Not long after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea they became hungry and started to complain. The wilderness was quite brutal. They were in one of the most hostile places on the planet, where the daytime temperatures get very brutal. When they complained, God provided bread from heaven. When they moved camp the became thirsty and were angry with Moses. Moses cried to the Lord: “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me” (Exodus 17:4 ESV).
To add injury to insult, when God provided water the Amelekites attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Rephidim was a place that had fertile ground, a rare site in the desert. Here the flocks could find pasture and it seemed like Israel had found a place of peace. But the battle would prove otherwise. Based on Moses’ response with the water situation it appears he was very burned out. Retaliation against him was a reality.
Moses persisted, though: “Tomorrow I will sand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand” (vs. 9). As long as Moses held up his hand Israel was winning. But when his hands grew weary they would start to lose. Aaron and Hur put a rock under Moses and held his hands up until the sun set. “And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword” (vs. 13). This is a reminder to us to be present for people who are fighting spiritual battles. Moses couldn’t have done this alone even though he possessed the staff of God in his hand. We all need support and this is what helps us make it to the next day!