Summary: Moses had a tough job taking God’s people out of Egypt, but we can see that he had key friendships that helped along the way.
PROP: HAVE A MICROWAVE SET UP IN THE FRONT OF THE SANCTUARY. GIVE EACH PERSON THAT COMES IN A KERNAL OF POPCORN. HAVE A BAG OF MICROWAVE POPCORN STANDING BY TO POP
ILLUSTRATION: (popping popcorn
v Each of you has been given a kernel of popcorn. Not all that attractive, really not all that useful, really hard and if any of you have ever tried to eat a piece of un-popped corn, not very tasty.
v BUT… when a little friction is applied, maybe even a little heat a wonderful and amazing transformation takes place. This hard kernel of corn, turns into a light and fluffy edible snack for many. This transformation is useful and can bring joy and sustenance to all who partake of it.
v Moses has had to face some hardships in our reading.
o He had to fight with his own fears of failure
o He had to go up against pharaoh on multiple occasions
o He had to deal with the grumblings of this group of stiff-necked people. Over and over again as they dealt with hardships, they criticized Moses.
o Moses had to be the judge between any disputes they had with on another also
§ Exodus 17:3-4 (NIV)
3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” 4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
v On top of all the internal strife going on inside the camp, he also had to worry about what was going on outside the camp. In our reading today we see Moses and the Israelites going up against the Amalekites. The Amalekites were the descendants of Esau. LETS GO AHEAD AND GET INTO THE TEXT THIS MORNING
Exodus 17:8-16 (NIV)
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.(which means “place of rest”) 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, (the hebrew translation here is, “drum it into his ears”) because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. 16 He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
Each one of us here today goes through personal attacks, but the good news is that we don’t have to go through them alone. We are not a lone kernel going through the microwave of life alone. Moses was not alone and neither are you.
Genesis 2:18 (NIV)
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
There is a fundamental truth in this passage of scripture. WE WERE DISIGNED TO BE IN RELATIONSHIP. I believe that is one of the ways that we were created in the image of God.
In the wilderness the Israelites were in a hostile environment and in this passage facing one of their enemies, they needed each other. According to Deuteronomy 25:17-19 the Amalekites came up behind the Israelites, cutting off some that had been lagging behind. We live in a hostile environment also, with the devil, or enemy always looking for a way to attack us. Usually it is not a frontal attack, but he sneaks up from behind, from a place we are not watching.
This morning I want to share some of the multi-dimension of relationship that Moses had with several around him.
MOSES WAS FRIENDS WITH GOD (FELLOWSHIP)
v From the very beginning standing in front of the burning bush Moses knew that it was God that was going to have to be the one to bring him through.