“So Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.’” (Exodus 17:9)
On their journey through the desert, the Israelites faced great challenges. Sometimes they lacked water, sometimes they desperately needed food. In Exodus 17, we read how they were attacked by Amalek, a hostile people. Deuteronomy 25:17-18 describes this attack in great detail: “He attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God.” So this was a cowardly attack!
The people of Israel went on the counterattack. In doing so, Moses and Joshua worked together. Each had their own task. Moses stood at a vantage point. While doing so, he held his staff by which he had already done many miracles. After all, they needed God’s help in this battle, too!
At the same time, Joshua gathered men to fight. It was a tough battle that lasted all day, but in the end Amalek was overcome. The Israelites could travel on safely.
We see Joshua acting as a military captain. He went into battle to defend his people. That is one of the tasks of a leader: to protect the people for whom you are responsible, from attack, sometimes at the risk of your own life