miracles of the wilderness journey – victory – identity

Topic: The Miracles of the Wilderness Journey – Victory, Identity and Worship. Category: Power> The Miracles of the Wilderness Journey>
Bible Scriptures: Exodus 17:8-16, Numbers 11:18-20, Numbers 11:31-34 and Numbers 16:23-32.

Listen to the full sermon.


Following on from last week’s episode [Miracles of the Wilderness Journey – Water From a Rock], where the Eternal One rained down manna from heaven and brought forth water from a rock. We will now continue through the wilderness with the Eternal One and the Ancient Israelites. 

the battle for victory

Exodus 17:8-16 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” 

The Ancient Israelites were under attack from another people group. They were descendants of Amalek, the Amalekites. So Moses instructed Joshua to choose some men and go out and fight the Amalekites. 

the eternal one’s power and authority

Moses assured Joshua that victory over their attackers was in the hands of the Eternal One by saying, ‘I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.’

The rod of God, was initially Moses’ rod. However the Eternal One had anointed it and was His instrument to make His mighty power known. The rod was not used as some form of magic. For it was a representation of the Eternal One’s power, authority and sovereignty. 

The Eternal One identified Himself with Moses and anointed Moses to lead the Ancient Israelites out of slavery. Lead them to freedom and victory, where they could make an informed choice of who they will worship.  

It was the same rod that the Eternal One instructed Moses to lift up before the sea, in recognition that the Eternal One would bring deliverance. Right before everyones eyes the Eternal One parted the sea for the Ancient Israelites to walk right through, as if on dry ground. 

It was the same rod that the Eternal One instructed Moses to take with him to the foot of the mountain and behold the Eternal One standing before him. Not only behold the Eternal One, but by using the rod according to the Eternal One’s instructions, Moses and the leaders saw the Eternal One’s mighty power. Upon striking the rock with the anointed rod of the Eternal One, water flowed forth for all to drink.  

relationship and allegiance to victory

Again the Eternal One instructs Moses to take His anointed rod with him. This time Moses was to stand on the top of the hill, whilst the battle against the Amalekites takes place in the valley.

Each time Moses lifted up his hands, the Ancient Israelites would win. For Moses’ rod was anointed by the Eternal One to represent His power and authority, sovereignty and in this case His victory. 

This was not some form of magic. It was the Eternal One revealing Himself to the Ancient Israelites and the Amalekites in a way they would understand.

It is also a beautiful picture of how the Eternal One gives each a part in His wonders. Moses, Aaron, and Hur saw and experienced the Eternal One’s mighty power. The Ancient Israelites received the Eternal One’s victory and deliverance from the attacks of the Amalekites. Joshua, and the men he had chosen to fight the Amalekites with, also came to know and experience the Eternal One’s victory. 

But most significantly of all, it is a powerful moment testifying of relationship and allegiance. The Eternal One identifies with all who chose to identify with Him. He pledges allegiance to Moses. So any enemy that declares war on Moses, effectively declares war against the Eternal One.

Moses chose to give his allegiance to the Eternal One, declaring the Eternal One is his banner. A banner being an identifier, like a flag of a country or army. Moses declared his allegiance to the Eternal One.

The Eternal One also pledged allegiance to Joshua and the subsequent generations. This moment of covenant relationship and allegiance was to be a testimony of the Eternal One from generation to generation.

amazing grace and love

The Eternal One continued on with the Ancient Israelites in their wilderness journey. He made Himself visible to them in the form of a cloud by day and a fire by night. When the cloud of the Eternal One was taken up from the tabernacle of meeting, the Ancient Israelites would go onward following the cloud. 

It came to pass that it was time to leave Mount Sinai. The cloud of the Eternal One went before them and settled down in the wilderness of Paran, which means place of cravings. The Ancient Israelites made camp there.

The mixed multitude had an intense craving for meat and again lamented leaving Egypt. They despised the Eternal One. The only one who heard their cries for deliverance and personally brought them out of slavery. 

Yet at the foot of mount Sinai, just after seeing the mighty power of the Eternal One deliver them they made a golden calf and worshipped it. They even said this golden calf was their god and the one that brought them out of Egypt!

Yet the Eternal One is still journeying with them, pursuing in love, there in the wilderness. 

Upon hearing their weeping for meat, Moses was displeased with them and even with the Eternal One. Moses blamed the Eternal One for burdening him with the Ancient Israelites. He no longer wanted to lead them or be identified with them. Moses was so upset he wanted evil to come upon them. 

The Eternal One in His grace and mercy toward Moses anointed seventy elders to help Moses carry the burden of leading the Ancient Israelites. The Eternal One placed the same spirit of anointing that He placed on Moses onto the seventy elders. It was an incredible demonstration of God’s amazing grace and love. 


In complete contrast, the Ancient Israelites remained a stiff necked people. They continued to not only reject the Eternal One but they now despised Him. The Eternal One made it very clear to them that if they gave their allegiance to the gods of Egypt, they would come under the plagues of their judgement.

Yet the majority of this generation of the Ancient Israelites chose their pathway of destruction. Chose to align themselves with evil instead of the Eternal One. They were influenced by their intense cravings and became corrupted by them. So let us pickup the story of what the Eternal One said to Moses to tell the people, in response to their choice to align themselves with evil. 

Numbers 11:18-20 Then you shall say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the LORD who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?” ’ ”

ultimate victory of life and death

Numbers 11:31-34 Now a wind went out from the LORD, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving.

The contrast between the Eternal One pouring out His Spirit on the seventy leaders in response to Moses’ anger and pouring out provision according to the intense cravings of the people is stark. 

The consequences of not choosing to align oneself with the Eternal One is plague, disempowerment and death. For Moses the consequences of choosing to align himself with the Eternal One is prophecy, empowerment and life. 

Let us continue on through the wilderness with the Eternal One and the Ancient Israelites.


Numbers 16:1-5 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”

So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him.

This life journey is all about identity and allegiance. For Korah and some of the Ancient Israelites, they claimed to have given their allegiance to the Eternal One, yet they have given their allegiance to evil. This lie and deception must be exposed, so that they do not corrupt every one else.

identity and allegiance

 Numbers 16:23-32 So the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ”

Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children.

And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD.” Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.

expose the lies and deceptions

The Eternal One exposed the lies and deceptions of those who claimed to have aligned themselves to Him, yet they have knowingly aligned themselves with evil. They not only chose to reject the Eternal One and His pathway to salvation, but they claimed they had chosen Him. To actively prevent others from making a free choice of who they worship. Attempting to block others from coming to the Eternal One.  

The Eternal One reveals this deception and urges all to choose Him, choose life and receive His victory.


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