With Hands Lifted Up
by Beth Voltmann
The opening line of today’s reading grabs my attention:
“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites…” (Ex. 17:8)
Moses had seen more than enough difficulty since leaving Egypt with his people. After escaping the tyranny of Pharaoh and trying to follow the Lord’s guidance as food and water were provided for the grumbling masses, did he really now have to face another enemy?
God promised Moses, “I will be with you,” (Ex. 3:12) but he never said it would be easy.
Don’t miss the fact that the continuing challenges were molding Moses into the humble, yet
confident and faithful leader that God intended.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”. (James 1:2-4)
Upon seeing the enemy, Moses sent Joshua to lead the younger men into the conflict on the
ground while he summoned two faithful friends, Aaron (his brother) and Hur, to accompany
him, encourage him, and strengthen him as he lifted his hands to the Lord on the hill over the
I thought of Moses in this scenario recently while kneeling at the communion rail with my husband on one side and a dear friend on the other. In this life of faith, when the attacks come
(and come they will), let us lift our hands to the Lord and trust those in our community of faith to enter the battle with us. When we feel worn or weary, let us not forget that God has surrounded us with believers willing to fight, stand by us, and hold up our weary arms while we cry out to God.
"Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help,
As I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place." (Psalm 28:2)
Just as Moses lifted his sacred staff as a symbol of God’s power, let us together lift high the cross of Jesus and raise holy hands in praise to the Lord who is our Banner in the battle. (Exodus
Remember the words of Jesus:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)
Father, we lift our hands to you this day. We often grow weary when attacked, but we are learning to trust you in the battle! Thank you for the gift of salvation through your Son. May we fix our eyes on Jesus, lift high the sign of the cross, and look to you for victory as we are surrounded and strengthened by our friends in the faith.