Saturday, March 16, 2013

We need each other (Exo 17-18)

I need you and you need me
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. (Exo 17:10-15)

Living in Community humbles, unites and builds us up

Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.  If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”(Exo 18:14-23)

Two stories but one message, "we need each other". We were not meant to live life alone, this was spelled out in the beginning of creation when God said, "It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen 2:18a). We were created for relationships, a relationship with God the Creator and with one another. Larry Crabb in his book, The Safest Place on Earth says this about Spiritual community;

It is our weakness, not our competence that moves others. Our sorrows not our blessings, that break down the barriers of fear and shame which keeps us apart. Our admitted failures, not our paraded successes that bind us together in hope.

Although individualism is praised in our culture we see that God's truth tells us a different story, and we can bear witness to this if we take a closer look at life around us. So seek the company of like minded families or friends whom you give permission to grow together with you. They will help you see your blind spots, support you in times of weakness and hold you accountable to the truth of your faith. The African, South American or Ancient Near Eastern cultures teach us about the beauty of being in community...doing life together. That is why God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through relationships of life evidenced through stories in the bible and in prevailing relationships like Marriage, Family and the corporate Church.

So reach out, and ask for does not make you weak, it only makes you human. Reach out and live life in does not make you weak it only builds your character. A wise man once said, we depend upon other human beings, in a sense, to be human ourselves. May this be true comfort for your soul knowing that you can reach out not only to God but to others he puts around you.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
 and has no one to help them up.(Eccl 4:9-10)


  1. Thank you Sheila. I loved reading the story of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses's arms when he got too tired. Isn't that the most beautiful illustration of what we do in community?


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