A Few Good Men-Milwaukee '99
A Few Good Men
Exodus 17: 8-16
I. They Were Specifically Selected (v. 9a)
"Choose" -- an acceptable appointment -- excellent
Notice -- Moses communicated the need w/his Leaders, not the laity.
Reason -- everything rises & falls on leadership -- he identified them, nurtured them, & equipped them.
Lesson -- Battle was won before it began!
A. Selected the Right Men -- How?
· Assessed his needs: What is needed? He needed warriors, not negotiators.
· Assets on hand -- Who do I have available?
· Ability of candidates: Who is able?
· Attitude of candidates: Who is willing?
· Accomplishments: Who gets things done?
This may be the reason you haven't been selected to do anything in the church!
1. Joshua -- later would lead them into the promise land -- he was gaining experience for greater battles to come!
2. Aaron -- 1st High Priest of God; effective communicator; Moses' mouthpiece.
3. Hur -- stood w/Aaron by Moses' side & held up his hands.
Lesson -- God gives individuals special abilities, which he weaves together for his use
II. They Saw The Need (vv. 8-9)
A. The symbol -- Moses & The Rod of God
1. God calls & qualifies his people for service.
2. Joshua fights, Moses prays, Aaron & Hur support & help carry shoulder the load -- All ministers to Israel.
3. Moses @ top of the hill -- the visible representation of God -- to be seen by Israel.
4. Rod of God
a) Wonder-working rod -- summoned the plagues of Egypt.
b) Brought Israel out of bondage
c) Parted the Red Sea
d) Struck rocks & water flowed
e) Brought quail & manna from heaven
The rod held up -- 2 reasons
1. Reflect on the great things God has done for Israel...
2. To appeal to God & invoke His help -- The battle is not yours, it's the Lord's!
The Word of God & The Rod --
Represent God's presence
B. Moses was Strained & Stressed (v. 11)
1. Moses was not only a standard-bearer, but also an intercessor, pleading w/God for success & victory.
Lesson -- When you pastor goes before the enemy -- sincere prayers should be made to God for his presence.
2. Strongest arm extended will eventually fail
3. Joshua's hands weren't heavy -- Moses' were because he was pleading w/God
4. Notice -- Exodus 17: 1-7, they were arguing with Moses, murmuring.
Lesson -- God had to convince Israel that the hand of Moses contributed more to their safety than their own hands.
Application -- watch what you say and do to your pastor -- your safety just may well be in His hands!
Your success will ultimately depend on how well you support your pastor -- fight him, you'll lose. Support him, victory will come.
C. Moses Struggling (v. 12a)
1. Up & down went the hands -- symbolizing Israel's total dependence on the power of God.
2. He was tired -- he began to struggle.
3. The struggle -- spiritual in nature -- warring against principalities…spiritual wickedness in high places.
Spiritual warfare going on…Daniel & Gabriel…sent Michael to clear the pathway.
Lesson -- we're fighting people (which Satan wants) instead of the force that's driving them (things we can't see).
III. They Seized Moment (v. 12b -13)
A. They Shouldered The Responsibility
"they took a stone" effective teamwork -- requirement for leadership.
1. Saw the need, immediately seized the moment by "shouldering" or supporting
2. No debate -- argument -- passing of the buck -- "Pastor got himself in a lot of trouble."
3. Could no longer stand -- they got a stone "represents support."
They shouldered the responsibility in 2--ways:
1. Physically -- they noticed his struggle & immediately knew what to do
2. Spiritually -- saw Moses interceding, they began to intercede.
· I'd be willing to suggest that Aaron & Hur began to pray & pick up where Moses left off.
· Moses chose them because he knew how hard the journey would be & he needed men who could & would pray, w/o any doubt (James 1:6)
B. They Shared Words of Encouragement
(v. 12) …steady 'til the going down of the sun…
1. One on one side, one on the others -- so that his hands remain steady
2. No argument about who's in charge -- Moses is in charge
3. Didn't try to kick him when he was down & tired
4. Didn't try to seize the moment for themselves -- no they supported him with prayer, words of encouragement, & physical support
The North Canadian Goose -- V-Formation
Lesson: Aaron & Hur were willing to stay there until victory was assured.
I wish church folk had goose sense!
IV. They Shared The Victory (vv. 13-16)
Moses made sure God got the glory -- sets up trophies
A. Victories are "Scripted." (v. 14)
1. Things not written tend to be forgotten.
2. God constantly reminded Israel to write things down
Lesson: things are written down to remind us that that the same God that blesses us will deliver us!
We're defeated -- no memorials, no stones, no victories -- just defeats.
So we can't access God's power!
3. Written on a scroll & read to be remembered, detail by detail for future generations.
4. Just as the sign on their hands & forehead -- remember it was the Lord who delivered them.
"…rehearse it in the ears of Joshua…" Joshua's commissioning as the next leader
Rehearse -- to do it again, & again, & again
Generations to come may remember what the Lord has done!
Lesson: preachers, follow directions, leadership, and complete the small tasks.
· Joshua was able to lead Israel -- had a legacy to build upon
· Saw God work though his leader, Moses
· Watched him appoint leaders under Jethro (Chp. 18).
B. Victories are Enshrined (v. 15)
"Moses built an altar & called it Jehovah-nissi…"
The Lord is My Banner -- my rallying point -- lifting up of the rod of God as a banner
The banner serves notice -- God is in control.
The banner gives encouragement -- no matter how bad the situation may look, God will prevail.
The banner gives empowerment -- There is therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ…Greater is he that is in me…I will give the perfect peace…