The 5 Things That I Learned From The Wilderness Of Sin (Part 4)
In part 3 of our devotional series, we briefly covered the Hebrews’ encounter with the Amalekites after they chided with Moses near Mt. Horeb. Today, will be an extremely difficult lesson that Hebrews learn in the wilderness as they battle with Amalek in their journey in the wilderness.
IV. THE WILDERNESS IS DESIGNED TO TEACH YOU HOW TO FIGHT
A. They Had To Fight Their Environment
In studying the Exodus route that the children of Israel took out of The Wilderness Of Sin, I learned that they had to traverse very dangerous and difficult terrain. This on foot seems nearly impossible but with all of the baggage that they took from Egypt this made their journey very tough. Oftentimes, they had to take stretches of their journey in stages. They did this because of the great amounts of energy and resources it consumed overcoming these difficult odds they had to conquer. Why did they do it? Because, the promised land wasn’t too far ahead.
In our lives, the hardest thing that we have to overcome is a rough and treacherous environment. You only want to go and serve God but when you try to do just that, it seems like the more effort you put into it the more you find yourself worn out. Then when your at your point of exhaustion, you see nothing more than the same sand that you saw that was before the obstacle. It makes you feel hopeless, demoralized, lost and frustrated. The environment that you are in can do a lot to help or hinder your walk with God. In the situation with which Israel was faced, they had NO other choice but to look to the man of God for leadership, encouragement and guidance. The time(s) will come when you will feel like saying “Why am I doing this? What good am I doing? Is all of this really worth it?” This is the time where you need to look to the man of God as he is led by God and follow. In following the man of God, you refresh your desire to see God. However, you have to be careful because the same group that follows the man of God are the ones that will complain against him. There are three groups that followed Moses:
A. The Complainer – These are the ones that initiated complains and accusations against the man of God and the way that he handled things. These are the ones that caused the children of Israel to go away from God after He had delivered them.
B. The Copycats – These are the ones that agreed with popular opinion of the people. They were fence riders because the lacked the desire the complain but wasn’t strong enough to stand for righteousness sake.
C. Consecrated – These are the ones that believed in God and followed Moses without issue. They didn’t cause issues with Moses’ job of leading and often helped him in his God called mission. These are the ones that crossed into the promised land.
The complainers and the copycats died in the wilderness and wasn’t able to see God’s promise fulfilled and experience true victory. Which one are you?
B. They Had To Fight Their Enemy
The children of Israel had to battle the Amalekites, which are a type of the flesh, in order to continue their trip to the promised land. A history lesson about the Amalekites, they were what I call the first biblical terrorists 2nd only to satan. Their tactic was to attack the women and children along with the elderly and ambulatory wounded. These people would remain in the rear, far from the fighting to stay safe. The Amalekites would create a frontal attack and draw all of the strong men away from the women and children and the weak ones while the secondary attack occurred right behind them. This would cause the Hebrews to become demoralized and defeated, in their minds. They probably said “How can I fight an enemy that I can’t see”. It wasn’t until Moses went to the top of the hill the next day and raised his hands, that they got the victory.
In our lives it may feel as if we are attacked in one direction by the enemy and then there is another attack that blindsides us in an area where we are weak or not developed. In this case, we need to keep fighting and look at the top of the hill. There is a man with His arms out to give us the victory if we ONLY look to Him as we fight. While Moses was on the hill he was a type of Jesus Christ. It’s interesting to me that Moses, Aaron and Hur said that they will go to the top of the hill tomorrow. Why didn’t they do it then? Well, I looked at a topographical map of the area where that battle occurred and the highest point of that hill was 250 meters or 820 feet in the air. That would be equivalent to a 75 story building. One could assume that these three men traveled up this hill all night so that he was there for the rising sun and the setting sun. The Amalekites didn’t attack Moses, Aaron and Hur because they were outside of their firing range. The enemies of this world cannot attack our Lord Jesus Christ because He is out of their firing range. Aren’t you glad that Jesus cannot be touched by the things of this world?
However, the ones that were in the battle had to fight the Amalekites and utterly destroy and, as the bible says, discomfit Amalek. This word means to confuse, utterly destroy or to frustrate. The Amalekites were thinking that they would get another victory until they saw this man on this high hill. I can imagine as they begin to fight, they noticed that these Israelites seemed to fight longer, stronger, harder and with more intensity as before. They noticed that they would win a little bit but they were eventually nearly wiped away. This confused them and they wanted to know the secret. They were frustrated because one day they won but that next day they weren’t able to win. You see, there is only one way to defeat the flesh. You must look to Jesus on the fill and discomfit the flesh. You keep it so busy that it doesn’t even have time to focus on something else. When the enemy sees you, does he raise a giant trophy as proof that you have been defeated many times, or does he lick his wounds and point to your trophy room that rests on top of the graves of the enemy soldiers that you’ve defeated in Christ?
C. They Had To Fight Their Egos
In the last part of Exodus chapter 17 we see that the bible says “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. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” Exodus 17:14-16 KJV.
It’s very interesting that God told Moses to write these things down into a book and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua. Also that Moses said “For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” It’s interesting because Moses had it written into a book of the major victories they had, through, God’s power. Why? I believe so they can remember it and draw on these past experiences of how God delivered them. Notice that Moses said, rehearse. That is a fascinating word to me because of my musical background. Rehearse means: To train or to recount the facts of an event, or to repetitively go over until satisfied. God wants us to rehearse our victories that He has given to us. This is called Praising! We should learn from Moses and have a praise book. We should often record and rehearse these times. Not because we need to hear them but because others can draw strength from them.
All too often we let our pride, our own lusts and the situations of this world interfere with our praises. We will actually justify NOT praising God because:
A. We will say “No one wants to hear this”
B. We will think “Why isn’t anyone else saying anything? Surely I’m not the only one.”
C. We will feel “These people are not right with God because if I’m praising God then they have to. He’s been too good to us.”
We all have egos and a good does of God will help us to keep them in check. How’s your ego? How’s you battle with the enemy? Do you dwell in an awful environment that keeps you from seeing the presence and power of God because all you see are the obstacles in your way? Today we can learn that there is more to life than just getting frustrated at obstacles, being overwhelmed by the enemy and living with an ego. Once we learn this lesson we will be on our way out of the wilderness. In tomorrow’s devotional, we will cover the final lesson learned from the children of Israel in the desert. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.