Exodus 17:1 “…set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin…”
On their way to Mount Sinai. Moving only when God leads them with the cloud or pillar of fire.
2 “…the people contended with Moses…Give us water, that we may drink…Why do you tempt the Lord?”
Same as the last stop. No drinkable water. So, do they trust God since He provided for them last time? Nope. Have to complain about something. And they take it out on Moses. He points out the error of their decision. It’s not him they’re offending, it’s God.
3 “…Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
Do they not realize how old this behavior is getting? It’s like they have ten minute memory. Always dragging up Egypt into the argument. As it will soon be shown, I think this bunch was rotten to the core. The only ones different were Caleb and Joshua, that were mentioned. The rest had to die off in the wilderness. Still, God tarried with them until they hung themselves.
6 “…you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it…”
First time for water out of the rock. Moses is instructed to strike the rock for water. He does so with no problems. Unfortunately, the next time this comes up, he disobeys, and it costs him the Promised Land.
7 “…he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah…Is the LORD among us or not?”
Tempted and contention. By their great contention, they tempted the Lord to anger. Were apparently saying He wasn’t with them by the fact they weren’t trusting Him. And all their complaining.
12 “…Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side…”
Interesting episode. An attack by Amalek. Moses would raise his staff and Israel would gain ground. He lowered his hand and Amalek gained ground. So Aaron and Hur helped him hold up his staff and Joshua was able to defeat Amalek. Commentaries suggest it was also an act of intercessory prayer. Raising the hands was calling to God for deliverance. The people probably didn’t know what was going on, but Moses, Aaron, and Hur did. It showed the outcome of the battle was due to the Lord’s intervention, not the strength of the people. The fact that Aaron and Hur could assist shows the influence we have when we join others in prayer, beseeching God for His intervention.
14 “…Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven”
God passes final judgment on Amalek. He may take years to do so, but He will eradicate Amalek from the earth. I think Saul gets most of them, but leaves the king, Agag. And I think Haman was a descendant of Agag. Not sure if Haman was the last or not. He may have been. Would be an interesting study. God may take His time, but what He says will come to pass.
Commentary suggested this name due to the method of intercession. Moses held up the staff of God as you would a banner to show the action taking place was under it, it’s authority. God was their banner. It was His authority that covered the battle. All that happened was due to Him. Like our country and state flags showing what land they fly over. When land is conquered, a new flag is hoisted to show the new ownership. Verse 16 explains it further, showing Amalek had raised his hand against God, so God will deal with Amalek. God would one day complete the dominance over Amalek like the conquering flag.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.