Summary: This sermon deals with how that just as Moses interceded for God’s people Israel through prayer our Lord Jesus Christ intercedes for us.
Moses:Interceding for God’s People, Ex. 17:8-16, 11-11-01, AM EBBC
Intro. I love music and I enjoy a number of different types of music. When I drive in my car I usually listen to the radio, but what I do is often listen to secular radio stations. I like some country music and I also enjoy the oldies station, but another reason I do this is because I want to know what the music is like that young people are listening to. I want to be aware of the kind of music that my own kids are listening to. So, I flip through the channels a lot when I drive and I hear a lot of different kinds of music and the results are at times very interesting.
I’ll give you an example; the other day I was driving along and I heard a song with a catchy melody and rhythm, but a disturbing message. The whole premise and theme of the song was a man telling a girl how much he hated her. In fact, he said in the song that he hated everything about her. He said that he hated her town, her parents, her brother, her sister, and the chorus said, "I get sick when I’m around, I hate everything about you." What world in which we live; a song that makes fun of something as serious as hating another person could make its way onto the radio and attain some level of popularity.
Now, I told you about that to say this; we as followers of Christ are called to love one another. We love one another because we love Jesus Christ. Let me say that I love everything about Jesus; I love Jesus (if you love Him just say that with me). I love His teachings, His parables, His mercy, forgiveness, grace, and that He died on the cross to buy my pardon and give us eternal life. I love Him for that. But I also love the fact that our Lord Jesus is out intercessor. Heb. 7:25 says, "Where fore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Intercession means to mediate, to plead on behalf of another. That is what Jesus does for us. He intercedes on our behalf. Pleads our case for us. That is what we find Moses doing for the people of Israel quite often, and that is what we find him doing here during a battle in Ex. 17.
I. The Battle, vv 8-10
We find in this passage that the Israelites have come out of bondage and slavery in Egypt. God brought down plagues upon Egypt until Pharaoh finally released the people. Moses led them to the Red Sea where God parted the waters so that the people could go safely across, then the armies of Pharaoh were drowned in the sea when they tried to pursue them in order to destroy them. God then feeds them with the manna that He provided (16:15). Now in ch. 17 they encounter their first battle. They were attacked by a nation of people called the Amalekites. This was a nation of people who were descended from a man by the name of Esau, who was brother to the patriarch Jacob. In the OT Jacob represents God’s favor, while Esau represents the flesh. Stay with me on this; when Israel battled the Amalekites that is a picture of our constant battle with the flesh.
Just as Israel had to fight a very real enemy, so must we fight a very real enemy – Satan, who attacks us through the things of the flesh. Bear in mind that we cannot fight these battles on our own; we need Christ to intercede for us – to fight the battle for us. That is what Moses told the people in 14:14, "The Lord shall fight for you." And he will if we will let Him.
Make no mistake about it; just as God’s people Israel fought some battles, so must we daily fight spiritual battles. But our battles, the Bible says, are of a spiritual nature. Go to Ephesians 6 and see what we mean by this. See Eph. 6:11-18 for a desription of the armor of God.
II. The Prayers, vv 11-12
This battle that is described here not only gets extremely interesting at this point, but it also gets quite dramatic. Note what takes place in vv 10-12; Moses, Aaron, and a man named Hur went up to the top of hill to observe the battle. Where was Joshua? You know of Joshua, he is the one famous for later fighting the battle of Jericho. Where was he? He was down there in the thick of the battle leading God’s people to fight their enemy. While the battle was raging Moses did something very important; he lifted up his hands toward heaven. V 12 says that as long as he kept his hands raised that Israel was winning, but if he lowered his hands the Amalakites were winning.