Here is an interesting study on cooperation. Let us learn from it. There are four categories of persons in this scenario and it
took each of them to achieve victory over these fierce warriors: 1) The leader, 2) The Warrior, 3) The Helpers, and 4) God.
Joshua and the army of God are fighting down below in the valley against a formidable opponent. The valor and courage of
these men is commendable, but as we see they are not the only ‘players’ in this scene. The ebb and flow of victory depended
not just on what was going on the battlefield, but as we see Moses with his staff in hand is a key element to the final outcome
of the battle. What was God showing them through this?
We see the staff of Moses throughout the ordeal of the plagues and the exodus and the Red Sea parting. What did this stick
of wood have to do with anything? The staff of Moses was actually a symbol of authority, the authority of God in the hand of
His chosen one. When the staff was lifted up things went well for Joshua and the soldiers below, but why? The uplifted staff
represents a cooperative effort of God and man – the power of God flowing through man. When they work together good
things happen. So it is today with us in the Church. We can do nothing apart from Him and He will do nothing apart from us.
Cooperation is needed.
Let us remember that this incident was written for our instruction on how the Church is supposed to operate. (I Corinthians
10:11) It takes all four categories for the Church to dominate the forces of darkness aligned against her. The leader cannot
do it alone. The foot-soldiers cannot do it by themselves. Even the helpers need someone else to help. And God is all
powerful and well-able to handle the devil and his hordes alone, but He has chosen not to work apart from His Church. When
the four components are working together great things happen. This shows the need for and the results of cooperation.
There have been errors on the part of each of the three human categories. Many Church leaders have thought too highly of
themselves and wrongly believed they were the key to success in the Church. They are important and success cannot
happen apart from them, but they are not the winning factor. Helpers who labor behind the scenes at times have perceived
themselves as the key to the Church’s success given the fact that things run smoothly because of them, but their
importance does not dwarf the other components. Those in the pews have at times risen up believing they need no leader at
all or at least that they should control him. They have wrongly believed that even the selection of leadership is their
prerogative since they are the ones doing the fighting in the trenches. If each one will take a step back and look at the big
picture it is clear that a concerted effort and total cooperation is how victory is achieved.
Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are good studies on the various ‘body parts’ of the Church and their relative
importance and interaction. These passages identify the gifts Jesus has given to the Church and speak of their function and
importance. One of the overriding truths that come from this study is that it takes all of them to make things work well. There
are no gifts more valuable or more important than any of the others. It is interesting to note that God chose to compare His
Church to the human anatomy with its many members.
Let us find our places in the Church and remain content to function in them, giving respect and honor to all of the others. In
so doing we will please the Lord, we will advance the Kingdom of God, we will bring the Church into maturity, and we will
glorify Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
|Learning From Their Journey
A Key to the Church's Success
By Bishop Randy Barnett
“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 [Aaron and Hur] 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. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people
with the edge of the sword.”