Reading through the Bible together
After the provision of the manna for their daily food, we now come to another crisis of faith over water. In these two chapters God uses the very basic necessities of life, food and water, to teach his children total dependence on Him. In many parts of the world today where these basic necessities are lacking, the response of Moses is an example to us. “What shall I do?” he asks the Lord. During his 40 years of exile from Egypt, Moses had learned implicit confidence in the One who had led him from pasture to pasture with His flocks. He had unlearned the many sophistries he had inculcated growing up in the luxurious palaces of Egypt. His question of the Lord demonstrates the posture of a leader of God’s people. Rather than depend on his own abilities, Moses asks, “What shall I do?” When we solicit God’s help He comes to stand before us. He intervenes. In providing the water from the rock at Rephidim, God demonstrates His sovereignty before the elders of Israel so that they can be witnesses to the people.
The battle with the Amalekites, the descendants of Esau, initiated a feud that would last through the generations clear down to the establishment of the monarchy under Saul (1 Sam 15:2-3). This was the first battle Israel was to fight with another nation and would be yet another test in their reliance on God. The Amalekites used guerilla tactics, fighting the Israelites from behind where the weak and feeble were easy prey. Joshua appears here for the first time and commands the forces against the enemy while Moses stands upon the mountain with rod of God outstretched. By stretching out his hands toward heaven, Moses once again demonstrated by his posture total dependence on God. But he could not do it alone. Here is a lesson for us today. We cannot prevail alone in the battles of this life. Trusted companions must be there to support us. Moses was in earnest prayer over the victory of Israel and Aaron and Hur interceded with him. May God provide us with the trust we need for each crisis in life.
Southern Adventist University