Fed by the Bread of Life;
refreshed by the Water of Life (John 7:37) means victory for the believer in every conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil.
1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
8 ¶ Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:
16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
Exodus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 17:1-16 – Water from the Rock; Victory over Amalek
From the smitten rock flowed the water for the thirsty hosts. So the Rock of Ages was smitten, and from His riven side has flowed out blood and water, for the sin and thirst of the world. He that eateth His flesh and drinketh His blood, spiritually, hath eternal life. Such refreshment is in preparation for warfare. Then came Amalek! When our physical needs are satisfied, there is always the fear of Amalek, who, in the typology of Scripture, stands for the flesh. Between this wilderness tribe and Israel the conflict was long and bitter. The old Adam, said Luther, is too strong for the young Melanchthon. But let the Lord fight for you! Lift up your hands with opened palms to Him; He will not fail. But guard the rear, and ask that Jesus shall beset you behind as well as before. See Deuteronomy 25:17-18. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 17:6 – I will stand before thee upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock.
Here is a beautiful example of the co-operation between God and his servants in providing for the needs of his people. Clearly the smiting of the rock was a very small item in this incident, the main consideration was what God was doing in the heart of the earth. But the two wrought together: Moses in the eyes of the people, God in hidden depths. Similarly we are fellow-workers with God.
One of the greatest revelations that can come to any Christian worker is the realization that in every act of Christian ministry there are two agents, God and man: that God does not need to be implored to help us, but wants us to help Him; that our part is the very unimportant and subsidiary one of smiting the rock, his is the Divine and all important part of making the waters flow.
Did Moses go to the rock that day weighted with care, his brow furrowed with the anxiety of furnishing a river of which his people might drink? Certainly not; he had only to smite: God would do all the rest, and had pledged Himself to it. So, Christian worker, you have been worrying as though the whole weight of God’s inheritance were upon you, but you are greatly mistaken; smiting is very easy work.
In every congregation and religious gathering the Holy Spirit is present, eager to glorify Christ, and to pour out rivers of living water for thirsty men; believe this. See that you are spiritually in a right condition, that He may be able to ally you with Himself. Keep reckoning on Him to do his share; and when the river is flowing, be sure not to take the praise.
We are “workers together” with God (2 Corinthians 6:1). —Our Daily Homily
This is strange! A rock would seem the last place to choose for the storage of water. But God’s cupboards are in very unlikely places. Ravens bring food. The Prime Minister of Egypt gives corn. Cyrus lets go the people of Israel from Babylon. The Jordan heals the leper. Meal makes poisoned pottage wholesome. Wood makes iron swim. It is worth while to go to Rephidim to get an insight into the fertility and inventiveness of God’s providence. There can be no lack to them that fear Him, and no fear of lack to those who have become acquainted with His secret storehouses. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard… the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). (F.B. Meyer)