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Friday, April 01, 2022

2022.04.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 17:8–16

Read Exodus 17:8–16

Questions from the Scripture text: Who came in Exodus 17:8? What did they do? Where? To whom did Moses speak in Exodus 17:9? What did he tell him to choose? To do what? What would Moses do? Where? With what? What did Joshua do in Exodus 17:10? Who went where? What did Moses do in Exodus 17:11? And what happened? But when he didn’t, what happened? What problem arises in Exodus 17:12? What do they first do to help? Then what do Aaron and Hur do? With what result on the hill? And what result in the plain (Exodus 17:13)? Who speaks to whom in Exodus 17:14? What does he tell him to write where? In whose hearing is Moses to recount it? What will Yahweh do? What did Moses build in Exodus 17:15? What did he call its name? To what was he responding by building this altar (Exodus 17:16)?

For the second time in this chapter, Israel is in great danger at Rephidim. 

The first danger had been not so much the lack of water as it was the presence of their sin. God’s rod had been used to strike not them but Himself in their place. 

The second danger is also a danger of sin—this time, the sin not of Israel but of Amalek. The Amalekites raise “a hand against Yahweh’s throne” (Exodus 17:16, a phrase the NKJV mistranslates as a swearing ceremony). But this time, God’s rod is not against Himself, but against His enemies. He takes as a personal attack against Himself all attacks upon His people.

God’s mercy was the hope of His people in the incident with the water at Rephidim.

God’s righteous vengeance is the hope of His people in the incident with Amalek at Rephidim.

Israel is no more equipped as they turn and face Amalek than they had been when they ran from the Egyptians at Pi Hahiroth. That’s the point of Exodus 17:11-12. The raising of the hands is not prayer so much as a signal and reminder that it is Yahweh Who gives victory, not they themselves. 

Still, the Lord was pleased to give this victory through the fighting of Joshua and his men, the hand-raising of Moses, and the support of Aaron and Hur. Everywhere, there is weakness. But Yahweh is the banner of His people (Exodus 17:15). His strength is made perfect in weakness.

And He wants them to know it. The Lord doesn’t need reminders (Exodus 17:14), but He orders the keeping of a book of memorial so that they will remember His deliverance, remember His strength, remember that He used their weakness, and remember that this all happened in the same place where they had been shown mercy despite their rebellion against Him!

How has God exercised His strength to save you? How has He shown you mercy? How does He remind you?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we have acted as Your enemies, but You have struck Yourself instead of striking us. We see from Your dealing with Amalek not only what we rightly deserved, but that all attacks upon Your people are received and responded to as attacks upon Yourself. Forgive us for the ingratitude of forgetting that we have been shown mercy and the mistrust of feeling like we must take our own vengeance. Make us to thank You and trust You, we ask in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP5 “Listen to My Words, O LORD” or TPH5 “Hear My Words, O LORD”


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