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. (Exodus 17:10–13 NIV)
In the past whenever I read about this incident in Israel’s history I tended to limit it to the need for me to support my spiritual leaders, maybe through prayer or providing financial support, so that they could fight and win important battles. The trouble with this approach is that it leads to the idea that we are successful in our battles by our own human strength.
However, when this incident is viewed as a prophetic prefiguring of the Cross on which Jesus died my perspective changed.
Here is Moses with Aaron and Hur on either side of him, holding his arms outstretched, and the result is Israel defeated a much stronger enemy. Christ on the cross with his arms outstretched had two criminals on either side of him. This is the ultimate place of victory over our enemies of Satan, sin and death.
Scripture makes a clear connection between Moses and Christ. Moses led God’s people out of bondage in Egypt, defeating Pharaoh; Christ redeems us from bondage to the spiritual Pharaoh.
At the end of the battle with the Amalekites Moses builds an altar and calls it Jehovah Nissi –
‘the Lord is my Banner’ (Exodus 17:15). Christ is our banner the one who delivers us from our enemies and brings us victory in our battles. He is the one who leads the way as a banner or Flag leads the way for an army and then is held high in victory.
When I struggle to be victorious in my battles and skirmishes it is often because I’m trying to fight them in my own strength. The result is that the pattern of defeat is repeated again and again.
However, I’ve found that the way to certain victory is to look to and trust in the one who gave his life for me in order that my spiritual enemies would be defeated. As I participate with and follow ‘the Lord my banner’ I know my victory is assured.
Why not give it a try?
Father, we want to see Jesus lifted high, a banner that flies across this land. That all men might see the truth and know He is the way to heaven. May the banner of Jesus be waved across this country fearlessly and with compassion for a broken society.
Have a good week lifting high the name of Jesus,