Together Is Better

“And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” Exodus 17:11-12

For a few years when I was in college I was an avid weightlifter. I still like working out but not like I did when I was between 19 and 21 years of age.

There was one lift, though, that I hated. I hated doing the squat lift. I didn’t like the way it felt. It felt dangerous. I felt like I was out of control and that the bar and all that weight was going to crush me. It didn’t matter that all the books and magazines extolled the squat lift as being the king of all lifts. It didn’t matter that whether you were a bodybuilder or a powerlifter you couldn’t achieve the highest possible result without mastering the squat. I was afraid of it and I hated it.

But there was one day when things were different. I was working out alone, I never had a lifting partner so I’d just ask someone else in the gym to spot me if I needed one. It was leg day and I was getting set up to do some squats when Andy stepped up and asked if he could do squats with me.

Now Andy was big. At least two inches taller and fifty pounds of solid muscle heavier. Andy could have easily squatted my weight and the weight of the bar I was lifting.

Having Andy spot me that day was like someone had wrapped be in a security blanket. I was absolutely unafraid and that day I was able to lift far more than I was ever able to lift at any other time. Andy didn’t lift a single pound of the weight but his help gave me confidence to make me stronger.

I’ve found that same principle true in a lot of other situations as well and it’s led me to the conclusion that God hasn’t designed us to perform at our best when we’re alone. God’s designed us to work best when we work with others.

Our focus text today illustrates that reality. Moses alone was unable to to give Joshua’s army the support needed to achieve victory but with help his faith could find expression in action and he could prevail.

God hasn’t called us, the members of his church, to work alone. If he had he wouldn’t have prayed that the Father would make us united in the gospel of John, chapter 17. We all need companions, partners, mentors, coworkers, and supporters. We may be able to work well by ourselves but if we work together we’ll work even better.

4 thoughts on “Together Is Better”

  1. No question, two is better than one!

    Except in cases of emotional or other abuse.

    So many of us grew up in situations where the parents didn’t parent and that produces extremely independent people, which isn’t good. We see so many people that are going to do things their own way, no matter what! And now the electronic gadgets are making people even less likely to interact with real, live human beings.

    I agree that God created us for interdependency. And maybe that is one way real Christians are going to shine: they will love one another and truly care for one another.

    Thank you!

  2. Pastor,
    Here is an unrelated question that has troubled me all week and I am looking for answers. On the SS lesson, Friday, there is an EGW quote that states,
    “A close, selfish spirit seems to prevent men from giving to God His own. The Lord made a special covenant with men, that if they would regularly set apart the portion designated for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, the Lord would bless them abundantly, so that there would not be room to receive His gifts. But if men withhold that which belongs to God, the Lord plainly declares, ‘Ye are cursed with a curse.” – Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 77.

    My SSNET friends are saying the person brings a curse on themselves, but the quote implies that God is still involved, if only allowing a curse.

    Here’s an example.
    I did Bible studies with a lady whose only income was social security.
    While we studied, I explained that she needed to tithe and she didn’t want to tithe. She went on vacation to visit her son and was baptized.
    I didn’t want to see her baptized because the tithe wasn’t her only problem. She had problems with lobster (she was from Maine, USA), tithe paying and Sabbath keeping.
    When she came back after being baptized, I was shocked that the other pastor didn’t even contact us.
    Is the woman bringing a curse on herself? This is hard for me to understand.
    Do we really bring curses on ourselves since Jesus died the curse for us?
    And the rain shines on the just and the unjust?
    Please advise if you are able and have time.

    1. We’re in a covenant relationship with God. In establishing that covenant with Israel, and by accepting Christ we become part of that covenant relationship, God clearly defines blessings received for obedience and curses for disobedience.

      Where does the curse come from? From God. In the same way disciplinary action comes from the parent to the child. But who is responsible for it needing to come. The disobedient one is because they have chosen the path of disobedience leading to the curse.

      Not a pretty picture. But remember that these smaller curses are put into place to encourage us to turn back from a life of disobedience so that we don’t receive the ultimate curse that is to fall upon the wicked.

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