Exodus 17:8 “Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim.”
This subject has been on my heart for quite some time now, and I will attempt to only address some of the more important points here. A full commentary of this would take up too much space. But I will be putting out a mini-booklet on this teaching as the Lord provides the funds and the means.
Let’s begin with an understanding of the name Amalek. There is much speculation as to its meaning. It could mean one who “nips” (as a dog nipping at your heels; which coincidentally the word does tell us, “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies…that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And you shall not forget to do this.” Deut. 25:17-19
It can also mean “warlike.” And it comes from the root word “amal” which means “to trouble, sufferer, mischief, sorrow, iniquity, wickedness, and perverseness.”
The Christian has two diametric natures in him: the new nature of God, and the nature of the flesh. I just love what Geronimo (who became a serious Christian towards the end of his life and worked in Dodge City conducting tours) said to the New York missionary lady who asked him about his conversion and how he was handling this new life in Christ. His reply, “I have two dogs living on the inside of me – and it’s just a matter of which one I feed.” You see, Geronimo had a deep understanding of a deep truth. For a further understanding of these “two dogs”, just see the last 11 verses of Romans 7: “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.“
And also Paul said, “the flesh wars against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary one against the other.” Galatians 5:17
So then we can come to understand that Amalek represents the flesh and all of its sneaky, subtle, warring ways. Now notice some things concerning Israel (which you’ll remember that the Lord called them “the church in the wilderness” Acts 7:38, (hmmmmmm – interesting, isn’t it?).
As soon as they came through the Red Sea (their deliverance from Egypt – a type of the world, and a type and shadow of salvation; for Paul did say they were baptized in the sea) and they “drank from that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” 2 Cor. 10:4, “Then came Amalek.” So follow me here please; they were delivered from the world, they were even baptized, they drank water from the rock. And then what happened? The flesh rose up and made war with the children of Israel. An interesting side thought: this was the first time that Israel had to rise up and fight…was when the flesh came to make war.
The war was over the water rights brethren. Amalek heard that there were rivers of water in Rephidim and they wanted it. They attempted to gain possession of the water. Rephidim means “a place of rest”. You see the children of Israel thought “I’ve been delivered, baptized, partook of the Spirit (water represents the Spirit in scripture), and now it’s time to rest.” WRONG!! They let their guard down and the word says, “he who lets down his guard shall be bitten by a serpent” Ecc. 10:8.
The flesh will always war against the spirit, and it will rise up when you decide to rest and “straggle at the rear, when you are tired and weary.” Take heed brethren, the flesh never sleeps. Indwelling sin is in our members and remember what the Lord told Cain, “sin is waiting at your door, and its desire is for you, but YOU SHALL rule over him.” Gen. 4:7 Wow!! God calls sin “him”. Sin is a living entity ready to make war at a moments notice; especially following your drinking in the water.
We know that Amalek represents the flesh, for the Lord said, “I will make war with Amalek from generation to generation” Exodus 17:16 and the Lord also said He “will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” Exodus 17:14
A few more thoughts on Amalek. He was the grandson of Esau Gen 36:12. And we know what Esau did. He sold his very birthright “for one morsel of meat” [flesh] Hebrews 12:16.
How can we fight the flesh? How did Moses fight Amalek (the flesh)? He lifted up his hands in prayer to God most high. What does this mean? Consider the following verse, “Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry (pray) unto Thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.” Psalm 28:2 and also, “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” 1 Timothy 2:8. It’s really simple brethren, the only way to get victory over Amalek is to be in prayer. Two other things to be noted here: notice in v.11 “that when Moses let down his hand, Amalek prevailed” – so then brethren, we don’t get tired in prayer or walk away from the front lines because we don’t want to play anymore and we just want to pick up our toys and go home. This is getting out of rank in His army, and if you break rank in anyone’s army you’ll pay a dear price. Your commander will either throw you in the prison, or you’ll become a prisoner of war. Also notice at the beginning of the battle Moses only has one hand that he’s using, but then he realizes the strength of the flesh and he totally surrenders and raises both hands. You see brethren, the raising of the hands is a sign of total surrender and a giving up and letting another “officer” so-to-speak, take care of it from there. Prayer makes heaven come down and makes hell move over!!
Prayer brings the spiritual increase, and strength. If you’re not praying, you’re prey for the enemy. Because if you’re not praying then you are verse 18 of Deut. 25:17-19: “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary.” Rise up my brothers and sisters because WE’RE IN A WAR!!! And also, if you’re not praying then you’re in blatant sin ( “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.”1 Samuel 12:23), and brothers and sisters, we know that only worldly people don’t pray. “When ye pray” this is a command, not a suggestion.
I do find it very interesting that immediately following Baalam’s prophetic parable of The Star of Jacob (which I wrote upon last week), the very next verse in Numbers 24 says this, “And when he (Baalam) looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish forever.” Notice something here…how is Baalam seeing Amalek? The war with Amalek happened long before this, clear back in Rephidim, and the Israelites are camped at the Jordan by Jericho (Numbers 22:1). So then what did Baalam really see? He saw in the Spirit that Amalek was still following Israel at their heels trying to pick off the weak, and weary ones who were fainting.
And then you will remember that Samuel came and told Saul, “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” 1 Samuel 15:3. “But Saul disobeyed and kept back the best of the sheep, the best of the oxen, and he did not slay Agag (Hebrew: “the fiery one”) the king of the Amalekites.”
You see, Saul wanted to keep back some of the flesh for himself. Are you keeping back some of the flesh for yourself. Do you like your cigarettes, your pornography, your little white lies, your strong drink, your lewd movies that curse God and exalt the flesh, the world, and satan, your temper, your lusting thoughts, your critical spirit? Then the same thing will happen to you that happened to Saul over this compromise; “the kingdom was torn from his hands” (1 Samuel 15:28) and “given to another who was better than he.” Read what another brother says on the matter, “If we are not absolute in dealing with our flesh, we, like Saul, will lose our kingship. This account of Saul’s disobedience is a warning (1st Cor. 10:11), indicating that we should not do anything in the kingdom of God by our flesh. In everything we must crucify our flesh (And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. Gal. 5:24 & see also Romans 8:13) and faithfully exercise our spirit to follow the Lord.”
I like what Samuel did. He said, “Bring me out King Agag” and it says that Agag “walked out delicately” (like nothing was the matter, and he – flesh, Hebrew-meaning: “the fiery one” – was king) and he said “surely the bitterness of death is past.” He was walking with his nose up in the air, and struttin’ his stuff (flesh) before God and before a man of God who knew his place in the Spirit. He didn’t realize what type of power Samuel was walking in. You’ll remember that when Samuel came to find David to anoint him king; that “the elders of the city saw Samuel coming, AND TREMBLED!!”
You see, what Agag was really saying was this, “Surely, there’s been enough death here today, surely there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of sheep and oxen that got missed or overlooked in the slaughter being allowed to live. Surely it’s okay to let me live.” But Samuel knew that if you took care of the root, then there can’t be any more fruit. And what did he do to Agag? He drew “his sword and hacked up Agag into little pieces that day before the Lord in Gilgal” (Hebrew-meaning: “I have removed”). Hallelujah!!! Let the killing power of the cross, and our faith alone in the cross, hew Agag in pieces before the Lord today in our lives. Call the spiritual police, for a slaughter is taking place right now.
Pull out the sword (the word of God), and get in prayer and let God do a deep work in you and get free of all the weights and the sins that so easily beset you and get your life and your walk with the Lord back on track before it’s too late. Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that whosever defiles His temple, him will God destroy? Do you want the power of the flesh to go away? There’s only one way brothers and sisters: drown it to death with the water of the word of God. This is how the cross is applied to your life. You can’t have faith for anything outside of the word of God.
“Therefore knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” 2 Cor. 5:11
See you on the front lines.