Apostles Corner > The Spirit of the Amalekites
January 03, 2016
We are churches of warfare and deliverance; which means that we are constantly either attacking the enemy or being attacked by the enemy. As such, there are some important lessons that we can learn from biblical Israel. They invaded a region that was inhabited by a number of tribal nations. Each nation had its own characteristics and attributes including varied military strategies. They rarely collaborated and even more rarely deviated from their personal strategies. As such, Israel had to adapt and perfect counter-active strategies.
I want to discuss one such nation and strategy tonight. It will be appropriate for our churches and it will help us as we face the enemies of our invasion. Tonight I want to discuss the Amalekites.
The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. (Numbers 13:29)
The Amalekites inhabited various places in or near southern Canaan. They were a semi-nomadic people but would dwell in a specific area if conditions were favorable. They were descendants of Amalek, who was the grandson of Esau, Jacob's twin brother. Amalek was the son of Eliphaz and his concubine, Timna as described in Gen.36:12. The Amalekites were distinguished by two villainous characteristics: cruelty and cowardice. These two characteristics are always present when an Amalekite is involved in any Biblical story. They were warriors, but they never fought a fair fight.
Exodus 17:8-16 gives us very important background information
Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
The Lord was so furious with the Amalekites that He swore to "have war with Amalek from generation to generation." Given His merciful nature, His particularly intense indignation against the Amalekites for their assault on Israel seems puzzling in its severity. However, the real crime which provoked God's fierce wrath is described in Deuteronomy 25:17-19. This is the part to which we must pay careful attention as churches of warfare and deliverance.
Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
The Amalekites attacked Israel but they didn’t attack the army of Israel. Rather, Amalek "smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God." So, the truth is that the Amalekites actually attacked only those who were too weak to keep pace in the desert with their stronger brothers. They attacked the stragglers, those who were too ill, too weak, or too young to protect themselves, perhaps even women and children. Thus, until Joshua led the counter-attack, there must have been a terrible slaughter of innocent and feeble souls. This was the famous battle which Israel won because Aaron and Hur helped Moses hold up his rod when his arms grew tired.
As an indication of God's great care and concern for the weak ones among His people, He reorganized Israel's future travels in the desert so that they marched by tribes. This insured that the weaker ones would always be in the main body, moving along with their tribe, instead of trudging along in the rear, unprotected by the stronger Israelites (Num.2).
After Joshua conquered Canaan and divided it among the tribes, Israel's King Saul was sent by God on a mission to annihilate an Amalekite city in that Promised Land. God would tolerate Amalekites on His chosen soil.
1 Samuel 15:1-3
Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 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 ass…
However, the timid King Saul bowed to the wishes of those in his army who wanted the Amalekite spoil for themselves, and, contrary to God's clear command, he allowed the best of the sheep and cattle to be spared. God was so angered by this act of rebellion that He rejected Saul as king in Israel. There were other errors as well as this one which led to Saul's rejection, but this singular failure to execute God's great wrath on this people whom God despised was a terrible transgression, worthy of the severest punishment.
1 Samuel 15: 7-9
And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
As a trophy of war, Saul had also taken captive Agag, the king of the Amalekites, but the Almighty was not after trophies; He wanted peace for His people. And He knew that so long as there remained one Amalekite alive, no humble and righteous person in Israel would be safe. Samuel the prophet arrived at Saul's camp and obediently hacked "Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal", but immediately before doing so, Samuel reminded Agag that he had been (true to the cruel and cowardly nature of his breed) a murderer of innocent children. An "Agagite", by the way, became a synonym for an Amalekite, the title being derived from the name of this and possibly other Amalekite kings.
1 Samuel 15: 10-11; 16-19; 32-33
Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night…Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?...Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
Other encounters with Amalekites include the story of the very sick Egyptian servant of an Amalekite who was dumped in the desert and left to die because his Amalekite master didn't want to be bothered with him (2Sam.30:11-13). Then, there is the Amalekite who confidently strode into David's camp with the dead King Saul's crown and arm bracelet, claiming to have been the one who put the bleeding and helpless King out of his misery. He thought David would reward him greatly for ending Saul's miserable life, but that was a fatal assumption (2Sam.1:1-16).
There is also the story of an Amalekite raid on Ziklag, the city given to David and his band of renegades by Achish, King of Philistia (2 Sam.30:1-3). Naturally, the Amalekites had spied out the city before their attack, and they had learned that David and his men were far away, marching north to help the Philistine king Achish in his war with Israel. No one remained in Ziklag except women and children, a perfect target for Amalekites. Remarkably, none of these women and children were killed, and with God's help David recovered every one of them in a surprise attack of his own.
Ironically, the sick servant whom the Amalekites had thrown away (and David had found and rescued) was the informer who led David to the secret Amalekites' camp. The servant agreed to help David, it should be noted, on the conditions that David would neither kill him, nor - worse yet - return him to his Amalekite master (1Sam.30:15).
In fact, the secret of understanding a primary message of the book of Esther is to know that an "Agagite" is an Amalekite. When this is understood, Mordecai's refusal to bow the knee to Haman the Agagite appears in a brighter light. His unwillingness to bow does not indicate in Mordecai a stubborn, proud spirit; rather, it is an indication of Mordecai's faithfulness to God's attitude toward Amalekites.
Mordecai would not bow to an Amalekite because of his faith in God. And it is possible as well that, Haman being an Amalekite, Mordecai might even have feared God's wrath upon himself if he had bowed to him. It is evidence of Mordecai's great faith in God's word that he would risk his life by refusing to bow before an Amalekite, even if the Amalekite had become a man of great political power. Mordecai trusted the power of God's curse to be of greater effect than Haman's favor in the eyes of the Persian king.
In Judges, the Amalekites are mentioned several times as Israel's tormentors. If there was a positive quality to their lives, it was consistency. They were never anything but cruel and cowardly people, were always at odds with Israel, and were never shown any mercy from God.
There are demonic spirits that lurk around our churches seeking to distract or destroy the weak and feeble that are among God’s people. We must utterly destroy those spirits immediately. Far too many of our folks believe the lies that Satan tells them, because of their immaturity. I’m tired of folks being tired and frustrated. I can’t get frustrated with Satan for being frustrated with mealy mouthed Christians. If you are weak, become strong. If you are sick, get healed. (Healing is in the house.) If you are burdened, get delivered. (You know deliverance is available.) Join a tribe and get busy about doing the will of the Lord.
However, having said all of that (had to get that off of my chest), we must destroy the Amalekite spirits that lurk around our churches. We can’t keep allowing their existence. God told Saul to 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 ass. That’s crystal clear to me. We need to do it right away without any semblance of mercy. So…