Exodus 17:8 – 16

At Moody Missions’ Conference a missionary asked us what mankind’s most basic need is.  We answered the usual food and water, one of may have even answered “God” (it was a mission conference).  However, the missionary who works in refugee camps in Africa told us that it is security.  The first thing that a person needs is to be secure.  He told us the story of 60,000 people who cam to a refugee camp.  Things there were so intense that the foreign workers would leave at the weekend to recoup.  When they came back they found that the 60,000 people had moved on.  It was easy to track them because of the trail of dead and dying that they left in their wake.  When asked why they moved on the answered simply that they did not feel safe from their enemies.  God has provided food and water for the Israelites, but they need a more fundamental need met.  They need to feel secure and safe.

Exodus 17: 8 – 16

 8Then (A)Amalek came and fought against Israel at (B)Rephidim.

 9So Moses said to (C)Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with (D)the staff of God in my hand.”

 10Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and (E)Hur went up to the top of the hill.

 11So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.

 12But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur (F)supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.

 13So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

 14Then the LORD said to Moses, “(G)Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that (H)I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

 15Moses built an (I)altar and named it (J)The LORD is My Banner;

 16and he said, “(K)The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”


  1. Who attacked the Israelites?
  2. Who did Moses send?
  3. What was the outcome?
  4. How does God show his ability to protect?
  5. How is your security in God?

Going Deeper


  • Where did the Amalekites attack Israel?
  • Where will Moses stand?
  • What does Moses have in his hand?
  • What do Aaron and Hur do?
  • What does Moses build?


  •  How do the Amalekites keep cropping up as arch enemies of Israel (cf. Agag)?
  • How does the appointing of Joshua foreshadow his future role?
  • How does the hill foreshadow the coming chapters?
  • People disagree why Moses had to keep his hands raised.  Why do you think he did?
  • Moses altar wasn’t for sacrifice.  What was it for?


  • Why would some people take from this passage, “Trust in the LORD and he will win your battles for you!”?
  • How does such thinking fall apart in light of Hebrews 10, 11, and 12?
  • How does your desire to ‘win’ work against God’s desire to work through his redemptive plans?
  • If God defeats his enemies, why do people work in opposition to him?
  • What memories do you have of God fighting his battles through you?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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