Our Banner, Our Provider, Our Victory

The Israelites obeyed the command of the Lord and left the Desert of Sin and camped out in Rephidim. The journey was long and they were terribly thirsty and tired. To their dismay, when they arrived at Rephidim, they realized that there was no water for them to drink at the place which the Lord had brought them. They questioned whether the pillar of cloud that led them to this place was truly of God…they wondered if God was leading them…How could God lead His people to a troublesome place, where they could possibly die of dehydration? A spirit of violence overcame the Israelites and they erupted in murmurs and complaints, demanding of their leader, Moses, to do something! God spoke to Moses and Moses struck a rock and water abundantly flowed providing the angry Israelites with more than enough water to drink.

This week we were led to camp in Rephidim by God. We followed His command and met a dry and barren place with little supply of hope, joy or happiness. We found ourselves complaining and murmuring, venting and sighing, stressing and contemplating. We allowed our unbelief and disappointment to overtake our actions and cloud of faith. Lord forgive us for our actions. Ellen G. White says, “too often we grieve the heart of Jesus by our unbelief. Our faith is short-sighted, and we allow trials to bring out our inherited and cultivated tendencies to wrong. When brought into strait circumstances, we dishonor God by murmuring and complaining.” Forgive us for dishonoring you with our complaints and doubts and giving voice to our frustrations and fears. Forgive us for manifesting a complaining spirit this week. Forgive us for distrusting Your leadership Lord when we did not meet “cooling waters” in the place to which You brought us. Forgive us for doubting if you were really with us this week. Forgive us for forgetting that in our driest, darkest places, your glory shines brightest.

“No amount of tribulation can separate us from Christ. If he leads us to Rephidim, it is because he sees that it is for our good and for his name’s glory. If we will look to him in trusting faith, he will, in his own time, turn the bitterness of Marah into sweetness. He can open the flinty rock, and cause cooling streams to flow forth. Then shall we not lift our voices in praise and thanksgiving for past mercies, and go forward with full assurance that he is an ever-present help in time of trouble? He has been with us in our past experiences, and his word to us is, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Ellen G White.

Moments after facing a challenge from nature the Israelites were ambushed and attacked by the Amalekites. When it rains it pours and poured it did for the Israelites. Moses, under the guidance of God, instructed Joshua to choose men to fight the Amalekites as he stood on the top of a hill holding the staff of God in His hands. As long as his hands were held upward to heaven, the Israelites would experience victory. Joshua did what Moses instructed and the Israelites fought while Moses’ hand, with the rod, was supported by Aron and Hur. The Israelites eventually won the fierce battle.

Lord, this week, we were ambushed by a hostile army of emotions or setbacks and the only way that we were able to overcome them was by lifting up our voices in praise as Moses lifted up the rod. Forgive us for the times we focused on what we were fighting against than on the One who was fighting the battle for us. Forgive us when our praises and prayers dipped as the hand of Moses sunk when he became weary. You sent persons our way Lord to uphold our hands and comfort our hearts as you sent Hull and Aaron to hold up the hand of Moses while he was perched on the hill. Thank you. Forgive us for not realizing that though we had to fight, the battle was always Yours.

The Israelites left Rephidim naming it, “Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord my banner” ….we too can leave this week with the label “third week of October – the Lord was our banner, our provider, our victory.”

Love, peace and blessings,

(c) 2015, Dentrecia Blanchette