Friends Held Up Moses’ Arms

Friends Held Up Moses' Arms

Among the many stories of the Israelites’ wanderings through the wilderness recorded in the Bible, the story of Moses, Aaron, and Hur in the battle against the Amalekites at Rephidim is one of my favorites. I love the fact when he grew tired, his friends held up Moses’ arms.

After all, isn’t that what friends are for?

Friends Held Up Moses’ Arms

The Lord told Moses to stand at the top of a hill and hold his staff in the air above his head during the battle. Easy enough, right? Not if you’re the one trying to keep your arms in the air while holding a heavy stick aloft during the heat of day.

By all accounts the Amalekites were pretty nasty people. They were nomads who raided surrounding settlements and killed for the fun of it. They figured the Israelites would be easy pickings.


As Joshua and his men in the valley below fought, Moses stood on the hill above them.

What the Amalekites failed to realize was the fact the Israelites were God’s chosen people. The battle was the Lord’s.

As long as Moses kept his hands above his head, the Israelites won the fight. When his arms grew weary and his hands fell, the Amalekites won. Eventually, Moses’ arms grew weary. He couldn’t help it. No matter how hard he tried to keep them in the air, he just couldn’t.

That’s when his brother, Aaron, and friend, Hur, stepped in to help. They found a large stone for Moses to sit on. Each man stood on either side of Moses and held up his arms. While his friends held up Moses’s arms, he was able to keep his staff held high. Because of that, the Israelites were victorious over their enemy.

In this world Satan often uses others or circumstances to attack us just for the fun of it. Harmful words. Physical wounds. Sickness. Financial difficulties. Exclusion. Our peace, time, and resources are plundered. Our good name is sullied. We are accused falsely. Damage is inflicted.

But Satan forgets who we belong to. We belong to God. We are among his people, and God sends others alongside to hold up our arms in the desert times of this life, just as surely as friends held up Moses’ arms in the desert.

An encouraging word here. A prayer there. Our friends set a stone beneath us to rest while they temporarily help shoulder some of our responsibilities.

With the support of Aaron and Hur, Moses was able to keep his arms and staff held high. Because of that, the Israelites were victorious over their enemy.

Similarly, we need the support of those around us to help fight our daily battles when our arms grow tired. And we need to step in when our friends’ arms grow weary as well.

Some days we’re Moses. Some days we’re Aaron and Hur. When it’s our turn to support our friends’ arms, let’s not hesitate to step up and help. When our arms grow weary and weak, let’s not hesitate to ask our friends for help.

Any Aarons or Hurs in your group of friends? If so, might I suggest you offer up a prayer of thanks for them? I wish you well.

Sandy Kirby Quandt

Sandy Kirby Quandt is a follower of Jesus with a passion for history and travel. Passions that often weave their way into her stories and articles. She writes articles, devotions, and stories for adult and children publications both print and online. Her devotions appear in So God Made a Dog, Let the Earth Rejoice, and Short and Sweet Too. Sandy has won multiple awards for her writing, including several years in the Young Adult category of the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. Looking for words of encouragement or gluten-free recipes? Then check out her blog at

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  1. I can identify with Moses’s need for help! You and Tony have taken on the role of Aaron and Hur, and I am thankful!

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