Daily Devotionals

Road Trip: Week 2 - Monday

Moses commanded Joshua, "Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand." Exodus 17:9

It is never a good situation when you find yourself as a straggler behind the pack. When you are alone, without the protection of the group, you can be easily picked off by your enemies or scoundrels. This was the case for the Israelites. They had millions of people wandering through the desert, and some people were slowly moving along. These were probably the most feeble and vulnerable people who were easy pickings for the Amalekites. They were distant relatives to the Jewish people, the direct descendants of Esau's grandson. Throughout the Bible, they are "troublemakers" which is a direct translation of the Hebrew for their name.
The Amalekites become a test for the Israelites because they didn't have a trained army. God has always fought for them, but now He invites them to participate in the battle. Moses directs Joshua, which is the first time we meet this character in the Bible, to gather a group of men to go out to fight against this force. Israel has the numbers but doesn't have the discipline that is forged with years of fighting battles. But Moses takes the staff of God and uses it as a conduit for the power of God to flow through the people and Joshua's leadership. As long as Moses' staff is raised in the air, the Israelites gain the upper hand, but as soon as it lowered, they lose ground to the Amalekites. Ultimately, through the strength of Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua, and the men that went into the battle, God gave them deliverance from their enemies. To make this point even more profound, the name Joshua in Hebrew means, "Yahweh is salvation."
God was now allowing His power to flow through the people to accomplish His purposes. This was an important lesson for them to learn as they entered into the Promised Land. They had to know that their own strength was not enough, but if they leaned on the power of God, He would give them the victory.

Moving Toward Action

Where is one area of your life right now that you need God's power to flow into? Maybe it is your marriage that seems like it has hit an impasse. It could be a conflict at work that you cannot resolve on your own. It may be an issue with your own health. Take some time to identify where you need God's power to flow so you can overcome your enemies in battle.

Going Deeper

Read Exodus 17:8-16 (NLT)

While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”

So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.

After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, so now the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”