The events of this chapter, especially as referred to in verse 7, are referred to in Psalm 95:7-9. The quarreling with Moses about water and the water from the rock are sometimes confused with what occurs in Numbers 20:2-13, wherein the Lord responds to Moses by telling him that he will not lead His people into Canaan. The difference is that here, Moses did as God told him. In Numbers, he disregards the Lord’s instruction, and brings the water forth in the manner that he pleases. Paul is probably alluding to the water from the rock in this chapter in relation to Jesus in 1 Corinthians 10:4.
The people of Israel face their first battle, and it is the Amalekites that attack them. The references to Moses’ hands in verses 9-12 serve as illustrations of at least a couple of things that we can learn from. It is Moses that the Lord is working though to bless the people and guide and protect them. But Moses is just a man, and he grows weary and Aaron and Hur must help hold his hands up with the staff. The Lord is the one with the power and He is delivering them. But I think that we can also be reminded here that when we face difficult situations in our lives, we need to learn to lean on our brethren, and draw strength from them as we grow weary.
In verses 14-16, the Lord’s gives His judgment on the Amalekites and His statement that He “will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven” will indeed come to pass when He is ready to do so. The reason for His harsh judgment is not spelled out completely here, but His displeasure with them is made clear in Deuteronomy 25:17-19.
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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