Exodus 17:8-16

The Lord is the one from whom our victories come!  That is the message of this reading today.  Israel is attacked by a very strong enemy and God calls them to counter attack.  As the battle is engaged Moses and two assistants head up to a hill to watch and oversee the action.  At this point something very interesting happens.  Moses is moved to raise up his arms over the battle field.  When He does, the Israelites began to prevail.  After some time Moses, feeling pretty good about things, decides he can lower his arms.  Everything is going well and all Israel has to do is to sort of mop things up.  But as soon as Moses lowers his arms the Amalekites soundly bounce back up off the matt, like one of those bad-guy wrestlers on a WWE wrestling show.  Arms up – Israel wins.  Arms down- Israel loses.  Weird!

What is God saying in this very strange passage?  When Moses had his arms up, it was a sign of God being at work in his people through the raised arms.   So, when God is at work in us, in the Church, and in the world, victory comes.  But if we go out on our own, we lose.  It is just as simple as that.  God’s people still need to fight in the battle, but God is the true source of our victory.

May we always be lifting up our arms over the battle fields of life.  May we always look to the Lord and always seek his direction and presence for our Church and for our daily lives!  Keep those arms raised up to him!

Pastor Bob

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