Exodus 17 captures two significant events in the Israelites' wilderness journey. The chapter opens with the community facing a water crisis at Rephidim, leading to complaints against Moses and doubts about God’s presence among them. In response to their need, God instructs Moses to strike a rock at Horeb with his staff, resulting in water miraculously flowing out for the people to drink. This event, occurring at Massah and Meribah, becomes a symbol of God's provision and the people’s testing of the Lord.
The latter part of the chapter shifts to a different challenge: the Israelites' first military encounter against the Amalekites. Joshua leads the battle while Moses, Aaron, and Hur watch from a nearby hill. As long as Moses holds up his hands, Israel prevails, but when he tires, his hands are supported by Aaron and Hur until victory is achieved. This story emphasizes not only God's provision and protection but also the importance of leadership, communal support, and faith in the face of adversity. The chapter concludes with God's declaration of a perpetual struggle against the Amalekites, signifying ongoing conflicts in the Israelites' journey to the Promised Land.

Exodus 17

1  And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.

2  Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

3  And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

4  And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

5  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.

6  Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

7  And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

8  Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

9  And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.

10  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.

11  And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

12  But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

13  And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

14  And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

15  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

16  For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

End of Exodus 17

1 Year Plan: Feb 1 - Ex 17, Ex 18, Mat 23

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