The Holy War

Exodus 17:8-16

If, like the children of Israel, we have been delivered from bondage and separated unto God, we may also expect to be attacked by the enemy (John 15:20). The hindermost and weak and feeble ones are sure to suffer first (Deut. 25:18). Borderland Christians get much buffeting; beware of the lusts that lie in ambush (1 Sam. 15:2). They are the sworn enemies of the Spirit of Christ. As an illustration of the Christian’s spiritual conflict, let us notice:

Amalek, or the Pilgrim’s Foe

Well may we ask:
  1. WHO WAS HE? Amalek has not a very honorable pedigree. He is the offspring of Esau, the brother of Jacob (closely connected), who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, “being carnal”, and so is a type of the flesh. Amalek, like that which is carnal, was the first of the nations, but like the flesh, he is doomed to perish (Num. 24:20). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6).
  2. WHEN CAME HE? He did not annoy them till they got to Rephidim (resting places), and drank of the smitten rock. “That Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4).  The Christless know nothing about the conflict between flesh and spirit, the world loves its own. The onslaught took place while Israel was resting. The unguarded moments of inactivity are fit opportunities for the Amalek lusts of the flesh.

Joshua, or the Fight of Faith

The lusts which war against the soul are overcome through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 7:25).
  1. THE MEANS OF FAITH. “Joshua chose out men” (v.9).Faith must have something to work by - faith which works by love. The believers’ chosen ones are the Blood, the Spirit, and the Word. These are the Christian’s “three mighties” (1 Jn. 5:4-7).. Put on the whole armor of God, take the shield of faith.
  2. THE WORK OF FAITH. “Joshua went out and fought” (v.10). Hope waits, love submits, faith actively presses on. It is the aggressive grace that attacks and wins the fight. “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). “I will show thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18).

Moses, or the Spirit of Prayer

Every “overcomer” constantly maintains a twofold attitude, the upward and the outward.
  1. TOWARDS GOD. There is the steady, uplifted hands of unwavering faith (1 Jn. 5:4). It is the upward look of the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man. This holy privilege and power is within the reach of all, who, like Moses, stands on the hill-top of communion with God.
  2. TOWARD THE ENEMY. There must be fearless and unyielding determination. While the hands were uplifted Joshua prevailed. The source of overcoming power is in God. It is communicated to and through those who are in living sympathetic touch with Him. “If ye abide in Me and My word abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done” (Jn. 15:7). “When I cry unto Thee, then shalt mine enemies turn back” (Psa. 56:9).

Aaron and Hur, or the Promises of God

How often the precious promises of God have acted the part of Aaron and Hur to our feeble intercessions.
  1. THE PROMISES ARE STRONG. “They stayed up his hands” (v. 12). The supplicating hands of Moses soon grow weary. The time of definite prayer is a testing time. It is here we feel most intensely our utter weakness and the need of supporting promises. “Take with you words”, the succouring, unfailing words of Him who cannot lie. Lean your arm of feeble prayer upon His sure Word of promise.
  2. THE PROMISES ARE STEADY. “And his hands were steady” (v. 12). Unsteady hands will not receive much from the Lord (James 1:6,7). The promises of God never tremble. We may have weary and shaky hands, but we have an unshaken God who fainteth not, neither is weary (Isa. 40:28,29). “He giveth power to the faint”  “Uphold me with Thy free Spirit”. Steady and sure wins the day. God’s promise to Abraham wrought in him unstaggering faith. Keep steadily trusting and thy God will keep steadily conquering. “I will trust and not be afraid” (Isa. 12:2).