Trials That Helped Israel Understand Themselves Better

A tale is told about a small town that had historically been “dry,” but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It just so happened that … More


As Israel followed the Lord, He took them through different experiences and trials which helped them understand themselves better, as well as the power and grace of God. There are two such experiences recorded in this chapter:

  1. Water from the rock (vv. 1-7) - Once more Israel complained of thirst. They were ready to stone Moses to death but God intervened. In answer to Moses prayer God commanded Moses to hit the rock with his rod. From Horeb’s smitten rock pure water gushed out. Moses illustrates what a trusting Christian should do in  hours of trial, as he turned to the Lord in prayer and asked for guidance.
  2. Warfare with the enemy (vv. 8-16) - Up to now Israel has not had to fight; because the Lord fought for them. But now, the Lord fights through them to overcome the enemy. The Amalakites were descendants of Esau and nomads in the desert south of Canaan (I Sam. 5:7). In this crises Moses calls on Joshua to go out and meet this enemy (vv. 8-10). As long as Moses hands were above his head (which symbolized Israel’s total dependence on God) they were victorious (v. 11). However, he needed the assistance of Aaron and Hur (v. 12). That is how Joshua defeated the Amalekites (v. 13). Afterwards, the Lord told Moses to write an account of this victory and read it to Joshua (v. 14). Afterwards Moses built an altar and called it, “The Lord gives me victory (v. 15).” However the Lord will have to fight the Amalekites again in the future (v. 16). 


When I face trials in life I must have my hands (heart) lifted up in prayer in order to have victory.

Exodus 17:1-16 (English Standard Version)

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