Moses Part 11

Moses, the man of God

A study

Part 11

The Wilderness Journey – A Warfare

Exo.17

After being delivered from the bondage of Egypt, God made all provisions for their journey. One very important provision for their journey was the knowledge of their destination. They were going to be established as a theocracy in Canaan, God dwelling in their midst and ruling over all the nations of the earth through Israel. (Exo.19: 5,6) Properly understanding and firmly believing their destination would give them encouragement and strength to patiently endure the trials and burdensome ordeals of their journey.

THE JOURNEY – A WARFARE

At this point in time, when they were fully equipped to advance towards their destination, all of a sudden, Amalek came and fought with Israel. (Ex.17: 8) Through whatever happened here, God taught them that their wilderness journey is going to be a continuous battle. God also taught them the right strategy to win this battle. Let us examine the war fought by the Israelites under Moses to learn spiritual truths about the war to be fought by us under the Lord Jesus Christ.

AMALEK – The Enemy

First of all who is Amalek? From where did he come? Why did he attack the Israelites at that point in time? The Amalekites were occupying the territory southwest of the Dead Sea shortly after Abraham had come from Ur to the land of Canaan. (Gen.14: 7) Later when Moses sent the twelve spies into the land of Canaan, the spies reported that the Amalekites occupied the same territory in the land of Canaan. (Numb.13: 29) Amalek knew that one day the Israelites would destroy them and take the land. So the Amalekites had no choice but to come and fight against Israel. Amalek knew the purpose for which God had delivered the Israelites from Egypt. They also knew that the Israelites had availed themselves of God’s provisions for their journey and were heading towards the land of Canaan.

STRATEGY OF AMALEK

The Amalekites laid wait for Israel and rather than facing them head-on, they attacked Israel at her weakest point, smiting the feeble in the rear part of the camp. (Numb.24: 20, Deit.25: 17-19) Their subtle attack was designed to prevent the people of God from realizing the goal to which they had been called.

SIGNIFICANCE OF AMALEK

Pharaoh was a type of the enemy who keeps the unsaved people in BONDAGE. Now Amalek is another type of the same enemy who stands in the way of saved individuals seeking to prevent them from realizing the GOAL to which they have been called. The origin of Amalekites has not been revealed. However there is a later mention of a grandson of Esau being named Amalek and that the descendants of Esau known as Edomites occupied the same general territory and merged with the Amalekites. (Gen.36: 8-12) Esau is really the only link provided by Divine design in Scripture to properly understand the true nature and significance of the Amalekites. Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac. But he despised his birthright considering it as insignificant and practically worthless. He sold these rights to satisfy a fleshly gratification. (Gen.25: 30-34)

In Moses’ day Amalek is seen opposing God’s firstborn son, Israel (Ex.4: 22,23; 17: 8) In the anti-type, every believer is a firstborn child of God, (John 3: 3, Rom.8: 29, Heb.12: 23) called to inherit the rights of the firstborn in the kingdom of the heavens. (Rom.8: 17, Rev.3: 21) Just like the Amalekites who occupied the land of Canaan, in the anti-type we see Satan and his angels occupying the present kingdom of the heavens. And Satan is the one who stands in the way seeking through every means available, to prevent saved individuals from coming into a realization of proffered positions in the coming kingdom of the heavens. Satan uses the things of the flesh (within a believer) and things of the world (surrounding a believer) in this spiritual warfare, diverting the attention of believers away from the future kingdom of Christ and attracting the attention of believers towards the possessions, positions & pleasures of his present kingdom.

TACTICS OR STRATEGY ADOPTED BY MOSES

Here the battle is to be fought till the end of the day and the strategy has to be remembered throughout their life and Amalek is to be utterly destroyed. This strategy adopted by the Israelites had two important aspects.

  1. The SCENE created by Moses in front of the warriors to inspire and encourage them to overcome the tactics of the enemy
  2. The WEAPON used by Joshua to vanquish the enemy

Significance of the SCENE

Moses enacted a SCENE, which reminded them of the GOAL of their journey. In this scene, the mount on which Moses stood, reminded them of the Kingdom, which was to be established by God in their midst in the land of Canaan. (Exo.15: 17,18, Isa.2: 3, Dan.2: 34,35,44,45, Matt.17: 1,2) The Rod of God held up by Moses reminded them of God’s great power and glory, which will be manifested in that kingdom. God had used the same Rod in Egypt to show great signs and wonders. The same Rod was used to part the Red Sea and later to bring out water from the rock. When this SCENE became vague and blurred because of the weakness of Moses’ hands, Aaron and Hur had to join with Moses to make the SCENE more strikingly vivid and clear.

Today every believer should keep in remembrance that very soon we are going to be with our Lord in His coming glorious kingdom. This scene has to be made clear by exhorting and encouraging one another. (Heb.10: 23-25) This is very important, because the overcomers alone will sit with Him on His throne. (Rev.3: 21) Only those who suffer with Him will reign with Him. (Rom.8: 17, 2Tim.2: 12) Only those who sincerely and patiently obey Him will be found worthy to occupy the proffered positions in that glorious Kingdom. (Matt.7: 21, Matt.24: 42 to Matt.25: 30) Keeping this glorious kingdom in the forefront of our eyes will inspire and enable us to overcome all the trials and temptations of the enemy brought through the flesh and the world.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but look at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Cor.4: 17, 18)

Significance of the WEAPON

Most of the warnings and teachings of the Word of God is falsely understood as meant only for the unsaved people. But it is primarily meant for the redeemed man, to enable him to overcome the tactics of the enemy and become worthy to realise the purpose for which he is saved.

Joshua used the edge of the sword to vanquish the enemy in the wilderness and not while they were in bondage in Egypt. A proper understanding, belief and obedience to the Word of God is the sharp two-edged sword, which can vanquish the enemy and all His tactics. The main subject matter of the Word of God is the Kingdom of the Heavens. This Kingdom was initially offered to man in Gen.1: 28. But man disobeyed God and forfeited this Kingdom. Now this Kingdom is being offered to the redeemed man. All of the Word of God is meant only for the redeemed (saved) man and not for the unsaved. All the promises of eternal and heavenly blessings are for the saved individuals. Likewise, all the warnings of losses of heavenly blessings are also meant for the saved individuals only. Through our faith and patient obedience to the Word of God, we can vanquish the enemy and inherit the positions, which are presently occupied by the enemy and his angels. (Heb.6: 13)

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