Pray Give Go
The first Discovery Bible Study (DBS) I did, was on Exodus 17: 8-16. You may know the story – the Amalekites attack the Israelites. When Moses’ hands were up, Joshua and the Israelites were winning. When Moses got tired and lowered his arms, Joshua and the army struggled. Later Aaron and Hur came to support Moses.
The great thing about DBS is that you figure out the text as you go along. As people shared what they learnt about God and about man in this passage, we all started talking about the different roles each of them had. Moses’ solely role was to keep the rod up, Joshua oversaw the battle and Aaron and Hur were there to support Moses.
When Moses became tired, he didn’t need to ask Aaron and Hur for help, they stepped in as if they knew exactly where, and how, they were needed. Moses just knew he had to keep his rod up until sunset and he did it. He did not try to get Joshua’s attention and tell him what to do – no, he kept his rod up. We don’t read about Joshua looking back at Moses to check if his hands were up or yelling at Moses “Hey! Can you keep your hands up higher please?” No, Joshua was focused on the battle and on the task before him, he trusted Moses to do his part.
It struck me that this is an example of the tagline we have in OM: Pray, Give, Go.
Moses was the prayer warrior. He knew that raising the rod was enabling Joshua to win the battle. He endured in his role, never giving up until the battle was won. He didn’t go down to the battlefield to try his hand at fighting, he stayed where he was knowing that even though he was far from the battle, he had a key role in it. These are the prayer warriors at home; the group at church that meets every week to pray, the person with all the prayer cards on the fridge. Those who are called to pray for those that went or those that give.
Aaron and Hur gave their time and energy to support both Moses and Joshua. They were the support structure of the operation. They knew that Joshua needed Moses and they saw when Moses got tired and provided a stone for him to sit on while each of them supported one of Moses’ arms. This is like the support structure within OM – the people who book the flights, write the visa letters or work in the finance office. They know the battle is out there – they haven’t forgotten about it – but they also understand the importance of providing a stone when someone is tired or keeping the arms of the prayer warriors up. This also refers to the people who support ministries and individuals financially. Without these finances, the Joshua's, Moses', Aaron's and Hur's are underfunded and do not have a stone to sit on or enough energy to fight the battle.
Joshua was the goer. He was skilled and trained to fight. He knew what the best strategy was and when to attack. He was not discouraged when Moses grew tired and the Amalekites prevailed. He endured, trusting that his brothers would keep the rod up. He is like the believers working among the least reached. They are daily in a battle. They are skilled and trained to be there, to reach out to locals in a cultural sensitive way. They look forward, taking small steps and trusting that the support services are in place when they feel defeated.
I’m not saying we have only one role to play, either pray, give or go. Sometimes we are the givers and other times the goers. I want to emphasise the importance of the role we are in the moment, there where we know God has called us for this period and not lose sight of our mission and give up.
May we not be discouraged by the backstage role we think we are playing and may we see the bigger picture. May we trust the Aaron and Hur’s around us to keep our arms up and to help us when we are tired and weary. May we not try to do the job of Moses when we are called to be in the battle or tell the Joshua’s what to do when we are called to keep the rod up. May we step up and put up our rod so that our brothers and sisters will win the battle. May we trust in the calling God has put on our hearts, be it in an office or foreign country or new role and may we trust that the people around us are called and trusted by God to fulfil their part.