Summary: This sermon explores how success is assured for Gods people only when they fight under Jehovah Nissi. The Banner of God.
THE GREAT HOLDUP
Text: Exodus 17:8 – 16
Intro: As Israel traveled from the Wilderness of Sin by the command of God they come to a place referred to as Rephidim. They have traveled for three days through the wilderness from the Red Sea to this place. They have been without water trekking through the heat and dryness of the wilderness and now they arrive at the plain of Rephidim and there is no water. Before them lies the Valley of Rephidim where springs of water abound. The valley though is occupied by Amalek and his people, these are the descendants of Esau.
God tells Moses; Take the elders of Israel and your rod and go to the rock in Horeb (meaning “dry parched”), God said He would be standing upon it, God said smite the rock and water will come out of it. When the water flowed the people were over joyed. Moses though named the place Massah and Meribah, temptation and chiding.
Deut. 6:16 16Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
God would stand there before him—to help and to vindicate His servant. And from the riven side of the parched rock living waters flowed— This is an emblem of the "spiritual rock which followed them;" an emblem also to us—for "that Rock was Christ." (1 Cor. 10:4)
(Bible History Old Testament.)
I. Amalek Initiates an Attack on Israel.
A. Amalek though attacks Israel from behind.
1. He kills the oldest, most tired and weakest of God’s people.
Deut. 25:17-19 17Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
2. That’s the way Satan and his crowd works isn’t it?
3. God intends for His people to stand with one another, to pray one for another and to hold up the weary hands of those in need.
B. Amalek feared not God.
1. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov. 1:7)
a. Many today do not fear of the LORD.
b. So they attack God’s Word, His people and His church.
2. Amalek perhaps felt good about this skirmish but his fate was already assured.
3. Moses told Joshua to choose some men to go out and fight Amalek.
II. Israel at war with Amalek.
A. Moses tells Joshua that he will be right there with him.
1. I’ll be watching from the top of the hill.
a. Oh, and hey Joshua I’m going to have the Rod of God in my hand.
b. You know what the Rod of God can do…remember the Red Sea?
c. Moses, Aaron and Hur (Miriam’s husband) went to the top of the hill.
2. Success is assured for Gods people only when they fight under Jehovah Nissi. The Banner of God.
a. The Banner was the rod Moses had received with which he performed miracles.
b. Moses’ rod represented the wonder-working Presence of Jehovah with His people as their Shepherd, their Ruler and their Leader.
3. In this fight it was not enough for Moses simply to stretch forth the rod like he did over the Red Sea.
a. The hand that held the rod had also to be lifted up to heaven.
b. The faith that holds the symbol of God's wonder-working presence must rise up to heaven and draw down in prayer the pledged blessing, to give success to Israel's efforts, and ensure victory to their arms.
c. When you hold forth the Banner of God, bathe it in prayer to God to receive the promise of God.
B. Church we are in a battle (v.10)
1. The forces of evil are arrayed against us. (Eph. 6:10 – 12)
2. There are mistaken ideas about the work of a church.
a. We are not here just to preach, teach and run programs.
b. We are here to do battle with the enemy.
c. Eternal issues are at stake souls hang in the balance.
d. Standards of righteousness and decency are crumbling.
3. We are equipped to win this battle.
a. The power of the gospel. (Rom. 1:16)
b. The power of the Holy Spirit. (1 John 4:4)
c. The armor provided us. (Eph. 6:13 – 16)
4. Ultimate victory is sure. (1 Cor. 15:57 – 58)