The event may seem out of place in the structure of the book but upon closer inspection one finds that it fits perfectly well. The Lord provided bread from Heaven in Exodus 16, water from a rock in Exodus 17:1-7, and in chapter 18 He will provide Moses with some helpful advice for effective leadership. How does a 9 verse narrative of a battle against the Amalekites in Exodus 17:8-16 fit in the middle of God’s reminders of provision? The answer lies at the end of verse 14: “I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” Just as Jehovah provided Israel’s physical needs, He will provide for their need of protection as they travel on their journey to Sinai and ultimately to Canaan.
While there are several great truths to be gleaned from Exodus 17:8-16 our attention turns to one, in particular. While Joshua lead the army of Israel in battle, Moses stood on the top of a hill with the rod of God in his hand. When he held up his hand Israel prevailed but when he lowered it, they struggled. Eventually Moses arms became fatigued so he sat on a stone “and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side” (Ex. 17:12). Israel prevailed, in part, because Moses had someone to hold up his hands.
One of the ways the Lord provided Israel’s victory over Amalek was by providing Moses with help and strength from his brethren. The event highlights so well the need that you and I have for one another when we become fatigued in the battle of life. Remember the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: “Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.” God has blessed us with a spiritual family that we can depend upon to help us win the battle. May we be diligent to hold up the hands of our brethren.