April 28, 2016


Exodus 17:8-16

As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.

—  Exodus 17:11

By rescuing Israel from Egypt, God had made clear to Israel that his relationship with them was based on his love for them. While other nations believed they had to please their gods with sacrifices and worship rituals, the true God showed his love by always providing and caring for his people first. It was all by grace.

In today’s story from Exodus, God again made clear to Israel that he loved them. When Moses’ arms were lifted up, God gave the blessing of victory over the Amalekites who had cruelly attacked Israel.

Of course, when Moses’ arms were down, the blessing of victory was not given. The Amalekites started to win. What was that about? Why involve Moses’ arms in that way?

God was teaching Israel more about the kind of relationship he wanted with them. When they, God’s dearly loved people, obeyed in any small way, he would bless them in a significant way. In other words, it didn’t take much for God to release great blessing on the people he had chosen.

God reminds us today too that he loves to bless his people, and God wants us to know that our peace and prosperity come from him. Our flourishing is not by chance or a product of our efforts. It is by grace from a faithful God.

Lord, thank you that your love for us doesn’t depend on our ability to prove ourselves. Even after blessing us with rescue from sin and death, you still bless us more. Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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