SUNDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER, 2017.
A LEADER NEEDS DEPENDABLE MEN AS ASSISTANTS
“Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 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”. 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”, (Ex. 17:8-9, 12).
Leadership at whatever level of life or human endeavour is not an easy task. We discover that some people with good intentions and disposition may end up not getting things right or done accordingly. Sometimes their inability to perform may be attributable to the type of assistants around them. Indeed, some assistants overreach themselves to the detriment of the leader. However, Moses was lucky to be surrounded with people who were dependable and useful in his leadership. Mention must be made in the passage of Joshua, Aaron and Hur.
Traditionally, the Amalekites were enemies of Israel and repeatedly they fought against them. They were constantly attacking their lands and food supply. One may ask, who are the Amalekites? They are the grandson of Esau and great grandson of Isaac and Rebecca. They lived in the Negev, the desert between Egypt and Canaan. Their brutality was seen in Exodus 17:8-13, there, they attacked Israel. Deut. 25:17-19 recounts their attack thus: “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.”
The Amalekites teamed up with other nations to attack Israel. See the following Bible passages: Num. 14:45, Judges 3:3, 6:3. No wonder in the time of Saul, Samuel instructed him to utterly destroy the Amalekites but Saul disappointed by sparing Agag the King and some fatlings – 1 Sam. 15:2-3. You may ask, why did God want to destroy a whole nation like Amalek? Of course, He said, He will not forget what they did – to His children as they were journeying to the Promised Land. More so, “the soul that sinneth shall die”, (Ezekiel 18:20). Also, “the wages of sin is death”, (the wages of sin is death).
Necessarily, if you read, the book of Esther, you will notice Haman who was a descendant of Agagite – Agag the king of Amalek. If not for the grace of God, his plot against Mordecai and the Jews brought to the fore the traditional hatred between Amalekites and Israel. Thanks to goodness when his plans could not work against Mordecai and his people, he hung himself and died out of shame. Impliedly, those who attack the children of God will go the way of Haman in the name of Jesus! Amen.
In the passage of our text, Moses and the children of Israel had victory over Amalek simply because Moses the leader had dependable assistants like Joshua, Aaron and Hur and through them success was recorded. They co-operated with Moses and gave him the needed assistants. Joshua chose the right caliber of men that fought on the field while Aaron and Hur put stones and rested the hand of Moses on them that eventually gave them victory. What a good way of giving a support in leadership!
Today, should political and religious leaders have dependable, trusted assistants, I think some of the mistakes of leadership could be avoided. As a leader pray not to have sycophants, hypocrites and opportunists for such people could do more harm than good. May God send us the right assistants as we do the work of ministry in Jesus name. Amen!
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,