Exodus 17 & 18 - The Power of Weakness

  1. Read Exodus 17:8-16. Israel’s battle against Amalek contains the last appearance of the “staff of God” (17:9), which was the instrument used to bring the plagues against Egypt (e.g., 4:17, 20; 7:17; 8:5, 16; 9:23), to part the Red Sea (14:16), and to bring water from the rock (17:5). What do these prior uses of the staff suggest about the nature of the battle that ensues?

  2. At the Red Sea, God fought Egypt for Israel (14:14). At Rephidim, however, God fights Amalek through Israel (17:8–16). What might these two types of physical warfare illustrate for us concerning God’s role and our role in the spiritual battles we face today?

  3. Read Exodus 18:1-12. How does Jethro’s worship of the LORD relate to God’s purposes for the exodus, expressed in Exodus 9:13-16?

  4. Read Exodus 18:13-27 and Acts 6:1-7. In his book, Old Paths New Power, Daniel Henderson notes three essential tasks for spiritual leaders expressed in both pf these passages. Study the two passages and identify the following three items in each. What might stand in the way of Christian leaders following in these paths today?

    • Prayer

    • Teaching the word

    • Empowering gifted leaders

  5. In Exodus 17-18, the success of God’s mission is contrasted with the weakness of God’s people. Why does God choose to work through our weaknesses? Take some time to share weaknesses with one another and pray together for God’s power to be evident in your lives.

* Some questions derived from Exodus: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible). Crossway. by Matthew R. Newkirk