Day 11: Yahweh Nissi

While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them.  Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”

So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.

After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, so now the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”

Exodus 17:8-16

Yahweh Nissi: The LORD Our Banner (Victory)

I love so much about this story. Moses’s friends literally holding up his tired arms. The incredible effort Joshua and the warriors had to make, though it was God who gave them victory. The way each supported the others, and no one part was unnecessary; Moses supported Joshua, Aaron and Hur supported Moses, and God supported them all.

And I love that this victory was a hard earned thing; God could have simply wiped out the Amalekites, as He’s proven on occasion, but He didn’t. He let them work for this victory, throwing His weight in only to tip the balance. Like the anchor on a tug of war chain – there was a whole line of people pulling on that rope, but with God as their anchor they would not be defeated. Because a victory without a fight is far less satisfying than one that is earned.

God gave them victory, but He also gave them satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. They each had a part, and they fulfilled it.

Thought seed: what part of the battle is God giving me to fight, though it is His presence that will determine the victory?

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