“He said, ‘For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord. The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.’” — Exodus 17:16 (NIV84)
I have never gotten used to raising my hands in worship. It’s something I am working on. One should comfortably praise God with uplifted hands. But I can tell you that I am growing more and more comfortable raising my hands toward heaven when I am pleading with Him in intercessory prayer. I’ve caught myself in my chair, or walking around the house, with arms raised petitioning the Lord for clarity and discernment. This is exactly what is going on in our text for today. The Amalekites unjustly attacked the Israelites as they were journeying through the desert. God directed Moses to send Joshua and his men out to battle against the Amalekites. Israel would win the battle as long as Moses’ arms had the staff of God raised over his head, and they would start losing the battle when Moses’ arms failed to keep the staff raised. Ultimately, Aaron and Hur propped and supported Moses so that his arms would stay raised, and Israel got the victory.
Could God have forged the victory without Moses holding up the staff of God all day long? Sure He could have! But the point for Israel, and for us, is that these types of victories come from the hand of God. We need to turn to Him in our distress. We need to turn to Him, and not the world around us, when we are looking for answers to the tough issues of life. Our view must be upward. This gaze upward is God-honoring. It puts the focus of our hearts and minds in the right direction.
May we, especially when we are petitioning the Lord, turn to him with hands raised.