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The Pastor's Blog

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After four-hundred years of Egyptian slavery, the emancipated Hebrew nation crossed the Red Sea on dry land. God had given them freedom!




Notice that freedom doesn’t always mean independence. As they entered the Sinai Peninsula, they discovered that they were completely dependent upon God. They were free but not independent… they were dependent.


They cried out to God, “Oh God, we’re thirsty!” They were dependent upon God to guide them to water, and in response to their prayers, God transformed a giant boulder into an artesian well!


“Oh God, we’re hungry!” They were dependent upon God to feed them, so God rained bread from Heaven!


“Oh God, the marauding Amalekites are attaching! Protect us from the enemy!” They were brick-makers, slaves who had never wielded a sword. They desperately needed God’s protection. This section of the saga is recorded in the seventeenth chapter of Exodus.


“At Rephidim, Amalek came and fought against Israel. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Select some men for us and go fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the hilltop with God’s staff in my hand.’ Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought against Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed. When Moses’s hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the sword”

(Exodus 17:8–13).


Joshua wasn’t schooled at West Point. He wasn’t a military leader but just a common slave that God trusted with leading His people into battle. But … it was atop the hill that the battle was won. God used Joshua and his men, but the enemy was defeated in response to Moses’s faithful prayer!


Following their first military victory, “Moses built an altar and named it, ‘The Lord Is My Banner’ ” (Exodus 17:15). He named the place of worship, “Jehovah-Nissi.”


The banner was a flag mounted onto a pole which was carried by a military division as they advanced into battle. In the heat of battle, a soldier can become disoriented, so he looked for the “banner” and knew where he must advance. A good soldier always followed the banner.


God is our banner. “Jehovah-Nissi.”  Where He leads, we must follow!


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