But Moses’ hands grew tired. So they took a stone and put it under Moses so he could sit down on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side of him so that his hands remained steady until sunset. (Exod. 17:12 CEB)
If you’re anything like me, relying on other people sucks. I won’t say I was raised to do everything on my own, but some of my earliest memories are of me defiantly resisting help from anyone. If there was a refrain from my pre-teen/teenage years, it was me speaking nicely* to my parents “I don’t need your help right now.”
*Of course, I could have rose-colored glasses on right now and it was more like me yelling at the top of my lungs like a petulant toddler.
I don’t know where I got it from. My parents certainly aren’t ones to instill a dog eat dog mentality where you go at it (whatever “it” is) alone. I mean, I played on team sports like soccer, baseball, and football where your fate was tied up with the rest of the persons in your “tribe.” They took me to a church where we heard sermons about Jesus’ inclusion of the “other” and his Good News of a kin-dom where societal expectations of hierarchy are rejected outright.
Somewhere along the way, I became a rugged individualist, attempting to take life on my terms, dammit if I had to rely on anyone else.
It makes me wonder, what would have happened to the Israelites if Moses’ had adopted my early worldview of not relying on other people? What if Moses chose to leave it in the hands of Joshua and not help? What if he thought his fate wasn’t tied to his people? But he didn’t. He knew better.
His people were in battle. They were attacked by an old foe (the Amalekites were believed to have descended through Jacob/Israel’s brother Esau) and needed to defend themselves. Make whatever you want of Moses’ handwaving providential action, but the fact remains he took the fate of the Israelites in his own hands time and time again.
Of course, he didn’t do it alone. He had the “rod of God” so God was with him. But even the presence of the LORD wasn’t enough that day. Success was tied to fitness in holding a heavy staff up in the air (try to do that for several minutes), and he got tired. Anyone would. And without thinking or worrying, his brother and friend helped him out. They took care of him. When Moses got tired, other people literally propped him up.
The deliverance from another danger was brought on by people helping another. Moses, Aaron, and Hur knew their fate was tied together and so they worked together as a team. I guess the Israelites were thankful once again that Moses had more sense than a 13-year-old Will.
Thanks be to God.