A Bible Bite is a short thought or question that runs through my mind after reading a verse of Scripture. I seem to always want to discuss them with you.
I was just finishing up a bible study on Joshua with my small group and came across a troubling situation.
But let me back up a minute.
Remember that Moses wasn’t allowed to enter into the Promised Land? Israel was in the desert and God told him to hit the rock with his staff to bring forth water, Moses couldn’t seem to do exactly what God had told him to do. The Israelites still got their water but God was angry that Moses hadn’t trusted Him to do exactly what He said.
Then we live through the heartbreak of Moses discovering that he can’t enter the Promised Land and we know that he learned his lesson. Do what God tells you.
But here we are. Joshua is charged with leading the charge against the Amalekites. Aaron, Moses, and Hur head to a hilltop to watch the battle and Moses holds his arms up with the staff in hand. The staff he hit the Red Sea with to part the waters. The staff He hit the rock with at Meribah to obtain water.
As long as his arms are up, Joshua is winning the battle. But as Moses tires and his arms slip down, the battle heads in the Amalakites direction. Aaron and Hur sit Moses down on a rock and each takes one of Moses’ arms and lifts it, keeping the Israelites winning and eventually obtaining victory over the Amalekites.
So, you say, where’s your problem?
After the Israelites rout the Amalekites, God tells Moses to write down what occurred and to read it to Joshua so that he’ll always remember.
God said, “I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek under heaven.” (Ex 17:14b)
Moses makes an altar, named it The Lord is My Banner, and said, “The Lord will be at war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Ex 17:15 & 17b)
I said, “Wha???” Back up the truck. Don’t even tell me – Moses has done it again. God said one thing and Moses said another.
I’ve done a study on Moses with BSF (reading Genesis through Deuteronomy) a couple of years ago and this exchange didn’t stand out to me the way it has now. Why didn’t Moses repeat exactly what God said to him? Isn’t there a difference between being ‘completely blotted out’ and ‘at war for generations’?
But you know what really bothers me the most?
Could I be as susceptible as Moses? To hear one thing from God and repeat it completely differently? To not understand what God is telling me? To not have faith that God will do what He says He will do?
Have I done this in my life?
Has there been Promised Land that I’ve not been able to enter?