Summary: A sermon about how God positions us for success in our physical and spiritual struggles.
• They complained about water at the beginning of their journey and they were complaining about it 40 years later at the end…Number 20:1-13.
• These people are struggling with the same things we have hassles with…food, water, clothes, battles.
• They have conflicts and battles like us, that is life.
• Some real some imagined.
• The Amalekites feared the Jews moving into their territory.
• With one goal they came against them, wiping out Israel. This is the beginning of the life and death struggle Jews face.
• The Amalekites were dependents of Esau, from Isaac, Genesis 36. They were numerous and dangerous, yet they should have been friends.
• They were cousins.
• They came after the weak and weary. Deuteronomy 25:17-18, “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, 18how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God.”
• Finally they were the people King Saul was to wipeout and he didn’t.
• They opposed not just the people of God, but the plan of God.
• Just as Esau had. Hebrews 12:16 calls him Godless - ouch.
Exodus 17:9-11, “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.” 10Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.”
• Several things going on here…lets look at them.
I. CONFLICTS AND LIFE
• What is God doing here? Building people. God reveals Himself to us in deeper ways in the struggle.
• Allowing conflicts to come on His people?
• This is life isn’t it. He uses the school of life to build people.
• To reveal Himself.
• They called the place Massah and Meribah - to test and to quarrel or contend.
• There is the water issue and the Amalekite issue.
• But more than that there is the issue of how to live, in the daily struggles.
• The picture is clear, live on two levels.
• One in God and one on earth and make sure they meet!
• Remember up till this time God had fought all their battles, but now it becomes a partnership.
• Israel fights, Moses prays.
II. THE MOUNTAIN AND THE VALLEY
• Life is lived in both places, in the trenches and in the mountains.
• Two things here we have got to see:
First, all our battles take place on two fronts: Physical and the Spiritual.
o The obvious one Joshua was on down below in the daily struggles we all battle.
o Then there was Moses on the mountain interceding for Israel.
o This is how all battles ought to be fought on two fronts - Physical and the spiritual. You need to pray and you need others holding you up as well. And so do I as a spiritual leader.
o Joshua needed Moses and Moses needed Aaron and Hur. Who do you need?
o Moses raising his hands, the staff of God is a picture of us. Lift your hands, reach towards God.
o This was how Jews prayed - Psalms 28:2
o Staff of God - God’s authority in Moses’ life.
o This is prayer. When Moses weakens the battle goes bad, when his hands are up there is victory.
Second, practical everyday issues of conflict need prayer.
o Pray for leaders, but pray for one another.
o We all need partnership in the battle - small groups.
o We all need to grow in prayer. Take time to walk with God and lift your hands to Him in worship and prayer.
o No lone rangers in the kingdom. We all need others.
o The bigger picture is Joshua is emerging into leadership.
III. PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION
• Joshua down in the valley doesn’t know it but he is the next generation.
• Moses’ prayer is setting the course for Joshua’s destiny. Joshua was growing in leadership and would someday lead these people.
• Moses was gaining authority in the spiritual realm and Joshua was learning to know how important prayer was for his life.
• None of us can move in authority with God if we don’t pray and have others praying for us and with us.
• To win in life we all need both, people praying for us and us pressing into the daily conflicts with zeal.