These verses are about faith (or lack of it). You’ll learn about the grumbling, striking the rock for water. Also, Exodus includes another show of power from God against a formidable enemy. Joshua the general appears for the first time in this chapter from Exodus 17:1-16.
After the manna and quail story, Moses confronts a new enemy. This time, Amalek fights Israel. To learn more, read the verses for full details.
I discovered two main points in this Bible study lesson. First, God performs yet another miracle – the water in the rock. God shows many miracles in the Old Testament. And, Jesus continues them through the New.
Secondly, we meet a new leader – Joshua. Incidentally, he becomes the driving force when the time comes to settle the promised land.
War with Amalek – Joshua Appears in Exodus
Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy.
Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other.
Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.
So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. – Exodus 17:18-13 NASB
Joshua Appears for the First Time – Who were the Amalekites?
These were basically nomads, descendants of Amalek. They used violence to support themselves. And, the descendants seemed to take great pleasure in killing anyone who got in their way. So, Israel had its hands full when forced to do battle with them.
Sidebar: The Slang Version about Amalek
I won’t repeat any of the names I’ve been called or heard others called as an insult. I really hadn’t thought about the Israelites calling each other names. At any rate, one of the very worst names would be to call a person “a friend of Amalek”. So, this gives an idea of the pure nastiness of these people.
Don’t Tread on God! He Gives Power to Moses & Joshua
These Amalekites saw Israel as “easy pickings'”. But, they did not count on one thing – God! When God is on your side, there is no one who can defeat you – not even Satan. Exodus 17 proves God’s power without challenge when former slaves overcome a trained army.
This is the first occurrence of the now well-known Joshua. After Moses is denied passage into the Promised land (because of another rock incident), Joshua is the general who leads Israel against the people of Caanan to fulfill the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis.
God on Our Side – Just as He was with Joshua
When things look bleak; when we believe we are outnumbered by problems of any sort – remember to pray. God will lead us through the situation no matter what life brings – in His will and in His time. It took 400 years for Israel to come out of bondage but God knew exactly when they were ready. He knows what we need too!
Love in Christ
Learn more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 for more information.
Filed under: Exodus