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Exodus 17:8-16, Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. 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 sun set.
— Exodus 17:11-12

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, October 5, 2018

 moses, aaron, and hur

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


During the 40 years of Israel’s wandering in the wilderness, they were rarely at peace. Although they had no land of their own, enemies from the surrounding countryside often attacked. In this instance, Moses instructed his armies to defend themselves while he held up his staff. As long as Moses held up his staff, Joshua’s armies would prevail. When Moses lowered his arms, Joshua’s armies would be defeated. To aid him in holding the staff, Moses’ brother, Aaron, and companion, Hur, held his arm raised while he sat upon a rock.

This story is a great reminder that, even though the people were wandering in the wilderness, awaiting the day they could enter the promised land life didn’t stop around them. They still had to find food. They still had to defend themselves (and sometimes attack) from their enemies. They still had quarrels and failures, weddings and babies. Life went on.

Sometimes when we’re at our darkest times, it can either seem like life is stopped all around us, or life is moving on around us but shouldn’t be. It can be hard to watch those around us get on with their day as if nothing has happened (because, perhaps for them it hasn’t). Co-workers keep working. Kids keep going to school. Friends keep going out. And we’re stuck. But like Moses, we can often get through it only with the help of our closest friends. Moses needed Aaron and Hur to get through the battle. Who might you need to see you through your darkest time? And how can they help?


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Exodus 17:8-16

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. 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 sun set. And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner. He said, “A hand upon the banner of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

Related & Recent Posts

 
Earlier Event: October 4
Exodus 17:1-7, Water from the Rock
Later Event: October 6
Exodus 18:13-27, Jethro’s Advice