8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
Just pausing and pondering a little more on this passage of Scripture.
Verse 8 says “then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.” I find this so interesting because theologians tell us that there is no record of the Jews ever having to fight any battles in Egypt. In my mind, I can understand why this would be. We remember from Scripture how Joseph was sold into slavery but became second in command and how his family eventually followed him there. We also remember that over time Joseph and “all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them (Exodus 3:6-7).” The new king was fearful of how numerous the Israelites had become, dealt with them shrewdly, and placed slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor.
Surely, if the Israelites were going to war, it would not have been against any outside nation, but rather the nation of Egypt who has had enslaved them. We know from the Scriptures that they did not but instead cried out and that cry reached the Lord who appeared to Moses stating that He had heard their cry and had come to rescue the Jews…and we know the Great God, I Am That I Am was faithful and did just what He promised.
I would imagine that once the Lord delivered the Israelites from bondage, once they witnessed the Egyptians drown in the Red Sea, they would have thought they were finally free and their only enemy was the wilderness that we have heard them moaning and grumbling about since they left Egypt. How very, absolutely shocked they must have been to find out that despite being set free, they still had enemies.
I believe that we sometimes suffer from the same shock as believers in Jesus Christ. We confess Jesus and Lord and Savior and suffer great disappointment when the “stuff” of life comes our way. I mean after all, I stay away from the Top 10 Sins list and I pray every day…surely, Lord, this is happening to the wrong person. This sickness, these financial concerns, this broken relationship did not come my way…this is not my spouse unfaithful, not my son rebellious, not my daughter addicted and certainly not me depressed.
We don’t see it coming…just like the Jews didn’t see the Amalekites coming. The wording leads me to believe that the attack was sudden, just came out of no where. Most of us have been here before…life is good, no issues, no concerns…it all turns on a dime and “stuff” is staring us right in the face, in our hearts.
It is in these times that we must “fight the good fight of the faith (1 Timothy 6:12).”
These are the times that we trust in God and His wisdom and power just as we see the Jews do in this passage. We must pray for God to guide us as we walk by faith, follow His instructions, and realize that our victory will only be manifested through His wisdom and power and not our own.
When Moses stood on the hill with the staff raised, he wasn’t saying I have the power to defeat the Amalekites in and of himself. He was standing with His hands to the Lord acknowledging his absolute, total dependency on the Lord for the battle was far greater than Moses, Joshua and his fighting men, Aaron or Hur. This battle belonged to the Lord!
I don’t know what “stuff” life has brought to you. I don’t know it if brewed a while and then manifested itself or if it blindsided you but I do know God never changes. The “stuff” of life never blindsides the Lord. He is more than equal to this thing called life and we are victors in Him. We are called to fight the good fight of faith in humble submission, battling in prayer and Spirit-led action with our hands/hearts stretched to the Lord declaring “I lift up my eyes [hands] until the hills, my help comes from the Lord, no other help I know.” God is faithful. He will watch over life including the “stuff”, and keep you…and me…and see us through. All praise to His Holy Name!!!