Have you noticed that almost everyone carries a dream in their souls? It can be undefined, a kind of vague sense of hope or a concrete reality which spurs the dreamer to action. Perhaps, as you read this, you know what yours is – a sort of undiscovered country or an imagined island. Look around you at work and you will see expressions in the mission statement of your organization or in comments over coffee.
Have you also noticed that there are always obstacles to be overcome to realizing the dream? Maybe competitors, budgets, or even discouragement within?
Perhaps you have noticed that this is nothing new. One of the longest running stories in the Old Testament section of the Bible is the account of Israel’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. Although it is a historical reality, it has also become a metaphor for all ages.
May I draw your attention to one part of that journey and harness its power for yours?
There was a group of people called the Amalekites. They specialized in spoiling tactics. They picked of the weak and vulnerable. They were schemers, plotters and difficult enemies. They have become a metaphor of opposition and an archetype of enemy.
The heart of the story, which appears in the 70th chapter of Exodus, contains a battle. The account contains five other archetypes which teach you about how to win.
Apparently centre stage stands Moses – leader, ruler and pioneer. But he is only centre stage if you see the story from his angle. Moses asked Joshua, his right arm and commander to fight. So perhaps Joshua is centre stage. But Joshua has to choose his best fighting comrades to join with him. Perhaps they are the key. As the episode unfolds, Moses has to hold his hands up to enable the power of God to flow to the fighters. As Moses grows tired, his brother Aaron and his companion Hur hold up his hands so he won’t collapse – perhaps they are the secret.
So who is the hero? Moses, Joshua, the fighters, Aaron or Hur?
That is an important question and the answer is – all of them. Moses needed Joshua, Joshua needed his fighters. The fighters needed Joshua and Moses. Moses needed Aaron and Hur – am I boring you? They all needed each other.
So where are you in the story? Two questions emerge. What do you need? What can you give? If you need your hands holding up, you need an Aaron and a Hur. If you need to fight, you need someone to stand with you.
Similarly, if you can hold up others’ hands, you are an Aaron or Hur. If you can oversee a project, you are a Moses.
God, I would venture to suggest, has designed us to be and to need. He has created you to be anyone of the five or to need anyone of the other four.
Sometimes you will be the right arm, others the commander, other the overseer, and other times, the fighter. Am I labouring the point? We need each other. When we work together, we win and when we win together, we can all say, as they said ‘The Lord is my Banner’.
Unhappy is the one who seeks to be all five and finds him or herself alone. God, it seems, has called us to many things, but being everything and alone is rarely one of them.
Let’s win together, then we can all enter our Promised Land.
This WORKTALKweekly is dedicated to the overseers, left and right arms, commanders and fighters who have combined to make WORKTALK’s ministry what it is – you know who you are. You are Board Members: Prayer-ers: Donors: Supporters: Staff past and present, Volunteers and Friends, both in the UK and the US.
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 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. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 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.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
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