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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

August 23, 2017

Exodus  17:8-16

  1. In our lesson, today we will see one of the first battles that the Israelites had. This is a lesson for us because we cannot assume we will go through life battle free. The Israelite battles will happen as they make their way to the promise land. Beloved there will be battles you must face as you move towards the things God has promised you. If it is a new job, expect a battle. If is a new relationship, new opportunity, expect a battle in between the promise and the fulfillment of that promise. You won't always have to battle, but don't be surprised when you face opposition. That is the challenge that most of us face, we are not ready for the battle when it arises. The apostle Paul admonishes us to be ready for spiritual battle (Eph 6:10-18). Another thing we will notice in our lesson today is that you can't just pray things away. Sometimes we must pray and fight, pray and work, pray and do our due diligence.

  2. Verse 8. The Amalekites attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. They were attacked in the same place where they saw God supernaturally produce water from a rock. Just because God moved supernaturally in your life doesn't mean that trouble won’t come. In the same place that they saw a move of God, they see a move of their enemies. Blessings and trouble are happening in the same zip code. Even after the battle, the people will stay in Rephidim for a while until God tells them to move. Too often, we move from a place when we must battle. Don't move until God says move. The battle doesn't stop the blessings from coming your way.

  3. Verse 9. Moses goes into action. His plan is two-fold. He will go up to a high place and stretch out his hand with the staff of God, and Joshua will fight down below. One action is spiritual and the other is natural. Faith without works is dead. Notice that Moses doesn't think that standing on a hill was enough, nor does he think just going to battle is enough either. Beloved we must find a good balance between our natural efforts and our spiritual efforts. There will come times when both are necessary. God must have directed Moses to tell Joshua and the men to go to battle. These men were not trained fighters, but they were going to get some battle practice in very soon. What is interesting is that in chapter 13, God didn't allow the Israelites to travel near the Philistines because the Philistines were very strong in battle. God knew the Israelites weren't ready for the Philistines, but they were ready for the Amalekites. The revelation of this is that God picks your battles. He steers you around the ones you are not ready for, and brings the ones you are ready for to your front door. Tell yourself, “l am ready because God picks my battles.” That should give you confidence.

  4. Verse 10. Joshua is obedient to his leader and goes to battle against the Amalekites with the men. Moses, Aaron, and Hur (son of Caleb) go up to the hill overlooking the battlefield. We have four leaders, one leader is fighting in the valley and the other three are on the hill taking up a spiritual posture. Moses, Aaron, and Hur represent the Law, the priesthood, and faith all working together in the spirit realm, and in the natural realm Joshua, representing Christ, fights the enemy.

  5. Verse 11. The battle was lengthy, and Moses grew tired. Moses would drop his hands, and when he did that the Israelites would begin to lose. When he lifted his hands up, they began to win. This is a foreshadowing of the plight of the Israelites. If they held up the law they were blessed, when they didn't hold up the law they struggled. Over and over again God would warn the people to keep his commands to be blessed or reject his commands and be cursed (Deuteronomy 6, and 28). What we are to see is that man in his flesh couldn't hold up the law by himself. The law was too weighty to hold up in the flesh. The flesh was going to need help to hold up the law.

  6. Verse 12. Moses became so tired that he needed to sit. Aaron and Hur put a rock under Moses. What you are supposed to see is that the Law cannot be held up by the flesh. It needs something stronger, A ROCK. This rock is a picture of Jesus holding up the weak person and the law. The rock can hold up the weight. Not only is the rock the foundation, Moses needed human help as well. Aaron and Hur would hold up his hands as he held up the staff. We are reminded that we need others to do the work of God. Aaron is a picture of the high priest (Exodus 28-29), and since we know that we have a great high priest in Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16), we take our request to God in prayer. Aaron holding up Moses is a picture of how important people are and how important prayer is. Hur (son of Caleb) is a picture of faith. We need people around us who can pray and have faith for us in times of crisis.

  7. Verses 13-14. The Israelites were victorious with the help of God almighty. This was a great moment for the people and God didn't want them to forget it. God instructed Moses to write this moment down and chronicle it for all to remember. God especially wants Joshua to understand how this battle was won. God wants Joshua to know because Joshua would always need to know where his strength came from. His victory was not because they were a better army, or were more strategic in their tactics. No, God wanted Joshua to know the battle was won because of the Lord.

  8. Verses 15-16. Moses builds and altar and calls it the “Lord is my BANNER.” In this language, it meant a flagpole. Meaning the Lord fights for me, the Lord lifts me above my enemies. God protects you from your enemies and fights against your enemies. Moses took care that God should have the glory of it instead of setting up a statue or memorial of Joshua. Moses builds an altar to the honor of God. Yahweh-Nissi--The Lord is my banner, God is the one who gives me hope and reminds me who I am fighting for and who fights for me. The goodness is that GOD fights for us.

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