Sunday, June 3, 2018

Will Someone Please Hold Up My Hands?

Temple Baptist Church - 6-3-2017
Exodus 17:9-16


A.  The Amalekites were the perpetual enemies of Israel.  They ALWAYS fought them.  The Amalekites are a type of both the devil and our flesh in this regard. 

B.  This passage is an excellent example of the church/pastor relationship.

1.  Just as Israel needed Moses, the church needs a pastor.  But just as Moses needed Aaron and Hur, the pastor needs people to hold up his hands.  This includes both men and women. 

2.  Too often, people who love their pastor still get the mindset that the ministry and local church are his responsibility alone.  When a church gets “too large” for the pastor to handle or the pastor gets old enough to have to slow down, it becomes time to get an “assistant to the pastor” to carry out the responsibility.

C.  This is a message of how much we need one another at Temple Baptist Church.  The pastor needs the people as much, if not more, than they need him.  Our is a reciprocal relationship.  I want to look at the story for a minute and then draw some biblical conclusions that will help our church.

D.  Spiritual war is a thing of perpetuality.  Exodus 17:16 “war with Amalek from generation to generation.”  War is not a new thing!  We are not alone in it as God’s people have always had to fight for what is right. 

1.  Spiritual war is perpetual because churches are full of people and people have problems.  My pastor used to say, “If people did not have problems, they would not need a pastor.  If they did not need a pastor, you would have to get a legitimate job!”  I always wondered if pastoring was therefore a de-legitimate job?  😊

2.  Spiritual war is perpetual because the local church has enemies who would destroy the unity, purity, and work of the church.  At times, our church is infiltrated with people who are not in doctrinal agreement or bring division.

3.  Spiritual war is perpetual because Satan hates the local church and will go to any length to destroy it or its pastor.  Cut off the head and the church may die.

E.  We find several things in our passage that directly affect the local church and God’s men.

1.  There is Outward War.  Exodus 17:8  Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim 

a.  Against The Flesh -  Romans 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  (You can hold up my hands in prayer that I will neither fall nor fail in this life.  Pastors are just men and men are human.)

b.  Against The Devil - Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  (Satan is a formidable foe and God’s men do not need to stand alone in the battle for doctrinal purity, spiritual purity, and unity in the church.  As I stand for right, you need to openly stand with men.)

2.  There is Inward War.  Exodus 17:11-12 “And when he let down his hand … but Moses’ hands were heavy”  The Attrition Rate Is Great. 

a.  God’s People Get Tired And Quit - 2 Timothy 4:10  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.  (Many of God’s people have become disappointed or just plain beaten down by circumstances.  Life is hard; life is unfair; sorrow and suffering are a way of life.)

b.  God’s Men Get Tired And Quit - Jeremiah 20:7-9  O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. 8  For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. 9  Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, (We older pastors get tired, both physically and emotionally.  Perpetual war is never ending, it never lets up. A pastor must “keep his ear to the ground” always.  He cannot rest from war as eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.)

3.  The Warning.  Exodus 17:11  “and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

a.  The People Could Not Prevail Without God’s Man - Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.  (Without God’s man, the church people will begin to faint and scatter.  This is the way that God intended the church to be.  Churches without pastors tend to decline rapidly.)

b.  The Preacher Could Not Persevere Without God’s People - Romans 16:1-6  I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2  That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. 3  Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4  Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5  Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. 6  Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.  (As the people of the church need God’s men, God’s men need the people of the church.  None of us can stand alone.)

4.  The Winning.   Exodus 17:12-13  “And they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed 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.  (13)  And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”  Together they overcame Amalek!

a.  Israel Needed Moses During The Battle.  If Moses’ hands were raised, Israel prevailed.  Church members need God’s men!

b.  Moses Needed Israel During The Battle.  When Moses’ hands began to fail, Aaron and Hur seated him to rest and held up his hands.  God’s men need the local church people.

c.  You need the pastor and the pastor needs you!  The work is not mine; the work is not yours; the work of the local church is OURS!

5.  The Witness.  Exodus 17:14-15  And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.  (15)  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 

a.  God’s People need to Remember – “memorial”

b.  God’s People need to Rehearse It – “rehearse it”  Rehearse – to practice.


Ecclesiastes 4:7 –12   Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 8  There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. 9  Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

1.  We Need To Hold Each Other Up In Prayer – You pray for me as I pray for you!

2.  We Need To Hold Each Other Up In Encouragement – Do not always have to be encouraged, but be an encouragement!
3.  We Need To Hold Each Other Up In Faithfulness – You be as faithful to me as I am to you!
4.  We Need To Hold Each Other Up In Service – Help with both the physical and spiritual work of the ministry!
5.  We Need To Hold Each Other Up In Battle – Be there for me when trouble comes.  I will be there for you!

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