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….

Given Versus Came #1

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 KJV).

One is distant; the other is near.

The Jews were cruelly enslaved—in bondage to Egypt, sin, and Satan. God heard their cries for help, and He brought to mind the covenant He had made with their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. After destroying Egypt with 10 plagues, defeating Pharaoh and his idols, the God of the Hebrews brought His people across the Red Sea with a mighty hand. Those miracles should have caused Israel to see they would have to rely on God rather than their religious works. It would be His works, not theirs.

In His grace, JEHOVAH God gave Israel everything she needed. They desired deliverance from Egypt; He gave it (Exodus 14:1–15:22). They wanted potable water; He provided it (15:23-26). They wanted food; He furnished them with manna and quail (16:1-36). They desired drinkable water; He offered it to them (17:1-7). He gave them military victory over their enemies, the Amalekites (17:8-16). After seeing God’s faithfulness to them, amazingly, the Jews overlooked it and pompously declared they could now be faithful to God. After all of their complaining and doubt in the previous chapters, they claimed they would now obey God!

We read the LORD’S words to Moses in Exodus 19:4-6: “[4] Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. [5] Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” After emphasizing what He did for them (verse 4), highlighting their weaknesses and deficiencies, He tested them (verses 5,6). “Do you want to be My people based on what you do?” Verse 8 says: “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.”

How will the LORD respond? How will this affect His relationship with Israel?

Lifted and Fallen #3

Friday, February 10, 2017

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:12,13 KJV).

Does the Bible teach “entire sanctification?” Today’s Scripture screams, NO!

Verses 1-4 say Israel started right—a leader, Moses (God’s spokesman to them); the cloud (God’s presence); the Red Sea crossing (passing to new life in Christ); spiritual food (manna and quail); and spiritual drink (water). However, they were not content with God’s provisions.

We continue reading: “[5] But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. [6] Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. [7] Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. [8] Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. [9] Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. [10] Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”

Verse 5, sinful Jews dying in the wilderness, refers to Numbers 14:29. Verse 6, them craving the old life (sinful pleasures) in Egypt, compares to Numbers 11:4-6. Verse 7 refers to Exodus 32:6, them worshiping the golden calf idol and engaging in orgies (lewd dancing parties). Verse 8 quotes Exodus 32:28,35—God striking those fornicators with a deadly plague. Verse 9 refers to Numbers 21:5,6—God sending serpents to bite and kill defiant Jews. Finally, verse 10 compares to Numbers 14:36-37 and/or Numbers 16:46-50—God destroying the complainers with a plague. They doubted He would bring them into the Promised Land. Rather than being thankful for His blessings, they preferred their old life. Instead of serving Him, they worshiped pagan idols. They repeatedly challenged Him and complained. Those same sins exist in the professing church today….

Be Still and See, Israel!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee (2 Chronicles 20:12 KJV).

History and prophecy!

Judaean King Jehoshaphat has just received news of a great Gentile army coming against Jerusalem (verses 1 and 2). A frail man like us, he is struck with fear, seeks the LORD’S guidance, and thus proclaims a fast throughout Judah (verse 3). “And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD” (verse 4). Jehoshaphat prays before Israel (verses 5-13). Today’s Scripture is that prayer’s conclusion. Jehoshaphat’s closing words are: Our eyes are upon thee.”

Jehoshaphat tells Israel in verse 17: “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” The Spirit of God comes upon Jahaziel, and, in verse 14, he had encouraged Israel: “Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

This reminds us of what happened in Exodus 14:13-14, several hundred years prior to Jehoshaphat: “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (God vanquished the Egyptian armies in the Red Sea!)

Read the rest of 2 Chronicles chapter 20 to see how God worked a mighty victory for Israel. The Jews never lifted one weapon! They merely sang and praised God, and He had their enemies kill one another! Prophetically, Israel needs to let God take care of their enemies. Like in history, they will just watch and let Him do all the work (Revelation 19:11-21)!

Bible Q&A #295: “What does ‘Lord of Sabaoth’ mean?

A New Standard of Power #7

Friday, April 29, 2016

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14,15 KJV).

If you think God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt was spectacular, just wait until you see what He has in store in prophecy!

Although Israel messed up God’s purpose and plan for them once they came out of Egypt, today’s Scripture loops back to show us God will still fulfill His will with them (cf. Leviticus 26:44,45).

Today’s Scripture resembles a passage descriptive of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to be Israel’s King. Jeremiah 23:5-8: “[5] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. [6] In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. [7] Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; [8] But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt was glorious, but there is a greater deliverance yet future. The famous “Valley of Dry Bones” passage (Ezekiel chapter 37), which you should read in your own time, illustrates how God will bring redeemed Israel back from all those foreign nations. They will finally enjoy God’s earthly kingdom… they should have experienced it after leaving Egypt! Regardless of their failures, God will still be faithful to them. He will make them His people, fill them with His Spirit forever, and they will never disappoint Him again! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are we ‘doom and gloom’ Bible-prophecy believers?

A New Standard of Power #6

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14,15 KJV).

If you think God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt was spectacular, just wait until you see what He has in store in prophecy!

At Mount Sinai, the Jews had agreed to do “all” that the LORD had spoken (Exodus 19:8). Alas, an empty promise! They disobeyed Him for centuries. Whether you read the “Old Testament,” or secular history books, you learn that Israel failed under that Law Covenant. God, in order to cleanse His Promised Land, exiled the idolatrous Jews into foreign nations. Even today, the Gentiles dominate Israel and her land. This will continue until Jesus Christ returns.

God knew all along Israel—like all sinners—could never keep His commandments, but Israel was in denial and had to be taught it. Even though Israel failed miserably under the Law, it was only a temporary agreement. Long before Israel’s works were involved, God had promised to make Abraham’s seed His people forever (Genesis 12:1-3). Regardless of their works, God had promised to give Abraham, and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob, the Promised Land forever (Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:1-21). One day, Israel will learn once for all that she will receive God’s promises by God’s grace, not by her works!

As Israel needed God to deliver her from Egypt so He could bring her into His Promised Land, Israel needs Him to bring her back from Gentile captivity so she can enter that Promised Land forever. This prophetic return will be much grander than history. She was confined to one nation (Egypt); now, she is scattered worldwide. Her Egyptian bondage was just a few centuries; her worldwide captivity has lasted over 2,000 years.

It looks hopeless, as if Israel will never return. Yet, the deliverance from Egypt was all a rehearsal for the future!