Today’s Scripture: Exodus 17:8-16
Not long after the Israelites escaped Egyptian bondage, they faced their first battle—against the Amalekites. Ironically that fight happened shortly after God provided fresh water from the rock. Isn’t that how life happens? We experience a wonderful blessing from God, and then all hell breaks loose. The Amalekites were descendants from Amalek whose name means “warlike.” Yep. Fresh water—then come the warlike situations.
When Moses led the people into the battle, he told Joshua that he would stand on top of the hill and hold the “staff of God” in his hands. As long as Moses held up the staff, the Israelites were winning. When he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. Finally, Aaron and Hur came alongside and held up his hands for him. In the end, the Israelites defeated the Amalekites and Moses gave God a new name—The Lord is my banner.
It’s obvious that God was in the middle of this battle. But, what did Moses’ raised hands have to do with anything? And, why the staff?
The staff of Moses represented God’s power and faithfulness. Remember when he threw down his staff in front of Pharaoh and it became a snake? (See Exodus 7:8-12) When Pharaoh’s magicians did the same thing, Moses’ snake devoured the magicians’ snakes. When the Israelites faced the Red Sea, Moses held up the staff of God and they crossed on dry ground. (See Exodus 14:21)
Think of how the Lord has shown His power and faithfulness to you. Those situations represent His banner over you. When you face your Amalekites—those challenging warlike circumstances—be intentional about lifting up the banner of the miracles He has performed for you in the past. Hold that banner over the head of your warlike circumstances.
Then honor God by giving Him a new name.
- When “warlike” situations come your way, what’s your initial response? How can you create a banner of God’s faithfulness that you can hold over the head of life’s challenges? What new name can you give God that represents a recent victory you’ve experienced?