Encouraging One Another: A Bible Lesson for Families

This week’s lesson for families is on one of my favorite Old Testament stories. It is a short story found in Exodus 17:8-16, but it shows the power of working as a team and encouraging one another. The Israelites are fighting the Amalekites and Moses must stand on a hill all day long with his arms in the air. As long as his arms are in the air, the Israelites are winning, but when his arms come down, they start losing. This is a tough task — and he could not have accomplished it alone! He has Aaron and Hur who help him by getting a rock for him to sit on and literally holding his hands in the air for him!

What a great picture of the way Christian friendships should work! We need Christian friends to help us and encourage us — to “lift up our arms” when we are struggling, to stay by our side until we are victorious!

I hope your family enjoys today’s lesson and that it reminds you to lift one another up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Have a great week!


Opening Activities 

  1. Do something together that requires teamwork – play a game, accomplish a task, clean the house 😊. When you finish say: Working as a team is so important! We can encourage each other and make sure each one of us is able to accomplish the task. Today we are going to talk about a time when teamwork was very important. 
  1. Have a contest to see who can hold his arms up in the air the longest! Stretch those arms out – don’t give up! Could you imagine if you had to hold your arms up from sunrise to sunset? What if the fate of an entire nation depended on your ability to hold your arms in the air? That’s what happens in today’s lesson – are you ready? 

The Lesson 

Show the video and join the Israelite Sports Network Team as they bring you live coverage of the game of the week. Will the Israelite team (coached by God and led by their captain, Moses) remain undefeated or will the Amalekites take the victory? And just what is Moses doing holding his hands in the air, anyway?

Click below to see what happens in this highly anticipated matchup — brought to you by the GamFam and based on Exodus 17:8-16.

Discussion Questions/Application 

Read Exodus 17:8-16. Use the following questions to aid in your discussion: 

  • Who were the Israelites fighting in this passage? 
  • What was their strategy? How did Moses aid in the victory? 
  • What happened when Moses’s arms got tired? 
  • How did Aaron and Hur encourage and support Moses? 
  • Who ultimately gave the Israelites the victory? 

Moses had a huge task – whenever he put his arms down, his “team” lost! Aaron and Hur knew this was a huge responsibility, and, while they couldn’t hold their arms up for him, they could help him hold up his arms – thus securing victory. This reminds me of a scene in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Frodo is unable to carry the ring any further, so Samwise lifts him up and carries Frodo. He says, “Come on, Mr. Frodo! I can’t carry it for you . . . but I can carry you!” 

 If you want, you can view that scene here:

Friends play an important part in our lives. We need Christian friends who can help us persevere – who can help us do the right thing and stand for Jesus, even when it is difficult. Do you have any friends like that? Is there a time in your life when someone helped you – similar to how Aaron and Hur helped Moses or Samwise helped Frodo?  

One way that you can help “hold up the arms” of your friends is to pray for them. Spend time praying for your friends today! 

Read and memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:11. 

Additional Activities 

  1. Make a card for one of your friends or for one of the leaders in your church. Make your focus solely on encouraging them – helping to hold up their arms as they obey God! Pray for them and then send them the card. 
  1. Use food to act out today’s lesson. Use whatever you have on hand to recreate the story. Be creative and have fun! 
  1. What are some ways you can “life up the arms” of those around you? Make a list of people you know and come up with ways you can encourage them. Put some of those ideas into action this week! 
  1. Sometimes a great way to encourage someone is by saying kind words to them. Take time to encourage each person in your family today. Give each person some sticky notes and have each person write something kind about everyone in the family. Then have them stick the kind words on that person.  End this time by praying for each person in your family. 
  1. The first way Aaron and Hur encouraged Moses was by getting a large rock for him to sit on. Do you have a large rock? Paint it together in a way that reminds you to encourage one another. Then place it somewhere to remind you that you should always “life one another up”. A great verse to paint on the rock is 1 Thessalonians 5:11. 


Need some encouragement in your Christian walk? Check out my devotional, “Banana Bread & Mismatched Socks”.

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