Exodus 17 contains two key stories about Moses and the people. They have moved on through the wilderness and once again have no water. So what to they do? “The people quarreled with Moses…..the people grumbled against Moses”. My how short the memories are. It didn’t take long for people to do what they do best – whine! Moses goes to God and says “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me”? This is a picture of leadership. People never remember much of the past – it is always ‘what have you done for me lately’ which is a sorry testament to humankind. We need to keep our lives in perspective and support those leading.
God has a plan – and soon as Moses asked He gave it freely:
- “take in your hand the staff
- I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb
- you shall strike the rock
- water shall come out of it
- the people will drink
- Moses did so”
So simple when we let God have control. All that needed to happen was to ask. So often we never get past the whining stage. We never get around to asking God what to do. We need to make that our first place to look!
Once the water problem is solved, the enemy begins to approach. The Amalek’s are going to bring war to the people of Israel. Moses instructs Joshua to gather some men for battle. He goes up to the top of a hill to watch. God springs into action again. Check this out: “Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed”. Simple solution – just hold your hands up Moses and things go well. But the reality was that “Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it”. Of course if you try this at home – holding up your hands all day is actually quite impossible. And whenever Moses let them drop the battle turned against Joshua.
So his assistants came up with another plan. “Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side”. Here is a principal of leadership we need to see clearly. It is important that we surround ourselves with people who will come alongside us and hold us up when we begin to falter. Without these two men stepping up and doing the hard work – the battle would have been lost. But because the management team functioned as a team, “Joshua overwhelmed Amalek”. He didn’t just win the battle – he destroyed the Amalakites. Leadership is never just about you. It always needs to begin with God and then quickly move to those around you that can help you win the battle!