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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: April 13, 2023

Exodus 17

Moses has an easy job. He doesn’t have to think for himself or act for himself when it comes to the myriad problems before him. He just needs to do what God says. Go here. Stand here. Say this. Lift up your hands here. Considering how worn out we get from having to make all our own decisions and solve all our own problems, Moses’s vocation seems to be quite a desirable one.

At least, it seems to be desirable until you see how it plays out. No matter how worn out and exhausted we are, Moses is about a hundred times worse off. Why is that? Because, when you speak for God, God’s people have a weird habit of treating you like God in all the negative ways and in none of the positive ones. You’re worthy to receive all their anxieties and anger, but none of their respect and honor. Moses, we’re going to die of thirst, and it’s all your fault. Moses, lift up your hands and win our war for us or else we’ll blame you forever. Moses, be God’s prophet to us and fix all of our problems, and if you don’t, then we’ll drain the life out of you with our complaints and our threats. And so, in all of this, the easiest job in the world becomes the hardest.

But when the people drain the prophet of his joy and his energy, God restores them all through faithful members of the flock, through his fellow believers. God gives Aaron and Hur to lift up Moses’s hands so that their victory over the Amalekites may be complete.

Now, it would be arrogant and absurd of me to suggest that I’ve ever experienced anything close to the burdens that Moses has experienced. I certainly haven’t. But at the same time, the struggles that pastors today face differ from those of Moses in degree, not in nature. Because sinners today still respond in this rather strange way to the words God speaks through the office of the ministry, the easiest job in the world often becomes unfathomably difficult.

So be Aaron and Hur for your pastors. Lift up their hands as they pour out Christ’s forgiveness upon their sheep. Pray for them, support them, encourage them, befriend them, and thank them. When people lash out at your pastors because those men haven’t solved the problems God hasn’t given them the power to solve, defend your pastors.If others blame their pastors for the afflictions God has poured out on them, speak a clear word of support to the men tasked with binding and loosing their sins. Encourage your fellow Christians to rejoice that God has not given them Problem Solving Gurus but something far greater in these undershepherds armed with the sin-killing mercy of Jesus Christ. In the moments when the easiest job in the world feels like the hardest, hold up their hands, and you will have faithfully served the God who serves you in those hands.

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