Boldness Under His Banner
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, August 9, 2015
“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.” (Exodus 17:10).
Not long after the children of Israel received the miraculous deliverance from their Egyptian captors, bread from heaven, and water from a rock in the wilderness, the Amalekites decided to wage war with them, unprovoked. What’s curious about this war, besides the fact that it was unprovoked, is that the Amalekites were descendants Esau, Jacob/Israel’s brother who did not relish the God of his fathers. The Amalekites heard of the fear that the surrounding nations had of God’s people because of His triumphant care of them and they scorned those nations. They thought it was insane to be concerned about Israel or their God. So they waged war. They soon discovered, that the Lord’s jealous protection of Israel was no urban legend. No enemy force could stand against them, as long as they placed their trust in God.
Moses instructed Joshua, whose name means, “Jehovah is salvation,” to choose able men and take the fight to Amalek. Moses promised to go to the top of a hill overlooking the battlefield with the rod of God in his hand. As long as Moses kept his hands out stretched above, God’s people prevailed, but whenever his hands tired and dropped a bit, the enemy would begin to prevail. Therefore, Aaron and Hur made certain that Moses’ arms were supported along with the rod of God high above the battle. And God’s people prevailed.
“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.”” (Exodus 17:14–16, NLT).
There are many times in life when the unlikeliest people or institutions will wage unprovoked war against you, because of your faith in God, and His jealous watch care. As long as you keep your faith outstretched toward your God, He will fight your battles.
There are also times in our lives when we seem to just be following simple instructions, to do God’s bidding, as in the case of Joshua here. Yet, we may not realize that the Lord is actually grooming us for something so huge, perhaps even many years down the road. It is critical, that we consistently and faithfully fulfill the current responsibilities God has placed upon us. We never know for what the Lord is preparing us. Could Joshua have imagined in a million years that he would replace the great Moses in leading Israel into the Promised Land, true to the meaning of his name? In what ways might God be preparing you to do a special work for Him? Seize every opportunity to be obedient to Him, in Jesus’ name. And, always allow the Lord to fight your battles for you.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please teach us how to be faithful to you, even in the face of adversity, and allow you to prepare us to serve you in ways we cannot yet imagine. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.