THANK GOD FOR GUYS LIKE HUR
Exodus 17:8-13 (NKJV)
Victory over the Amalekites
8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 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. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
This is a very important moment in the life of the nation of Israel. As they journey toward the Promised Land, they are faced with their first encounter with an enemy army. The Bible tells us that they came face to face with the armies of Amalek. These people were a nomadic tribe that was a constant thorn in the side of the people of Israel.
In this first encounter, they prove their nature by conducting an unprovoked attack against the Israelites. This prompts the Lord to promise the total annihilation of the Amalekites. This promise was later fulfilled.
In this scene from the travels of Israel, we find the great leader Moses mentioned, along with Aaron, as well as the first mention of the future leader Joshua. All of these men were great leaders in the history of Israel and all played a very important role in the early history of this great nation.
However, there is another man mentioned in these verses that deserves our attention: his name is Hur. This is a man who steps out of nowhere, does a great work and then disappears into the same shadows from which he came.
People have long looked to Moses and Joshua as great leaders and as role models. Both men are classed, and rightfully so, as true heroes of the faith.
However, I would like to say that the real heroes of this particular story are Aaron and Hur. Notice the context. When Moses hands were held up, as a sign of intercession, Israel prevailed in the battle. When Moses’ hands were allowed to fall down, Amalek prevailed. After a while, Moses became to weary to hold his own hands up and Aaron and Hur stepped up and held Moses’ hands up until the battle was finished. In my mind, they are the true heroes here. Of these two, Hur seems to stand out in my mind. Here is a man about whom we know next to nothing, yet he enabled an entire nation to see a great victory.
Today, I would like to pay tribute to every Hur in the crowd this morning. I would like to honor all those who are willing to take the second seat. Those who are willing to make up the second line. People who are often unnoticed, un-thanked and under-appreciated, people just like Hur. People who perform a function in the Body of Christ that is so vital, but who never get the recognition they deserve. People who enable the rest of us to do what the Lord has called us, that is those who make up the front line, those who take the first seat, to do.
Allow me to share with you four characteristics of guys like Hur that make them very special to the Kingdom work of God. Today, I want to tell you why I thank God for guys like Hur.
I. V. 12 PEOPLE LIKE HUR ARE ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE
A. In this story, Moses is unable to hold his hands up, and if they fall, then the Amalekites will certainly win the battle. However, Aaron and Hur step forth and hold the hands of Moses up until the battle is won.
B. The task Hur accomplished that day doesn’t sound like a lot to you and me, however, had it not been for the work of this man (HUR), Moses would not have had the strength to do his job, and Joshua would never have been able to lead Israel to victory in the battle. To me, Aaron and Hur are the heroes of this conflict. Had they not been there, the battle would have been lost and Israel would have been defeated! The job they performed was absolutely invaluable!
C. May I say that things haven’t changed? In the church, there are still found the Moses’, the Aaron’s and the Joshua’s. There are still those people who get the credit, those who get seen, those who do the headline grabbing work of the ministry, but behind everyone of those people, there is an army of Hur’s. There is a vast number of people who are praying, fasting, and carrying the load so that the first line people are able to do their work. People who pray and seek the Lord’s face and lift up the hands of those who are weary in the Lord’s work are absolutely indispensable.
(Ill. Every now and then I’ll preach a message that helps someone. After the service, people will come up and tell me they enjoyed it, that it helped them, that they were blessed. People will try to give the preacher the credit. However, I know that anything good that comes out of this mouth and mind comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. I also know that every time I stand to preach, I do so after some saint of God has spent hours before the Lord on my behalf. Nothing means as much to me as the knowledge that some of God’s most precious people are holding my hands up in prayer. I want you to know today that I appreciate you. I love you and I beg you not to quit! Please stand in the gap for those who are out in front! The world may never know your name, but if the battle is ever to be won, it will be won by the saints of God who are winning the victory in the closet of prayer as they lift up the hands of God’s servants.)
(Ill. Even Jesus had some who held up His hands as He ministered, Mark 15:40-41. If the aid of others helped the Lord, then how could anyone think that they could get by without it?)
(Ill. This church would be nothing if it weren’t for those people who spent time lifting it up in prayer. This preacher would be nobody if it weren’t for the Hur’s among us. God bless everyone who stands in the gap for God’s servants! No price could ever be placed on what people like Hur are worth to the church!)
I. People Like Hur Are Absolutely Invaluable
II. V. 10, 12 PEOPLE LIKE HUR ARE ALWAYS INVOLVED
A. Hur wasn’t a great leader like Moses. He wasn’t a great General like Joshua. He wasn’t a great High Priest like Aaron. He wasn’t a warrior like those in the army. He was just Hur. The Bible does tell us later that Hur was a man of influence among the people, Exo. 24:14. Rumor even has it that he was Miriam’s husband. However, on this day, there was one thing Hur could do and he did it willingly, actively and faithfully. He could hold up hands and he did the best job he could!
B. What a lesson for the church today! Not everyone can preach great messages. Not everyone can sing solos or play these instruments. Not everyone can be effective as a witness. Not everyone can do the visible jobs. However, we need to remember that the Lord has placed us in His body in the place that pleased Him, 1 Cor. 12:4-27. Therefore, whether we are a highly visible part of the body, or an obscure, unnoticed part, we are all essential to the proper functioning of the body of Christ! Amen!
(Ill. The whole idea here is that while we can’t do everything, we can do what we can do! Remember the words of Jesus to Mary in Mark 14:8. It isn’t important if you can do what others can o, it is important that you do what you can do. Be what the Lord has saved you to be and He will bless your life!)
C. The main thing to remember before we press on in this message is that there is a great work to do and there is room for all who want to be involved in the Lord’s work. Always remember that, like the song says, “Little is much when God is in it!” David had the right attitude about serving the Lord when He said, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”, Psalm 84:10.
(Ill. Thank the Lord for those who are willing to stay out of the spotlight while they serve the Lord. No task is unimportant, especially if it is being done for the glory of the Lord!)
D. Thank God for those people who know they can’t do everything, but are determined to do something! Thank God for those who know that God saved them to be more than window dressing. There is always a place in the Lord’s work for people who want to be involved, 1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 2:10.
I. People Like Hur Are Absolutely Invaluable
II. People Like Hur Are Always Involved
III. V. 12 PEOPLE LIKE HUR ARE OFTEN INVISIBLE
A. This man Hur is not mentioned before this incident and there are only a couple of others afterward. This is a man who lived in the shadows while others around him received the glory. He was invisible to the crowd, who could only see Moses, Aaron and Joshua.
(Ill. After the battle, can you imagine Joshua as he led the victorious Israelite army back into camp? I am sure there were congratulations all around, slaps on the back and shouts of “Way to go!”; “Good work, Joshua!” I can see the people as they received Moses back into the camp with shouts and expressions of gratitude. I can hear Aaron as he led the congregation in a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for giving them the victory. Then I can see a fellow named Hur as he walks wearily towards his tent to rest. No one pats him on the back, no one tells him that he did a good job. In fact, only a couple of people know what he did that day. To the people, he is invisible, but in his heart, he is overjoyed because he knows that what man does not, God does! While no one in camp is telling Hur that he did a great job that day, the Father in Heaven makes note of Hur’s sacrifice and whispers, “Well done thou good and faithful servant!”
B. There are many in our churches today who are just like Hur. They are invisible to the crowds. The preachers, the teachers and the singers all get their pats on the back and hear the people say, “Well done!” People like Hur remain invisible. There are some disadvantages to being like Hur:
1. It is often a thankless task – People like Hur work and they labor, yet no one ever says, “Thank you!” It can be hard to keep serving the Lord when it seems that nobody appreciates what you are doing for Him. However, it is times like that which reveal our true motives. If we stop serving God because no one brags on us, then we were just in it for recognition. Jesus had something to say about that crowd, Matt. 6:2, 5, 16.
2. People like Hur work and others get the recognition – The sermon may be great and the preacher may have done a good job delivering it, but behind him were many who sacrificed their time to pray for the message. The preacher gets the credit, and the real workers go unnoticed. Again, this may be hard for some to deal with, but may I remind you that while men may not see all that you are doing down here for the glory of God, the Lord in Heaven is keeping a perfect record and He will one day reward you for your labor. Notice this: Matt. 10:41-42; Matt. 25:31-45.
(Ill. Make the contrast between those who do things to be seen and those who do them for the glory of the Lord, Matt. 6:4, 6, 18.)
(Ill. A pastor, writing in Decision magazine, told of an experience he had in Jamaica. He was there with others from Massachusetts to help erect a small cement-block church building.
One day a sudden storm interrupted the work, and he and a Jamaican man named Daniel sought shelter together. As they watched the rain, Eastman asked, “Are you an officer in the church?” “No,” Daniel replied. “I’m the man behind the church.” He meant he was not one to be up front in the church– pastor, teacher, board member– but one who stayed in the background, doing all sorts of things to keep the church functioning.)
C. I am convinced that those who lived like Hur while here below will receive the greatest acclaim in Heaven. I also believe that those who were in the forefront all the time will have the greater judgment, James 3:1. Therefore, if the Lord has called you to perform a quiet, godly ministry, rejoice in the call He has extended and let Him use your life as He sees fit! After all, it is His Kingdom and He knows where we are needed far better than we ever could!
(Ill. I praise the Lord for everyone who is faithful behind the scenes! Often, it is the thought of the second line that keeps the first line crowd going! In my own life and ministry, my wife has always maintained a low profile, but she has been such an encouragement to me. You see, I talk to her about everything, and I share my burdens, my discouragements and my hurts with her. She listens and always encourages me to look to the Lord and not to the circumstances. She stays in the second line, but she keeps me on the front for Jesus!)
(Ill. When William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, felt the call of the Lord to go into the streets of London and begin ministering to street people, he stood in a Methodist Conference meeting and requested permission from the presiding bishop to be released from his church to go into the streets and preach. The bishop heard the request and denied it telling Booth that they would not waste a man of his education and talent on the people of the streets. Upon hearing this, Booth sat down, resigned to defeat. His wife was seated in the balcony, because women were not allowed on the first floor. She stood up and leaned over the rail. She called to her husband and told him to listen to God and not to man. She vowed to stand with her husband against every foe. She came down from the balcony, Booth took her by the arm and they left the building to go into the streets to win people to Jesus. He was ready to quit, but his wife, a lady who usually stayed in the background, stepped out of the shadow of her husband to hold up his arms at a critical time in his life!)
I. People Like Hur Are Absolutely Invaluable
II. People Like Hur Are Always Involved
III. People Like Hur Are Often Invisible
IV. Ex. 31:2 PEOPLE LIKE HUR ARE ALWAYS INVESTORS
A. As Hur lived his life and performed his God-given ministry, others were watching. Some time later, God needed someone to build the Tabernacle and provide a place where the Lord could meet with His people. When the Lord looked down at those millions of Israelites, His eyes settled on one man. It was a fellow by the name of Bezaleel. This man just happened to be the grandson of a man named Hur. My guess is that Bezaleel was watching as his grandfather served the Lord. He watched as he took the backseat while others got all the credit. He watched as the Lord used Hur time and again for his glory. He probably remembered an evening when Hur returned from a hilltop, tired and drained from holding up the arms of Moses. While the rest of the camp was excited about the great victory that Joshua and Moses had worked, Bezaleel probably took note of the fact the it was his grandfather, a man who was willing to serve God in a quiet fashion that helped bring the great victory to pass.
B. What I am trying to get through to you this morning is this: You may not have a high profile position. You may think that cleaning the church, praying for the services, or teaching your little class is an unimportant function. May I remind you that others are watching? There are people who are not saved who are watching how you serve the Lord in your position. There are little ones who will see whether mom or dad is faithful in the little things. There are no unimportant duties in the church. The wise follower knows that his life is an investment. As we do the little things God gives us, we are telling all those around us that God’s work is important in every detail.
(Ill. That’s why I believe that we ought to be on time and ready for the Lord’s work on Sunday and Thursday (or any weekday prayer meeting). That’s why I think sermon preparation is so vital. That’s why I believe that this building should be kept clean inside and out. People are watching! Let’s show them that God’s business is the most important business in the world!)
C. When we serve the Lord as we should, we are making an investment in the lives of other. We are making a grand statement about the greatness of our God. However, there is another investment that is taking place. You see, people may not see what you do and you may never get thanked for it here, but God sees and He will take care of you in Heaven. Every deed is an investment in eternity – Mt. 6:19-21.
I am almost sure that there are some here today who can relate to Hur. You are dedicated to the Lord, but you are never recognized for your contributions. Let me tell you this morning, you are appreciated. This preacher thinks you are the best! I love you and thank God for everyone who is involved in the Lord’s work in whatever capacity.
Maybe some here this morning have thought about quitting. Please, let me say, “Don’t!” You are too important to what is being done in the place of the Lord. You are too vital to the Lord’s work. If the devil has been trying to convince you that you are unimportant, let me tell you that you are very important! I would like to see you come before the Lord this morning and renew your commitment to serve Him is anyway that He may see fit to use you.
Maybe you haven’t been as faithful to the Lord as you should have been and you wonder if the Lord could use you. The answer is “Yes!” God will use anyone who will make themselves available. Won’t you come to Him and tell Him that you are sorry for not serving and that you are ready to do whatever He asks you to do?
Maybe you aren’t even saved. I know this hasn’t been a salvation type message, but please know that Jesus Christ loves you and that He died to save you and if you want to miss Hell and go to Heaven when you die, then I invite you to come to Jesus Christ this morning and let me show you how you might be saved.
Whatever the need of your heart, you come and let the Lord have His way. Will you do that?