Apostles Corner > The Spirit of the Amorite
January 23, 2016
Amorites were descendants of the fourth son of Canaan (Gen. 10: 16) and were fierce tribal clansmen who apparently forced themselves into lands they needed to graze their herds. The name Amorite" means, "mountain people; renowned". Since mountains refer to tall and impressive land masses that dominate valleys, we can infer that the Amorite spirit is a spirit of self-exaltation. The word for Amorite in Hebrew comes from another Hebrew word, amar, which means, "to utter, to say"; this implies that the Amorite spirits are spirits who want their name uttered. They are fame-seekers that like to dominate and rule over others. They tend to establish an imposing and seemingly immovable presence. This coincides with what the scriptures tell us of the Amorites.
The Amorites were men of great stature, fair skinned with light hair, blue eyes, curved noses and liked to wear pointed beards. Their king, Og, was described by Moses as the last "of the remnant of the giants". Amorites were an evil and sinful people whose wickedness it was said surpassed that of any other. They were deemed to have been masters of the black arts; and their witchcraft and impure mysteries contaminated Israel during the time of the Judges. In fact, a popular movie and television show was loosely derived from Amorite black art culture…Highlanders.
I believe when the Lord spoke of removing mountains, He was not simply talking about big problems. He was also talking about the uprooting of spiritual powers in high places. I believe that instead of focusing our faith on getting things from God, our faith should be focused on tearing down principalities and powers; because I believe Jesus was talking about "taking back the Earth" from the Amorite spirits that oppress it. This is one of the chief spirits against which the church should be in opposition. It is a spirit that seeks to dominate us by dividing us. Understanding the battle of Gibeon in Joshua Chapter 10 may help us to better understand this Amorite spirit.
Up to now, Joshua's strategy had been to cut the land of Canaan in half by a thrust across the central region of the land. Gibeon, to the south, belonged to a league of Amorite cities until she deserted due to rising levels of violence. The Gibeonites decided to avoid trouble and guarantee their own security by seeking a treaty with the Israelites. They may have been in basic agreement with the Israelite cause, although there is no direct evidence of that; but at any rate, they successfully negotiated a treaty with the Israelites through flattery, trickery, and submission.
Not surprisingly, when the Israelites discovered the deception, they were not happy. However, on the positive side, the treaty prohibited the Gibeonites from having their own army, implied a political victory for Israel and strengthened its position against the other Canaanite cities. On the negative side, Israel had to assume the responsibility of defending the Gibeonites against their enemies.
Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;
That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty. Wherefore Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel. (Joshua 10:1-4)
This reminds me of how Satan turns on those whom he sees as defecting to the side of Christianity. He often unleashes a furious attack upon the newly saved to make an example of them and discourage their friends from getting saved. Since they have no chance of defeating him, they call upon the church to assist and defend them from attack.
The treaty so frightened the five neighboring Amorite kings that they launched an all-out attack against the Gibeonites; and they in turn, called on the Israelites to honor their treaty obligations to defend them against the Amorite kings. This led to one of the most fearsome battles in the history of Israel…God’s people against the Amorites. According to the bible, God was so determined that Joshua’s army should win that miraculous giant hailstones fell on the Amorites. Then, God extended the number of hours for the battle and assured an Israelite victory by making the sun and the moon stand still!
The same spiritual battle that a church will enter into on behalf of a new convert is evident in Joshua 10 as an account of Israel's intense, sustained warfare against an alliance of five Amorite cities that have attacked Israel's covenant partner.
Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:9-14)
When we choose to join God's family through faith in Jesus Christ, we're automatically engaged with God in this battle against the exalted forces of sin and death and hell. These spirits of wickedness in high places seek to intimidate the newly saved and to separate them from those of us who have been in Christ for a while by causing us not to want to fight for them as others fought for us. That makes us appear haughty, distant and unapproachable to the newcomer. It also destroys our future witness and diminishes our reputation.
The Apostle Paul challenged Timothy to suffer hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus who did not entangle himself in the affairs of life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3-4 paraphrased). The battle will be fierce and sustained. There won’t be any time to have a pity party or to wonder how life would be without the warfare. It is on!! We must fight for one another if any of us are to gain the victory. We cannot be reduced to an attitude of “I got my victory, now you get yours.”
God's provision goes beyond the physical material resources of our natural existence. He is willing to use supernatural resources to achieve His sovereign purposes.
In the miracle of the hailstones, the Lord assisted a weary army. Remember, they had hiked all night, twenty-five miles uphill; engaged in hand-to-hand combat through most of the day; then pursued the Amorite army, which was in flight, down through this narrow mountain pass. So God providentially sent in reinforcements of heavenly artillery, machine-gun fire of hailstones. These hailstones were sort of like the "smart" bombs in that they hit only Amorite soldiers. The text says that there were more Amorites killed by hail than by the weaponry of the Israelite army.
God gives supernatural resources to us when we are maintaining covenant relationship with him and with those who have come to Him. We are our brothers’ keepers. We cannot fall prey to the Amorite spirit that will separate us from our brethren. Victory is assured.
In verses 16-27 Joshua finds out that the five kings have escaped and are holed up in a cave. This was a cowardly, almost treasonous act that these kings committed. They abandoned their troops, ran together to protect their own lives, and hid in a cave. Joshua performed the public ceremony of pulling them out of the cave and having his generals put their feet on the necks of these kings. This ceremony gave added encouragement and strength to his soldiers; but it also provided a very important spiritual conclusion.
The victories that they have accomplished at Jericho, Ai, and Gibeon gave them control of the central part of the land of Canaan, but they still had ahead of them a difficult, extended campaign. There were many more battles to fight; and Joshua wanted to remind his troops that the Lord was going to continue to give them victory throughout the land as long as they actually fought. So the actions of Joshua in executing these five kings contained powerful symbolism for the nation and for us today: complete the warfare and the victory is guaranteed.
We can fight with absolute confidence that Jesus Christ, as our commanding general will ultimately triumph over the forces of sin and death and hell.
Victorious Christian living is possible through Jesus. Victory means putting to death the enemy not just humiliating him or making a public spectacle of him. The question is not, “Why do we have to execute the flesh?"
Our flesh is in violent opposition to God's work, and if not destroyed it will come back to try to conquer us again.
When the Amorite kings felt threatened, they attacked their own brethren. Just as when our flesh feels threatened, it will attack us. That’s why new converts often feel that they cannot win. They are most often attacked by an enemy they didn’t anticipate…their own flesh.
Without assistance or defense they won’t survive.
We can’t baby them or counsel their flesh; we must destroy what is attempting to destroy them. The time for mercy for the flesh is past; we can’t allow the flesh to skulk in a cave. It has to be slain.
In a similar way, we're called to examine the cave of our own life (the things nobody else may know about) and ask ourselves, "What things in resistance to God's purpose are still skulking in our lives? What fleshly, destructive tendencies that are empowered by Satan are planning to undermine who we are called to be in Jesus Christ?" We must be willing to submit to the crucifixion of self if we want to enjoy victory in Jesus Christ. We can't leave Amorite spirits lurking in the hidden recesses of our hearts. We must utterly destroy them.