So now, the people go from the wilderness of Sin where there was no food, to Rephidim where there is no water. So what do the people do? No big surprise, they complain and quarrel with Moses about the lack of water. How tiresome! Then again, water is life. If you had to go without water for an extended time period wouldn’t you be complaining too. Then when you consider that they were in a dry wilderness, and you have every reason to be upset.
But, by now i would expect that the people would understand the correct way of handling the problem. Bring it to Moses and to God, and wait for the miraculous provision. What do they do instead? They complain and quarrel. What does God do? He provides miraculously, of course! That was a silly question.
In the meantime, all this racket, complaining, and water coming from rocks in desolate places has stirred up the natives like taking a broom to a beehive. All of a sudden, the Israelites are face to face with angry Amalekites. If you remember, Amalek was the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s older brother. So this was family that was attacking them. It is also the first time that the Israelite people would come face to face with war. So Moses sends out Joshua to lead the battle, and he stands on the rock with his brother Aaron and with Hur. Together they hold up Moses hands, and as long as Moses hands are raised, the Israelites defeat this people experienced in the ways of war. So yet again, YHWH provides life for the people of Israel.
Moses builds an alter / memorial to the LORD there and calls it, YHWH-Nissi, or the LORD my Banner. Is He your banner today?