Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hands Held High

I was reading this morning from the account in Exodus of Joshua fighting the Amalekites down in the valley while Moses stood on a hill with the staff of God in his hands held high. I wondered if Joshua could actually see Moses. Come to think of it, it doesn’t matter whether Joshua could see the hill or not. In the midst of the swing and clash of steel he couldn’t really afford for his eyes to stray to a hill behind him. A glance backwards to the hill might have been enough time for the fatal thrust of the enemy blade to kill him.

Did Joshua know what was happening on the hill? Had he made the connection between what Moses was doing on the hill, and how the battle was turning for him, or for his enemies? I suspect not, seeing as the account ends with God telling Moses to write down what happened and to make sure that Joshua gets to hear it all.

Joshua might have thought it was all up to him and his troops to save the day. Those times when they were winning might have been just because of effort on their part, of a second wind blowing in their direction. The times when they were loosing might have been down to weariness on their part as they had been fighting for the better part of the day. It is only in hindsight that he can join all the dots together to see the picture of God’s intervention.

Sometimes I think that I must be like Joshua right now. My battle isn’t physical one. Much as I would like to have a flesh and blood enemy that I could see, and a gleaming sword to swing at them, that’s not the case.

I think that my enemy is a big black hole of sorrow that would love to just suck me in. The Amalekites appear to me as dark thoughts, or a sense of helplessness or a wave of anger at the way in which what is happening to my family is unfair and God chooses not to intervene to stop it all.

I picture another man with His hands held high.

”Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” Romans 8:34

There is nothing to say what posture Jesus has adopted as He intercedes for me, but just as Moses stood on a hill with his hands raised high, interceding for Joshua on the battlefield below, something in my spirit tells me that Jesus is standing with His hands held high in heaven, before the throne of God. He doesn’t hold a staff like Moses, but clearly visible are the scars on His palms which remind God that Jesus died for me, that He has a claim upon my life.

I can’t see this particular hill, or this particular man. Like Joshua I am too busy with the clamour of the battle, but He is there nonetheless. And with him rests my victory.

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