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Hur — and Other Important People You Don’t Know

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John Everett Millais' Victory O Lord! (1871) depicts Moses holding up his arms during the Battle of Rephidim, assisted by Hur (left) and Aaron.

The story unfolds in Exodus 17:8-16. The Israelites are in a heated, life-or-death battle with their enemies, the Amalekites.

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

I was reminded of this yesterday as I was finishing speaking at the Indiana state homeschool convention (IAHE). I gave six sessions over two days and had my own difficulties to overcome, including lack of sleep (fatigue), a few new sessions, and realizing that I had lost my notes a few moments before one of my new sessions! (For you non-speakers, that is something we speakers have nightmares about!)

Well, at this conference, a volunteer named Steve Brown was on hand at every session to make sure I had new batteries in my lapel mic, to make sure I had water to drink during my sessions, etc. That was all wonderful, but what really impressed me was what he told me as I began my final session of the weekend.

He had been praying for me and for the audience each time I spoke. He prayed that God would help me to communicate well and that he would open the hearts of the listeners. When he told me this, I knew that God had heard and answered his prayers. I had felt supernaturally carried through my sessions, and people responded with great enthusiasm to what they heard. Steve is a man who, by his admission, would have a very hard time standing on a stage and speaking to a large audience. That isn’t his gift. He may never be known by the masses, and some may not realize his importance to the work of the Kingdom. He is like Moses’ friend, Hur.

Two weeks ago, at the Michigan state homeschool convention (INCH) in Lansing, we were fellowshipping at a speakers’ dinner after the conference, and I met another Hur. She was a young lady named Sierra who had traveled with her mother, a featured speaker, and her father, the worship leader for the event. This young lady spent the entire event in the hotel, or in hallways and empty conference rooms at the event, taking care of her baby sister. No one saw her doing it. No one noticed her service. No one gave her a standing ovation. If anyone did talk to her, it was probably to tell her how awesome her mother and father were. She works behind the scenes, doing hard work with little to no public recognition. Yet the battle could not be won without her.

My own sister, Sony, is one of these. She isn’t a speaker, but I couldn’t do these events without her. My son, Benjamin, is only 11, but he jumps in with a ready heart to do whatever is asked of him. We all work together as a team.

Another Hur at the IAHE event is a man named Michael McHugh who works for Christian Liberty Press. He is a quiet, humble, unassuming man, who was virtually ignored by the thousands who attended the event. Yet this man has had a MAJOR impact on shaping the development of the Christian homeschooling movement in America. Not only has he edited and published many books for home educators, but some of his writings in the late 1980s and beyond had a phenomenal impact on me and many others in helping to shape the way we understood Christian education.

He has also lended his support, behind the scenes to many vital Christian education initiatives over the years that have borne much fruit. As I was leaving I told him that it bothered me that people don’t even know who he is, and if it wasn’t for pioneers like him, we wouldn’t even HAVE events like this. He just shrugged and said that it wasn’t important that he was known, it was only important that the work got done and that people are benefited. He is content to hold up the hands of others.

Not everyone gets to be Moses (and not everyone WANTS to be in that position!). That’s okay. We all have our unique places in the Kingdom. Some days, I am a Moses, and on others I may be Aaron or Hur. The important thing is that we all do our part when it is our time. That is how the work gets done and battle is won. So this is tribute to the unsung heroes. Those who labor quietly in the background, doing their part and being overlooked by the masses. We couldn’t do it without you!

5 Responses to “Hur — and Other Important People You Don’t Know”

  1. Khalani Makunje says:

    Hie brother, thank you so much for your narration. This is so touching and amazing. How many times do we ignore the backbenchers? But today i have seen that we all have a roll to have the mission acomplished. God bless everyone of us abundantly as we meditate this text.

  2. I was reading today the passages in Exodus discussing Hur and felt directed to learn more about Hur. I loved your tribute to the unsung heroes. I am reminded to celebrate more and more those quiet behind the scenes stars that never get that recognition.
    Thanks!

    P.s. I just yesterday felt compelled to think about putting some resources I created for my daughter into a workbook and publish it. Any advice?

    • Israel Wayne says:

      Thanks, Bro! Regarding publishing, I always recommend reading Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform, for anyone who wants to REALLY get into the book publishing business. Otherwise, if you only want to publish one book, I would recommend something like Xulon Press.

      This is a blog I wrote for people who want to get into Conference Speaking. It is important if you want to do the publishing / speaking thing on a full-time basis: http://www.christianworldview.net/2012/06/becoming-a-conference-speaker/

      • Thanks, Israel! I actually, much further down the line, want to publish books of my own. However, this current endeavor is being sparked by the huge response my wife and I have received from friends and family regarding a homework worksheet we made for our daughter. We have been encouraged to consider developing a full workbook. I am currently a Pastor at Torchchurch.tv and have actually read and loved PLATFORM. I would love to look into Xulon Press and also look forward to reading that post you shared. Thanks again!!!

        • Israel Wayne says:

          The reason I like options like Xulon or http://www.winepresspublishing.com/ is because of distribution. If you do the prepress yourself, and send it directly to a printer, it will cost you less. That is the upside to total self-publishing, without any outside agents like these Vanity Presses. The downside to doing it yourself is that your book won’t be available for sale in hardly any brick and mortar stores, nor most online retailers. Most Vanity Presses will not do much of anything in actually marketing and promoting your book, you need to do that yourself, but then again, that is true of most traditional publishers nowadays. They want you to do all of the work and make money for them. At least with a Vanity Press, you get a good book cover, an ISBN, and while it will almost assuredly NOT be on the shelves at any Christian bookstores, it will be in their computer database if someone comes in requesting it as a special order. They will get you on Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com as well as (usually) creating an e-book version for additional sales. In my view, it is the best route unless you plan to have more than ten titles. If you plan to have more than 10 titles, create your own business entity and either learn, or outsource the layout and design, and then go directly to press yourself as a publisher.

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© Israel Wayne.