I have been reading the book of Exodus for about a week now. A couple of days ago, I read chapter 17, which contains the story of the Israelites’ battle with the Amalekites. Moses sends Joshua to lead some men into the battle. While these men are fighting, Moses stands up on the hill with the staff of God in his hands. As Moses lifts his hands during the battle, victory begins to tilt in favor of the Israelites. On the contrary, when he lowers his hands, victory tilts in favor of the Amalekites.
In the end, Aaron and Hur stand on the hill with Moses and hold up his hands until the Israelite army defeats the Amalekites. Then Moses builds an altar in honor of this victory and names it “The Lord is my Banner.”
I find it amazing that not one word in this chapter was written about the strength of the Israelite army. It says nothing about what great warriors Joshua and his men were, or about the effectiveness of the weapons they carried with them. Victory rested solely with God and the Israelites’ ability to exalt Him, even while a war raged around them. By Moses raising his hands towards the heavens, he was acknowledging on behalf of the entire Israelite army that victory lied in the hands of their God and not in the strength of their hands.
What an amazing picture this is of the spiritual battles we all face on a daily basis. It is so easy to take our focus off God, and shift it to the battle itself. When we keep our focus on the battle, we start to evaluate whether or not we can win by assessing the strength of our hands. We look at the weapons we have available, and we wonder if they are strong enough to bring us victory. Before we know it, our hands are no longer lifted up to God and we are fighting completely on our own strength. That is when we begin to lose ground. When we are able to stop in the midst of these battles, lift our hands towards the heavens, and invite God in to help us, victory is again within our grasp.
I have no idea what you may be facing today, but whatever it is I have good news. The same God that defeated the Amalekites makes Himself available to you as well. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the same God who sent His only Son to the world to die on your behalf, because He loves you so much. He is already with you and He is whispering in your ear. He is saying, “I love you. You don’t have to fight this battle on your own. Just lift your hands and acknowledge me. Allow me in and I will help you.”
It doesn’t matter how long you have been fighting the battle on your own. It doesn’t matter how many times you feel like you have lost. Victory is still within your grasp. Just lift your hands to the one who holds the victory in His.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD (Proverbs 21:31)