Two Kinds of Warriors
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. Exodus 17:12-13
Have you ever participated in an all-night prayer meeting or said, “I’ll hold you up in prayer”? If so, you’ll appreciate the story of Moses’ praying all day while Joshua and some of the Israelite men fought a battle.
Without justification, the Amalekites attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses viewed it as an attack against God. Moses told Joshua that while they fought below, he would stand on top of the hill praying with the “rod of God” in his hands. This was the staff Moses had used when he was a shepherd. Then one day the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush—a bush that was not consumed by the fire. God transformed the rod, and Moses used it to perform miraculous signs (Exodus 4:20 and 17:8-9).
In the battle with the Amalekites, when Moses prayed with his hands held up, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. However, when Moses’ hands became heavy, Aaron and Hur came alongside him and literally held his hands up in prayer. This trio of prayer warriors held up praying hands until sundown. In this way, Joshua and his warriors overcame the Amalekites (Exodus 17:11-13).
“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.’ Moses built an altar and called it ‘The Lord is my Banner.’* He said, ‘Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation'” (Exodus 17:14-16).
Our battles are not usually against other people “but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” To be victorious, we must put on the full armor of God, including our mightiest weapon: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests … be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:12-18).
Life and death—the course of history itself—depend on both types of warriors. How can you help?
Read Ephesians 6:12-18. How can you pray for your leaders—spiritual or political? Describe how the various parts of your armor will help you to enter the spiritual battle with the Lord’s help.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, what did God tell the Israelites to do besides pray? Why is this a promise to us as well?
How does Philippians 1:3-6 say that Paul prays for these people? Who could you pray for in this way?
*See also the devotion about this rod that became a Banner: Jehovah-Nissi
Nancy J. Baker
This devotion is part of our series Not-As-Famous Men and Women of the Bible.