Sunday, November 3, 2013

There Is Strength In Numbers

"Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim And Moses said unto Joshua, “Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.” So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat thereon. And Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun." 
Exodus 17:8-12

          In my favorite movie of all time, there is a scene where three travelers are wandering through a strange land attempting to evade a man who wishes to kill them. They meet a lady in the woods who has a valuable lesson to teach them. The lady hands one of the travelers, Virginia, a stick and asks her to break it. Virginia easily snaps the stick in half. She hands Virginia another stick and again asks her to break it which, of course, Virginia does without effort. Finally, the lady hands Virginia yet another stick and tells her to put all the sticks together and break them. Try as she might, Virginia couldn't create a single fracture in the wood. While the other two travelers are confused and angry at the woman for wasting their time, the point dawns on Virginia: there is strength in numbers. 
          While the three travelers and the woman are all part of a fictional story, the lesson is still a truth we all need to understand. When we have others loving us, supporting us, holding us up, and standing with us, we are stronger. In Exodus 17, we see an army rise against the Israelites. Moses puts Joshua in charge of leading the battle while he himself goes to the top of a hill to hold up the rod of God. When Moses holds up the rod, the Israelites reign victorious over the enemy army. When he lowers his hand, the Israelites are overtaken. As you might imagine, Moses' arms became very tired. He couldn't complete the task by himself. In his weakness, Aaron and Hur rushed in and held his arms up for him, insuring the nation of Israel would not be defeated. What Moses was unable to do alone was not impossible with the help of others.
          Life isn't always kind to us, and we all have moments of weakness. When we are alone in our weaknesses, it is very easy for us to be snapped by the pressures of the world. When we don't have people standing with us, praying for us, or holding up our arms, we can quickly be broken in two. It is not God's design that we should walk through life's hardships alone. After all, even Christ had 12 with whom he served and prayed. Just as the disciples were there for Jesus and just as Aaron and Hur were there for Moses, we need to be there for each other. When we see our brothers and sisters in Christ becoming weak, when we notice their arms trembling and their mouths quivering, we should rush in to reinforce them. Be the person who bridges the gaps. Be the encourager, the helper, the listener, the intercessor. Love others as God loves them; stand beside them when they start to buckle. Remember, there is strength in numbers.

This devotional was written by Megan Forsyth Bolton, a woman who understands the power of support. If you are walking in weakness alone, it would be an honor to stand with you. Please know you do not have to face hardship by yourself. Email me at or find me on Facebook or Twitter. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this devotional Megan. I often wonder what people do without church family! My church family at Awakening Life means the world to me . When I am weak; they are strong!!! Thank you church family :) Pamela Britt Malone