It Is The Moses Service – The Service Of Moses And His Comrades – Only A Prayer Meeting
These did not go down to the battle-field themselves, but they climbed the mountain-side, where they could see the warriors in the conflict; and there Moses lifted up the rod of God. Note, that the Moses-service was essential to the battle; for when Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. The scales of the conflict were in the hand of Moses, and they turned as his prayer and testimony failed or continued. It was quite as necessary that Moses should be on the hill as that Joshua should be in the plain. This part of church-work is often overlooked; but it is quite as necessary as the activity of the many.
We need the secret prevalence of chosen servants of the Lord, whose business is not so much with men for God as with God for men. This holy work was of a very special character. Only three were able to enter into it. I believe that, in every church, the deeply-spiritual, who prevalently commune with God, and bring down the blessing upon the work of the rest, are comparatively few; I might almost say, are absolutely few. God lays His own hand upon one here, and another there, and causes them to approach unto Him. “Would God that all the Lord’s servants were prophets!” But it is not so. The Lord uses many in His working-service, who, nevertheless, are not among His intimates. They do not hold high rank among the intercessors who have power with God.
This service is peculiar; but the more widely it is exercised, the better for the cause of God. We want many who can draw down power from God, as well as many who can use that power against the enemy. This Moses-service lay in very close communion with God. Moses, and Aaron, and Hur were called to rise above the people, and to get alone, apart from the company. They climbed the hill as a symbol, and in retirement they silently communed with God. That rod of God in Moses’ hand meant this,- God is here with these pleading ones on the mount; and by His powerful presence He is smiting the enemy. How blessed it is for a people to be led by those whom the Lord has honoured in former times, and with whom He still holds fellowship! In this sacred engagement, there was a terrible strain upon the one man who led the others in it.
In the process of bringing down the Divine power upon the people, the vehicle of communication was sorely tried. “Moses’ hands were heavy.” Beloved, if God gives you spiritual power to lead in Christian work, you will soon find out that the condition of such leadership is a costly one. Your case requires a deeper humility, a steadier watchfulness, a higher consecration, and a closer communion with God than that of others; and these things will try you, and, in many ways, put a heavy strain upon you. You will be like Elias, who, at one time, could run like a giant, and at another could faint and fly. The burden of the Lord is no feather-weight. In this hallowed service, help is very precious. When Moses’ hands began to drop down, and he himself was faint, Aaron and Hur gave him substantial aid.
They fetched a stone, and put it under him, and they made him sit thereon, with his hands still lifted high, and his eyes towards Heaven. When he was all in a sweat, because of his anxious prayer, and the muscles of his arms grew weary, his brethren stood by him, each one holding up an arm lest the rod should drop; for if it did, the cause of Israel dropped also. Are you a worker? Have you a leader fit to lead you? Bring a stone, and put it under him, cheer his heart with some gracious promise from the Lord’s Word, or with some happy sign from the work itself. Cheer the good man as much as possible.
Do not throw a stone at him, as I have known some workers do; but put a stone under him, that he may sit down, and not be overcome. Copy Aaron and Hur, by staying up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side, so that his hands may be steady until the going down of the sun. Happy men, thus to sustain their leader! The sacred power with God, which brings down victory for others, is given to some, and they use it; but flesh is weak, and they faint. Let others of like grace gather to their help, and hold up their hands, one in one way, and one in another way, as Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses. Let spiritual men earnestly help those whom God calls into spiritual communion with Himself, that so the Name of the Lord may be glorified, and victory may follow the banners of His people.
This is the pith of my address. The prayer-meeting is, after all, that spiritual power on the mountain-side which makes the workers strong. Do not let the praying work flag; and even if it seems to do so, let Aaron and Hur come to the rescue. Come, and help, with all your might, to keep the rod of the Lord still steady, that the battle of the Lord may be fought out victoriously. Go on, Joshua, and use the edge of the sword: the Amalekites need it. But take heed, you who are on the mountain-side, that your service does not cease. Humble men and women, unknown to fame, you may be called by God, like Moses, to hold up His rod, and bring down the blessing. If any of you grow faint, I pray that others may come forward, and keep the rod of God in its place.
The prayer-meeting must be maintained at all cost. The communion of the church with God must never be broken. If you visit a factory, you may see thousands of wheels revolving, and a host of hands employed. It is a wonderful sight. Where is the power that keeps all this running? Look at that slated shed! Come into this grimy place, smelling of oil. What is it? It is the engine-house. You do not think much of it, but that is the centre of power. If you stop that engine, every wheel will stand still. Some good people say, “I am not going out to-night. It is only a prayer-meeting.” Just so. It is only the engine, but that is everything. Go on board a great ocean steamer, bound for New York. You say, “I have been in the saloon. I have seen the wonderful luxuries provided for the passengers.
It is a marvellous vessel.” Did you look at her engines? “What! go down that ladder? I saw some black fellows below, stoking great fires; but I did not care for that.” Talk not so. If it were not for those sooty stokers, the grand saloon and the fine decks would be of no use. Prayer is the engine of the Church; it supplies the force. I like to see the engines going,- praying, praying, praying, praying! Then the hidden screw, down under water, drives the huge ship, and causes it to speed towards the appointed haven. Keep the Moses part of the work going; and let not the Joshua-work be slack. Beloved in the Lord, let us hearten one another in our warfare. Let us each stand in his office, and do the part to which the Lord has called us. Let us take courage. We are sure of victory.
In the margin of our Bibles we read, “Because Amalek had laid his hand upon the throne of Jehovah, the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” Sin lays its traitorous hand upon the very throne of God. Will He allow it? The unbelief of the age has laid its hand upon the holy sacrifice of Christ. Will the Lord be quiet concerning this? Scepticism has dared to assail the inspired Word. Will the Lord endure it? Is not the time of His coming hastening on when men grow bolder in sin? May we not, from the very infamy of the age, gather that it is coming to its climax? The iniquity of the Amalekites is filling tip. The Lord will surely smite the evil of the age with the edge of the sword. Let us not be afraid.
My firm conviction is, that the Gospel is as powerful as ever. If we could but get it out of the sheath of so-called culture, and education, and progress, and questioning, and could use the bare, two-edged sword of the old-fashioned Gospel upon the hearts of men, we should again hear shouts of victory. We have heard with our ears, O God, and our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them; and if we can get back the courage of the old times, and the Gospel of the old times, and the spirit of the old times, we shall see a renewal of those wondrous deeds.
We must exert ourselves; for Joshua did so. We must lean upon the strength of God; for Moses did so. The two together – active warfare and prayerful dependence – will bring the blessing. We are more than ever forced into this fight to-day. Thirty years ago, things were very different from what they are now. It was easy to gather a congregation then, compared with what it is now; the spirit of hearing is departing from our cities. Cavillers and questioners are to-day far more numerous than they were thirty years ago. One finds among Christian professors shoals of infidels. Ministers are, in large numbers, sowers of doubt. One who is reputed to preach evangelically told his young men the other day, that a page of Huxley was worth all that Moses had written in Genesis.
Many ministers are more at home in undermining the Gospel, than in the conversion of souls. Let us, therefore, look well to our weapons, and be in earnest to defend the truth of God. I charge you, each one, to do his part, and play the man in this evil day. Though myself only fit to be numbered with the least of my Master’s servants, yet I am called to lead a great work, and therefore I beg my comrades to help me. My brethren, hold up my hands! Send up your continual prayer on my behalf. If the standard-bearer falls, what will the weaklings do?
I am feeble in body, and sorely pressed with anxious care ; spare me what care you can by your brotherly aid, and specially by your loving words of comfort, and your pleadings in prayer. To the best of my ability, I have held the fort, and kept the faith. Though, as yet, my protest seems unavailing, and Amalek prevails by reason of scientific unbelief, yet the Lord on high is greater than the noise of many waters. Truth must yet prevail, and error must be routed. In the Name of the Lord, let us set up our banners once again. Renewing the pledges of our brotherly covenant, let nothing but death divide us. Let us be one in this great conflict for the Lord and for His throne. Amen.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Excerpt From Only A Prayer Meeting By C.H Spurgeon
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