and Hur, who got a large rock for Moses to sit on, and then got on either side of him and held up his hands. Scripture recounts that they continued to keep his hands steady until the sun went down and Israel was victorious. Moses was no doubt an amazing leader called by God to do a big job at a critical time. But, where would Moses have been without a faithful group of encouragers like Aaron and Hur who were able to identify his need for help and quickly respond through action that was both appropriate and uplifting?

Spend some time in prayer today asking God to reveal the answers to two questions:

1) Who has "held up my hands" when I was ready to give up?

2) Whose hands can I hold up today through my prayers, my words, and my actions?


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