The Amelekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out and fight the Amelekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands." Exodus 17:8-9
It sounded like a cop-out when Moses told Joshua to go out and fight. He was going to stay and let Joshua do the dangerous work! What kind of leader is that? When the going gets rough, Moses goes up a hill. Was he fleeing the battle?
Joshua went and did as he was told. He went out to fight the Amelekites. If we were tourists on the Sinai Peninsula at that time, we would have seen a strange sight. Down in the valley, the battle is going on. At times, the Amelekites are chasing the Israelites. Then the tide turns and the Israelites are chasing the Amelekites.
Now you look up on the hill. There's a bearded old man there. It looks like he is doing his exercises. His hands are lifted up. Then they sag down. They go up, and again they go down. Then it begins to click! When the hands are up, God's people are chasing the Amelekites. When the hands are down, the Amelekites are chasing the Israelites.
Where was the victory of the battle decided? In the valley? No! On the hill. Imagine Joshua down in the valley watching the best of his soldiers being pursued by the enemy. He had every right to look up to Moses and ask, "What's going on up there? Get those hands back up!"
Similarly, we send missionaries out to do battle for the Lord. Sometimes they come home with glowing reports of victories won. Other times they tell of losses on the field. The lesson of this Scripture is too obvious for words.