Monday, March 9, 2015

Stand by Me

"Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek." (Exodus 17:9)

Have you ever had to make a choice about who you would take with you to do something troublesome and hard? What guided your decision about who you wanted at your side?

In this week's scripture from Exodus we find God's people being sniped at from the rear as they wander, lost in the wilderness. A band of nomads known as the Amalekites are preying on the former slaves, only recently liberated from Egypt. Strangers and sojourners in a hostile desert, the Israelites don't know what to do. At the back of their caravan are the heavily burdened, the tired, the weak, children, pregnant mothers, the injured, disabled, and elderly. Rather than confronting the strong ones leading the refugees from the front, the Amalekites intentionally go after the easy pickins' straggling behind.

Moses singles out a young man named Joshua (this is the first time he is mentioned in scripture) and assigns him the role of army recruiter. Someone needs to stop the Amalekites. Joshua chooses those who will fight back against the marauders and Moses chooses two close relatives, Aaron and Hur, to accompany him where he will stand overseeing the battle ground. It seems both Joshua and Moses choose well. When Moses' arms grow weary, Aaron and Hur support him so Moses can support the "boots on the ground" with signs of God's strengthening presence while they fight for their lives. Joshua's newly formed army defeats the Amalekites and the journey of God's people continues.

What a difference it makes --- choosing the right people to have at your side.

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