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Summary: Do you know the number one struggle of every Christian? It is prayerlessness. See how Moses found the strength to pray when weary.

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Corporate & Intercessory Prayer

Review – What kind of diet are you on?

What do you fill your appetite with?

Did you “diet” this week from sawdust and try some bread of life?

Testimonies?

Preview

A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:

Materialism, Pride, Self-centeredness, Laziness, Anger/Bitterness, Sexual lust, Envy, Gluttony, Lying.

But do you know what the number one challenge for every Christian is? It is prayerlessness.

Text:

Exodus 17:8-15

“Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9 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." 10 Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 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. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." 15 Moses built an altar and named it Jehovah-nissi, “The LORD is My Banner;”

Background Notes

The Amalekites were the descendents of Esau, who hated Jacob because of the birthright and blessing.

You might remember that Jacob stole his brother Esau’s birthright, they were twin brothers, Esau born first, Jacob second. Esau was a hunter, Jacob a herdsman. Jacob was preferred by his mother while Esau was favored by his father. When Isaac was getting old and close to death, he asked Esau to hunt a good meal for him and after that he would give him his blessing. While Esau was out, Jacob’s mother alerts him to what is about to happen and encourages him to dress up in sheepskins (so he would have rough arms and stink like an outdoorsman) and serve him a special dish. As he does, Isaac then gives the blessing reserved for Esau to Jacob. Later, Esau comes in with the meal and asks for his blessing and both Esau and Isaac are grieved that his blessing has been given away already. Esau is angry at Jacob and they spend years in animosity. Finally, Jacob returns after many years and they make peace. Eventually, Jacob’s sons take him to Egypt during a famine, and 400 years pass. Now Jacob’s descendents come out of Egypt and meet Amalek, who apparently still carries the animosity of his ancestors (not unlike the Palestinians) and attacks the Israelites from the rear.

They came at the rear of the camp, killing the weakest, the baggage carriers and those who are slower than the rest.

There are two key positions taken by the leaders of the Israelites:

Joshua takes his position as warrior.

He is ordered to draw out a detachment of choice men from the thousands of Israel and to drive back the Amalekites

He becomes the general of the army and leader in training to follow Moses.

God doesn’t waste anything. Joshua is being trained in the art of war for the eventual, 40 years hence, entry into Canaan where they will need to displace strong warring peoples.

What has God been training you in? Do you think it is just coincidence that you enjoy children? Do you think its just happenstance that you are driven to passion and tears every time to join others in praying for lost souls? These things point to God’s use of you!

He has a plan for every person. He will use you to change your world!

Moses takes up his position as the standard bearer.

“I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand,” Exodus 17:9.

Years ago when soldiers fought, the flag-bearer or standard-bearer played a crucial role. With his banner held high, he let soldiers know where their help was. If they got disoriented, they could spot the banner. It gave them courage. It gave them perspective. It revealed where the strength of their side was and it reminded them that they were not alone. They were still in the fight. They had not lost. When Moses raised up that staff, it gave comfort and courage to the soldiers who spotted it.

The staff wasn’t the banner. Moses called the Lord his banner not the staff.

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