A little help from my friends, part two

Yesterday I talked about the moment in Exodus 17 when Moses stood on top of a hill and had to hold his hands up in order for the Israel forces to prevail in a battle. It’s a strange and interesting moment in his life, and he succeeds because he’s aided by his brother Aaron and brother in law Hur. One thing I got out of this moment in Moses’ life is that sometimes you need a little help from your friends and family. So much of the Bible is about learning to be reliant on God, to learn to trust Him to fulfill your needs. This moment with Moses shows something important though. Sometimes the way God is helping you fulfill your needs is by putting great people in your life who can support you. Sometimes (like in the case of Moses), they literally support you. I had a brother in Christ give me some much needed financial support in December. It saved my Christmas and was a huge blessing to me.

I have two people in my life that I love very much who haven’t always been great at receiving help. They may desperately need help, but the last thing they’ll ever do is ask for it, and even if it’s offered it can still be a battle to get them to accept the help. There’s something to accomplishing things on your own. I think it’s a very Biblical principle to trust the Lord to provide for us. But it’s foolish not to recognize that sometimes the way He provides for us is by the people He puts into our lives. Without Aaron and Hur, without his brothers there to support him, Moses would’ve failed. His strength couldn’t possibly have lasted the whole day, and his arms would’ve dropped and Israel would’ve lost the battle. But Moses wasn’t on that hilltop alone. He had people with him and around him who could step in and provide some help when it was desperately needed.

I just really felt so strongly that God was revealing this to me in these verses. It’s not wrong to need assistance sometimes. It’s not wrong to get support from people who God has put into your path and into your life. Sometimes that’s exactly how it’s supposed to happen.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

There’s another moment from Exodus that I wanted to talk about today. This one is pretty quick and to the point, but it really resonated with me. If you’ve been following the blog regularly, you may remember when I wrote about what it means to fear the Lord. The following verses in Exodus really drive home that awe inspiring power that God possesses. The people of Israel are camped out near Mount Sinai at this point.

Exodus 19:16-19 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.

A lot of my favored verses about God’s mighty power come from the Psalms, which are by and large poetic books. Often they’re inspired by actual events that happened and as you know from reading my studies I get a great deal out of studying the Psalms. But what I love here in Exodus is that there is no doubt. This isn’t a flowery, poetic interpretation of the power of God’s presence. This is a straight up account of what went on when the Lord came down. And boy was it awesome!

Really picture this. Take a second, rev up your imagination, and get visual here. There’s a mountain and you’re camped near the base of it. It begins to thunder and lightning and a thick cloud settles on the mountain and there’s this insanely loud trumpet blast from out of nowhere. You go out to the foot of the mountain and it’s just wrapped in smoke and it’s shaking. Is it a volcano that’s erupting? Nope, God just came down to visit, and His very presence is the cause of these great and powerful events. The trumpet gets louder and louder, Moses speaks, and then my favorite part of the whole section hits. And God answered him in thunder.

The Bible relates God’s power and presence to a thunderstorm on multiple occasions. It seems fitting, doesn’t it? Moses spoke and God answered him in thunder. It might be the coolest line ever written. Fearing God doesn’t mean we tremble in the corner, but buddy, I guarantee you that if you were at the base of Mount Sinai that day you would’ve been quakin’ in your sandals just a little bit. Yes, this is the God that loves us, that embraces us, that gets great joy from us, that I know for a fact is going to give me an awesome hug the day I meet Him in heaven. He’s also the God whose very presence on that mountain caused thunder and lightning, cloaked a mountain in smoke, and caused an entire mountain to tremble. He’s also the God who when He answered Moses, He answered in thunder. This is a power that demands to be revered, that can’t help but be worshiped. This is the power of God, and I gotta be honest, I’m so very very very glad I’m on His side and not one of his enemies!

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, thank you for the support you provide in my life.  During my medical issues this year I’ve experienced a lot of need, and I love the different ways you met that need.  In the hospital you met it directly, me and you.  When I first got home to recover, you worked through others, and what a blessing that was also.  Like Moses, I needed physical support, and like Moses, I had family present who provided it.  I had family nearby who never hesitated to help me.  I thank them for that help, but I praise you for it God, because I know that their presence in my life isn’t an accident.  I wasn’t born into my family by chance, I don’t have the friends I have by chance, and to get to see the lengths they went for me was like seeing a display of your love in my life.  Thank you, Lord, that your ways are varied.  You’re an interesting God, there is no boring moment with you.  Just like when we read in Exodus 19, we see that there’s nothing boring about your presence.  What it must have been like to see your presence descend on that mountain, to see and feel that awesome power!  You are mighty, Lord, and I’m so thankful that you are my God, that I am one of your people.  Right now I want to pray for those who aren’t a part of your kingdom, that you would draw them to you, that you would reveal yourself to them.  You don’t desire hell for anyone, your word tells me you don’t.  I pray right now that those who view you as a condemner, as an enemy, that they would see you for what you truly are.  You are the God of love, of salvation, and of peace.  Thank you for your spirit, Lord, for your heart.  And thank you for revealing it to us through your Bible.  I love you, and I’m so endlessly thankful that you love me.  In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.

It hit me during that prayer that I need to pray for the lost more often.  I get caught up sometimes in my own prayer requests and praying for the people I know in my close circles that I forget to reach out and extend my prayers to those who need them the most.  If you know someone who doesn’t know the Lord as their savior, lift them up in prayer today.  I truly believe we’re in a season where God is drawing people to himself like never before.

I love you guys!  Have a great couple of days and I’ll see you again on Thursday.

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