Exodus 17

Exodus 17 has the people of Israel moving on their journey by stages, as the Lord led them.  “But there was no water for the people to drink….the people quarreled with Moses…..the people grumbled against Moses”.  He has to be wondering what he did to get this assignment – leading a bunch of ungrateful mumbling and grumbling people from slavery to freedom.  It should be a happy trip, but instead every time Moses turns around they are grumbling about something.

And Moses does what he always does – he goes to the Lord.  He’s beyond himself and says “what shall I do with this people”?  He’s a bit afraid for his life as they are ready to stone him.  That isn’t really much gratitude for the guy who has saved their skin.  But God has a plan.  He tells Moses to get the elders and go to the rock at Horeb with his staff and “strike the rock and water shall come out of it”.  Seems like a simple solution to a big problem –  but one that should assure the people once again that Moses is God’s leader and God is in control.

So Moses does it and then the next problem comes up – the enemy Amalek comes against the children of Israel.  Moses knows the plan and calls Joshua to put together the army to do battle.  This is what Moses tells Joshua.  “Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand”.  Not sure that would be all that assuring – Joshua down on the battlefield leading his army while Moses is standing on top the hill with his staff in the air.  But that is exactly what he does, and Joshua leads the army to battle.

Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed”.  Seems like a pretty simple need – but Moses arms got tired.  If you’ve ever tried to hold anything over your head for a long period you know it isn’t easy.  So Aaron and Hur “held up his hands, one of one side, the other on the other side….so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun”.  That is a great example of a leadership team working together.  And it worked.  Joshua and his men overwhelmed the Amalekites and blotted them from memory.  Great outcome because everyone worked together and let God take care of the fighting.

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