In our relationship with God, the more we get to know Him, to really know Him, the more of Himself He reveals. I confess that I sometimes I struggle with knowing who He really is. He created us, He pursues us, He loves us, He suffered for us, He died for us, and He is coming back for us. Romans 8:39 so beautifully reminds us that “…nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NASB) Once we have accepted Him as our Savior and His Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of us, we cannot go to hell. Those are facts; they are truths that He states in His word over and over again. Grasping that, however, can be over-whelming. I have to ask myself, do I live my life like I know Him by name? Do I live my life like I know He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last? Do I live my life like I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing can separate me from His love? Unfortunately I do not. I let present circumstances, doubts, fears, and unbelief creep in. When that happens, they slowly become bigger than the One who created me. In these moments, I am so thankful to have God’s living and active word speak to me. A story about Moses in Exodus 17 is one reminder of how God has given us all we need for our problems and burdens.
"So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” Exodus 17:11-13 (NASB)
In Exodus 17, Moses instructed Joshua to go and fight against Amalek. Moses stationed himself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in his hand. Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill with him. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up to God, Israel prevailed. When he lowered his hands, Amalek prevailed. Moses’ hands got tired and he was unable to keep his hands up. Aaron and Hur helped to support Moses, and together they were able to keep Moses’ hands held high until the sun set. Amalek and his people were defeated mightily. Moses, Aaron and Hur knew where their strength came from. They knew God by name. They knew that nothing can separate them from God. Instead of going to battle and trying to win it on their own strength, they spent the day keeping Moses’ hands raised up to God. They totally trusted that God would take care of them.
I do not know about you, but my first tendency is to be active and busy and try to get things figured out. Usually it is in those times when we should stop everything and raise our hands to God and let Him take over. Why do you think God gave the battle to Amalek when Moses lowered his hands? Are we supposed to keep our hands raised up to God all day long, every single day? To answer these questions, I think we need to look at what it means to raise our hands. In our everyday world, if a
policeman says “put your hands up”, that is a sign of surrender. When thousands of football fans raise their hands in a stadium, they are cheering and rejoicing.
When we physically raise our hands to God, we are both surrendering and praising Him at the same time. When Moses raised his hands to God, he was totally surrendering to God and trusting Him to take care of Amalek. You might ask, “But he lowered his hands because he got tired. It wasn’t like he didn’t trust God; he was simply resting. Why would God give the battle to the other side just because
Moses let his hands down?” (I ask God these types of questions all the time. Not to question Him, but to understand the stories He so graciously has given us to get a glimpse of Him.)
Here is what God revealed to me. It was when Moses was tired that he needed God the most. It is so easy to put our hands down, walk away or take a rest when things get hard and we get tired. That is actually when we need to raise our hands to God the most. In the tough battles, we need to fix our eyes, heart, hands, and everything that is in us to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) I think God was making it very clear to Moses and to us that He is the only one that can take care of our battles, but we have to keep our hands raised in surrender and praise. God did something so beautiful for Moses. God gave Moses support. Moses did not have to do it all by himself. He had Aaron and Hur to help him keep his hands up. They were his support – one on each side.
God gave us each other. We were not meant to be alone. By helping Moses keep his hands raised to God, they too were surrendering and praising and trusting Him. Are we supposed to keep our hands raised up to God all day long, every single day? The answer to this is “yes”, yet it may not always be a physical act as it was with Moses. It means knowing that nothing can separate us from His love. It means that we are so sure of who He is that we never want to take our focus away from Him. It also means that there are times when we are going to need support from our brothers and sisters. I feel so blessed to have some special sisters that have held my hands up at times when I did not think I had the strength to even move a finger. There have been other times when I knew that it was my time to be the support for sisters when they were trying so hard to keep their hands up.
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. That is a promise. Claim that promise, rejoice in that promise, and keep your hands raised to God, because of that promise.
God, because of that promise.