The War with Amalek! #4

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

The Amalekites were the first Gentiles to fight Israel after they had passed through the Red Sea. Read today’s Scripture in context once more: “[5] And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. [6] Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. [7] And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? [8] Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” It is important to note that this battle did not initiate until after the water ran.

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul provides commentary: “[1] Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; [2] And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; [3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat; [4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians chapter 10).

While Israel literally passed through the Red Sea, and actually drank literal water from a literal rock, spiritual truths are being communicated as well. The Bible says the smitten Rock was Jesus Christ. According to Isaiah 53:4, He was “smitten of God” on Calvary’s cross. Moses striking the rock was a picture of Christ being crucified 1,500 years later. As physical water flowed from the rock, sustaining physical life, so spiritual water flowed from Christ the Rock on the cross, thereby releasing spiritual life. With the flow of spiritual life—and notice it comes first—a war subsequently rages. Now, the victor and the loser….

The War with Amalek! #3

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

The LORD God had delivered Israel from Egyptian slavery back in Exodus chapter 14. He had brought them miraculously through the Red Sea, in which He drowned Pharaoh and his armies. Israel had left the “old life” behind. No more were they servants to sin, Satan, and false religion. East of the Red Sea, they burst into song, the Song of Moses.

Read from chapter 15: “[16] Fear and dread shall fall upon them [the Gentiles]; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. [17] Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established. [18] The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” Coming out of the Red Sea, the Israelites knew their purpose. God had “purchased” or redeemed them. The blood of the Passover lamb had been shed (chapter 12). They had “died” to Egyptian bondage. Now, they were alive, in a new region, and bound for the Promised Land. What great joy!

At the close of chapter 15, the Jews needed water, and God healed bitter water so as to make it drinkable for them. They were hungry, so He provided them with manna (bread) and quail in chapter 16. With chapter 17 opening, they complained about thirst again: “[5] And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. [6] Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”

The rock indeed brought forth water, but a bitter fight ensued as well….

The War with Amalek! #2

Monday, June 3, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

Scripture first mentions the man “Amalek” in Genesis 36:12: “And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.” Amalek was Esau’s grandson, but who was Esau?

Turn back to chapter 25: “[19] And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac: [20] And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. [21] And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. [22] And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. [23] And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

“[24] And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. [25] And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. [26] And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.”

Esau was Jacob’s older twin brother—and both were Abraham’s grandsons. Even in the womb, it was evident they would be rivals. Read Genesis 25:37-34 and Hebrews 12:16-17. Esau was an unbeliever; he did not trust the one true God. Jacob was a believer (see Hebrews 11:21). As noted in Genesis 25:23, two nations descended from their loins. Esau was the forefather of the Edomites (Genesis chapter 36). Jacob, of course, fathered 12 sons who ultimately became the 12 tribes of Israel (Genesis chapters 29–30,35).

Therefore, when the Amalekites attacked the Israelites in today’s Scripture, it was the culmination of a centuries-old spiritual battle among blood relatives….

Fury Turned Away? #4

Sunday, October 15, 2017

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? (Genesis 27:44,45 KJV).

How does this “fury” compare to Almighty God’s anger?

Jacob took precautions in the event that Esau was still holding a grudge after all those years. He sent a delegation seeking peace with Esau. Upon learning Esau was approaching with a massive crowd, Jacob divided his caravan (if Esau attacked one segment, the other could escape unharmed). Jacob prayed, and also sent a present of livestock. In spite of all that, their mother’s plan in today’s Scripture was effectual.

Esau refused Jacob’s gift because he was wealthy enough himself. Genesis 33:4 again: “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” Esau actually did not follow through with his plan to murder his younger brother Jacob. What was the overriding factor? The passage of time had assuaged Esau’s intense fury.

Our anger, human fury, is fickle—it comes and goes. The more we promise to retaliate, and the more time that passes that we do not act, the less likely we will do something with full force as originally promised. This is typical human nature (as we know from personal experience), and it gives us insight into the Apostle Peter’s final epistle, which we briefly examined in an earlier study.

Notice chapter 1 of 2 Peter, verse 16: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Why would Peter say “we have not followed cunningly devised fables [tales of fantasy and fiction designed to deceive]?” He was answering the Bible scoffers referred to in chapter 3! These mockers were confusing God’s wrath with man’s wrath. God keeps His promises, no matter how extreme they are, or how long He takes to fulfill them….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do angels age?

Fury Turned Away? #3

Saturday, October 14, 2017

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? (Genesis 27:44,45 KJV).

How does this “fury” compare to Almighty God’s anger?

Jacob, over 20 years after fleeing Esau’s angry face, returns to Canaan. Genesis chapter 32: “[3] And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. [4] And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: [5] And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.” Jacob, remembering Esau’s bitterness and fury long ago, seeks his favor.

“[6] And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. [7] Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; [8] And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.”

Esau replies by coming with an “army” of 400 men! Jacob is terrified and troubled. Evidently, Esau has not forgiven him! Jacob prays (verses 9-12) and then he sends Esau a present of hundreds of various livestock (verses 13-19). Verse 20: “And say ye [to Esau] moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him [Esau] with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure [perhaps] he will accept of me.”

Chapter 33, verse 3: “And he [Jacob] passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. [4] And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.Time has caused Esau’s wrath to pass….

Fury Turned Away? #2

Friday, October 13, 2017

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? (Genesis 27:44,45 KJV).

How does this “fury” compare to Almighty God’s anger?

We read today’s Scripture in context: “[41] And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. [42] And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. [43] Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; [44] And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; [45] Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?”

Earlier in the chapter, Rebekah and son Jacob connived to have him get his father Isaac’s blessing rather than brother Esau. Of course, upon hearing what happened, Esau is outraged, inconsolable, and bloodthirsty. He actually vows to take Jacob’s life! Wise Rebekah reasons that, if she can send Jacob away for a time, Esau will calm down and back down from his resolution to kill Jacob. In chapter 28, Jacob escapes to Rebekah’s family in Mesopotamia (to the east of Canaan) to find a wife.

Fast-forward 21 years—yes, two decades have elapsed since Jacob escaped to Haran. Returning to Canaan, he meets brother Esau. Has their mother Rebekah’s plan worked? At this point, has Esau’s “fury turned away?” Has his “anger turned away” from his younger brother Jacob? Does Esau still harbor resentment? Will he slay Jacob as he intended all those years earlier? Dear friends, let us see what happens to man’s wrath….