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“The Formula for Spiritual Victory”

Exodus 17:8-16

Exodus 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

I. The Warfare of the Servants

a. A time of want – (1) there was no water there. This would not be the only time that they would be short on water.

Moses and the people were in the desert, but what was he going to do with them? They had to be fed, and feeding 2 to 3 million people requires a lot of food. The people needed 2,000 tons -- four million pounds -- of food each day.

To bring that much food each day, would require three freight trains each a mile long! In the desert they needed firewood to cook and keep warm. Each day this would take 4,000 tons -- eight million pounds -- of wood and a few more freight trains, each a mile long. Of course, they needed water. If they only had enough to drink and wash a few dishes, it would take 11 million gallons each day, and a freight train with tank cars 1,800 miles long, just to bring water! And then another thing: They had to get across the Yom Suf ("sea of reeds") in one night. If they went on a narrow path, double file, the line would be 800 miles long and would require 35 days and nights to get through. So, there had to be an opening in the Yom Suf 3 miles wide so that they could walk 5,000 abreast to get over in one night. Each time they camped at the end of the day, they needed a campground two-thirds the size of the State of Rhode Island, about 750 square miles. They journeyed in the desert forty years.

Do you think Moses worked all this out before he left Egypt? Moses put his trust in God. God handled things every day for 40 years.

If you think God can't handle your problems . . .

“Is the Lord among us or not?”

b. A time of war – At this low point they are attacked by the Amalekites.

Question: "Who were the Amalekites?"

Answer: The Amalekites were a tribe first mentioned during the time of Abraham (Genesis 14:7). Though the Amalekites are not mentioned in the table of nations in Genesis 10, in Numbers 24:20 they are referred to as “first among the nations.” Genesis 36 refers to the descendants of Amalek, the son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau, as Amalekites (verses 12 and 16). So, the Amalekites were somehow related to, but distinct from, the Edomites.

Scripture records the long-lasting feud between the Amalekites and the Israelites and God’s direction to wipe the Amalekites off the face of the earth (Exodus 17:8–13; 1 Samuel 15:2; Deuteronomy 25:17). Why God would call His people to exterminate an entire tribe is a difficult question, but a look at history may give some insight.

Like many desert tribes, the Amalekites were nomadic. Numbers 13:29 places them as native to the Negev, the desert between Egypt and Canaan. The Babylonians called them the Sute, Egyptians the Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets refer to them as the Khabbati, or “plunderers.”

The Amalekites’ unrelenting brutality toward the Israelites began with an attack at Rephidim (Exodus 17:8–13). This is recounted in Deuteronomy 25:17–19 with this admonition: “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind [typically women and children]: they had no fear of God. When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!”

The Amalekites later joined with the Canaanites and attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Numbers 14:45). In Judges they banded with the Moabites (Judges 3:13) and the Midianites (Judges 6:3) to wage war on the Israelites. They were responsible for the repeated destruction of the Israelites’ land and food supply. www.gotquestions.org

Next lets observe:

II. The Weakness of the Servant

a. Moses directions (9)

Exo 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

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