This is the last message preached at CCC in 2015! The year has gone by so quickly, so it’s even more important than ever to pause, look back on this year, and learn some of the year’s most important principles. That’s the bridge that carries us into the new year and helps us to be even more fruitful in 2016!
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.” 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. 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 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. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner
Stuff happens! Here we are, poised on the precipice of another year. As much as the past is the past, it’s good to take a look back on the year we’ve just lived with the Lord and see what needs to be remembered, what we’ve learned this year or had confirmed to us.
In the portion we just read, Moses was leading the nation of Israel through the wilderness. They came to a place called Rephidim. The nearby people of Amalek, the Amalekites, decided that Israel was a threat. Unprovoked, they attacked Israel. Don’t forget, thes Israelites were former slaves, people not trained for war, so they weren’t exactly prepared that way.
Not to worry, though, God was definitely with them in this fight. As long as Moses held his hands up in the air, presumably with the rod of God in his hand, the Lord supernaturally enabled the Israelites to defeat the Amalekites. There was a little problem with him getting tired and needing help holding his hands up, but in the end they won.
After this was all finished, the Lord said something interesting and helpful. He said, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven”. In other words, remember what happened here and what I’ve said about the Amalekites. Then rehearse it, recount it, especially to Joshua, the not yet future leader of Israel.
In other words, remember what happened here and learn from it, and put the Lord’s Banner over it.
So what happened this year?
Here are the top AP news stories from the year, to start with. And they’re pretty grim, if you ask the world.
I don’t think that’s what we should focus on, remember, other than to be aware of what’s going on in our world and so we can pray.
But here are some things we can learn from what we experienced as a church this year:
There are many other things we need to remember. For exaple, there’s a price for making a stand for Jesus. Remember Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk that wouldn’t issue same-sex marriage licenses and went to jail for it? Mike Warren and others have locally paid a price for making a stand against abortion. That needs to be appreciated and remembered.
There will always be evil present with us until Jesus returns. Yes, we have seen wars and shootings and difficulties of every sort in the world this year. In the end Jesus has His way. He always has a plan, even in the midst of great darkness. That gives us hope for revival and for His soon return. Jeremiah 29:11 is often quoted by Christians, for good reason.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Can You stand on what God did last year and see even more fruit this coming year?
Get yourself before the Lord and get your heart ready for our upcoming 21 days of prayer. Start now to write some of the things that you’re seeking Him for, some of what He’s put in your heart. Start to write down things that you’re believing Him for in and through this local church family.
Remembering, rehearsing, and rejoicing in what He has done, gives you courage, wisdom and excitement about what He can do in this coming year. The Lord our Banner was with us, is with us now, and will be with us in the days ahead.