My answers to BSF study questions Exodus 17:8-16 Voice & AMP
8. a. The staff that Moses held up in battle symbolized — (The passage doesn’t specifically say Moses was holding up the staff. The question makes an assumption.)
- Moses looks to God for help, knowing they cannot succeed without Him.
- The staff itself represented God’s supernatural power.
- Moses hands and staff raised to God in intercession for the Israelites
Moses lifting up his hands is symbolic of using God’s power in intercession for the victory of the troops. I suspect Moses had God’s rod in his hand (see my note at Exodus 4:20). Even though this was God’s rod and carried supernatural powers, it was in the hands of a natural man who got tired. He had to have people help him to continue his intercession. We have the treasure of God in us, but it’s in earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7). Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
b. Moses holding up his hands (with the staff) on behalf of the Israelites represented looking to their source of protection. Joshua’s military expertise in battle would not ensure their success. Looking to God would.
What a great picture. Moses was the man of God with the rod of God in his hands. But he was limited in how much he could do by the frailties of his flesh. Likewise, we have God’s power on the inside of us as New Testament believers. All the potential is in there, but we still have frailties too. We need the help of other people. Aaron and Hur were just as important as Moses in this instance. He couldn’t have done it without them. Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
c. Looking to my own strength or even the strength of others says to God, “I’ve got this.” I should never trust in my own strength to begin with. Nor should I wait to call out to God as a backup plan.
If I do something without His help and it appears to succeed, I’m likely to be puffed up with pride—giving myself the glory. Likewise, if my plans and efforts do NOT succeed, I’m likely to feel embarrassed.
Either way, I am reserving the glory or failure for myself.
9. a. God instructed Moses to write down, “I will erase all traces of the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” (Voice) Exodus 17:14 Voice/Amp
b. God wanted Moses to record this and tell Joshua because—
- It is a reminder to Moses and Joshua that God is the defender and protector of His chosen ones.
- God would continue to fight on their side as Joshua and others led in future battles.
- I first thought perhaps Joshua later wiped them out. “But the Amalekites were still around in the days of Saul (1 Samuel 15) and David (1 Samuel 30). It’s possible that the destruction of Amalek was long overdue from God’s perspective.” Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary. When David found the Amalekites, they were celebrating a recent raiding party which included the capture of David’s wives. God knew they would not change their ways.
- The record of God’s promise to destroy the Amalekites encouraged all who read and here about it including us. I gives us hope in God to know He keeps His promises, defends the weak, sees the wicked, and will take revenge on our behalf.
c. My mother’s great-grandfather wrote a family history containing very little detail aside from the date each person accepted Christ. My mother’s sister compiled a complete family history of her father’s family. Most of its members were devout believers.
That heritage has undoubtedly forged an impact on my life. There is no doubt, my predecessor offered prayers on my behalf long before I was conceived.
I’m thankful for the heritage and for those who recorded and compiled the information.
I should do the same. A ministry resume may not mean anything in heaven. Only God knows our motives and what brings Him glory.