Jon Reed, evangelist
Notice the Battle
The Old Testament has a myriad of real battles that were won and lost upon the intervention of God. The Israelites were often out-matched and the unlikely victors at the onset of most of these conflicts. Interestingly enough, Amalek, who fought against Israel, can be traced back as the grandson of Esau. Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn son, married Timna, a Horite princess which descended from Seir. Over time Amalek and his descentants became the enemy of the Israelites. Jewish tradition sees the Amalekites as an implacable enemy of both God and Israel.
In the battle that took place in Rephidim, Moses is leading the people to inherit the promised land when they are attacked by the Amalekites for trespassing on their territory.
These battles were always over territory. God had promised a land and place of blessings to the Israelites who faced these enemies along the way. God has a place for his people, but the enemies of God were not going to allow it without a fight.
We are in this same battle today and it is always over territory. Our lives, our families, our finances, and our friends are all at risk. According to Scripture, Satan comes “to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”(John 10:10). The Israelites have been delivered out of slavery and they are on a journey into the blessings of God, but not without a fight. They are facing one battle after another along the way and they are learning that victories come from the Lord.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul describes it this way: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:10).
Notice the basics of leadership
Moses, led by God, commanded Joshua to choose the men to go into battle. Moses knew what he had to do and who could carry it out. After selecting the warriors, Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the mountain to intercede on behalf of the chosen warriors. Between God and the battle, with the help of Aaron and Hur, Moses did as God had instructed and raised his staff unto toward heaven.
As long as he did what God had instructed him to do, the Israelites prevailed. But when Moses grew weary and his arms began to fall, Amalek would prevail. Moses surrounded himself with capable men who would be there for him and when time came. That time did come and the capable leaders stepped in.
As a full-time itinerant evangelist, I have the privilege of going to war with pastors all over this great nation. They are men called of God and battling over territory. They are battling over the souls of men, women, and children. After weeks of praying, planning, and preparing, we purposely and intentionally enter into a season of war … all over territory.
The pastors have been holding up the staff week after week and my role is to come alongside of them and keep the staff high. As we labor together, God gives the victory and the church takes back what the enemy is trying to steal.
Notice the Banner of God
The victory was so great and the Lord so glorified that God commanded Moses to “write it down as a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua.” That day Moses built an altar and called it “The Lord Is My Banner.” And the declaration of the Lord that day doomed the Amalekites and declared His favor and protection over the Israelites.
Psalm 20:5 says, “May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.” In verses 6–8 we read, “Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.”
What battle are you facing today?
Do you have people around you that can help you when you grow weary?
As God’s people, we continue to say, “The Lord as my Banner,” because it is in His power that the enemies are vanquished (Ps. 60:4-5). The Lord is our Banner in that He is the One under whom we unite. He is our Savior. We are rescued by Him and identified in Him.