Today's Devotional

Weary in Well-Doing (8 November)

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Pick out some men to go and fight the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on top of the hill holding the stick that God told me to carry." Joshua did as Moses commanded him and went out to fight the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his arms, the Israelites won, but when he put his arms down, the Amalekites started winning. When Moses' arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on, while they stood beside him and held up his arms, holding them steady until the sun went down. In this way Joshua totally defeated the Amalekites.
Exodus 17:8-13

The story is a familiar one, with Joshua fighting away in the valley while Moses lifts his hands toward heaven, perhaps in prayer. After a while the picture changes. Moses gets tired, so Aaron and Hur bring him a rock to sit on while they hold up his hands for the rest of the day. Now who gets tired? When we read the story we focus on Moses or perhaps on Joshua and the army. But Aaron and Hur show us that being in the place of supporting leaders can be a tiring proposition.

Serving the Lord can be truly rewarding. To know that you have given your best to please God and to help his people grow is a great blessing indeed. But at the same time it can be very tiring, draining us of physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual energy. Writing to the believers in the region of Galatia, Paul exhorted them, "let us not grow weary in well- doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:9-10) (RSV).

Some people really need this exhortation. It is good to do good, and for some it is hard to take a break from it. Their conscience may tell them that there is so much to be done, and it would be selfish to take a nap or several days' vacation to recover. But we must remember that even the Lord Jesus himself, while he was sharing our human limitations, sometimes found it necessary to take a break. To be alone with his Father and with himself, to recharge his batteries. He also taught his disciples to do the same.

"The apostles returned and met with Jesus, and told him all they had done and taught. There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn't even have time to eat. So he said to them, "Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while." (Mark 6:30-31)


© 2012 United Bible Societies - Palestinian Bible Society, Bible Society in Israel, and Arab Israeli Bible Society. All rights reserved.