Ex. 17:8-13 THANK GOD FOR GUYS LIKE HUR
Intro: 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
attentio: 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
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 underappreciated, 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 is not been for the work of this man, 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 ben 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. 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, Ex. 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
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!
(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.",
(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 Wednesday. 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.
Conc: 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 this
place. 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
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 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?