|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts
Involved in Issues at Hand
1) War With Amalek
2) The Strong Man
3) A Short Note
In this passage we have several important Biblical truths
presented: first, we see the promise of an ongoing battle between
the Kingdom of God on earth and the kingdoms of the anti christ
governments of all ages. Second, we see the proper place of prayer
and action in this continual conflict. Third, we find instructions
and precautions that God's people must take in this continual
battle. Fourth, we see an assurance of Amalek's defeat. All of
these Biblical truths and more are exemplified in this account
of the firs encounter with Amalek.
Then came Amalek.. Israel had been miraculously
delivered from Egyptian bondage; Egypt had been destroyed; three
times Israel had murmured against the Lord and against His servant
Moses; then came Amalek.. The people had murmured and complained
against God and His servant man Moses, so now the Lord will send
someone against them to justify their murmurs and complaints.
Amalek's attack is recorded in Num 24:20, Deut 25:17-19; 1 Sam
15 records King Saul's failure to completely carry out the war
against Amalek as commanded by the Lord.
Amalek's attack shows us a couple things: first, our God
is sufficient for every situation which arises; He indeed is a
very present help in trouble, and second, murmuring and complaining
against God and His divine providence in our lives will attract
to us the enemies of God.
Amalek was a grandson of Esau, a very wicked man who hated
God and chose the flesh over the spirit, Gen. 36:12, He 12:16.
Although the standard interpretation of Exodus 17 explains Amalek
as a type of the flesh, let us consider another thought about
It is important to note three things here: first, this
was the first time the Lord instructed anyone to record anything.
Second, the Lord warned His people about what they must expect
in the future. Third, the Lord gave His people the Divine command
to carry on a continual war against Amalek, Ex 17:14-16.
Thus, when His people are not engaged in the war against Amalek,
they are blind to reality and in open rebellion against the clear
instructions of God (as was Saul).
Amalek, who is he?
Then came Amalek, and fought.. is applied as a warning
of the continual warfare experienced by every child of God against
the flesh (cf. 1 Jn 2:16). Moreover, it is used as a warning of
especially severe attacks by the enemy after a great victory or
deliverance by the Lord. Many new Christians are surprised by
the sudden, furious and determined attack of the enemy against
them, resulting in their discouragement and yielding to the enemy.
(Some teach that if one becomes a Christian, he will be freed
from the continual battle. Such heresy makes one virtually defenseless
because the conflict, which will come, will find him unprepared.
Furthermore, the image of Christ is only formed in His people
through trials, tribulations and distressing circumstances of
The truth of the
But the above understanding of Amalek is
only an application of the continuing war with Amalek. Amalek,
we are told by the inspired prophecy of Balaam, was the first
nation (ie. civil government) to, without provocation, deliberately
and expressly, move against God's people with the intent to destroy
them because they were God's people. Balaam makes it clear that
Amalek represents for all ages the move of ungodly civil governments
and world powers against the people of God, Num 24:20.
Thus, in Amalek we are assured that ungodly kingdoms of
this world will wage a continual unsuccessful warfare against
the Kingdom of God on earth.
According to Keil
In Amalek the heathen world commenced that conflict with the
people of God, which, while it aims at their destruction, can
only be terminated by the complete annihilation of the ungodly
powers of the world. (Vol II, p 78.)
Furthermore, Edersheim comments here
"Amalek the firstfruits of the heathen" (the beginning
of the Gentile power and hostility), "but his latter end
even to destruction.." It was the first attack of the kingdoms
of this world upon the kingdom of God, and as such it is typical
of all that have followed. (Vol II, p 101, 2.)
Balaam prophesied of the coming King who shall smite the
enemies of His covenant-people, Num 24:17. Next, Balaam
prophesied the covenant-people shall do valiantly through their
King, v. 18. Balaam then prophesied their King shall
have dominion over all nations and tongues and shall destroy
the remains of His enemies, v. 19. Then in v. 20,
Balaam prophesied against Amalek himself: Amalek shall perish
for ever because he struck Israel from the rear, against the
stragglers, tired, faint and feeble, Deut 15:19.
Israel's first offensive act after settling in Canaan was
to move against Amalek. After Saul's victory over the Philistines,
the Lord through Samuel told Saul to destroy Amalek and all his
possessions; the Lord delivered Amalek into Israel's hands, but
Saul spared Amalek's king Agag and the best of the "treasure"
from their God- given victory for the people of Israel. When Samuel
confronted Saul over his disobedience, Saul blamed the people:
"The people spared the best of Amalek so they could better
serve the Lord." Samuel was not fooled by Saul's false piety,
and told Saul that it was not the people but Saul's own pride
that spared Agag and the spoil. Furthermore, the result of Saul's
pride would be the removal of the kingdom of Israel from him.
Samuel then killed Agag.
As a result of Saul's refusal to claim the victory over
Amalek, Samuel made his now-famous statement: For rebellion
is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and
idolatry, 1 Sam 15:23. When we compare 1 Sam
17:19 with v. 23, we find that witchcraft is practiced
any time a person chooses his own way over the way of the Lord
as revealed in His word. In Saul's case, the word of God was clearly
spoken by Moses that the Lord would have continual war with
Amalek from generation to generation; Saul refused to carry
that war to its victorious conclusion when he had the both command
and opportunity to do so. (We should note that it was an Amalekite
who went to David and, in hope of a reward, claimed to have killed
Saul. His reward was that he lost his life based upon his claim;
he was snared by the words of his mouth, and his blood was upon
his own head.)
Amalek's move against Israel is the first time we have
a record of the Lord telling anyone to record anything. Moses
was specifically told that the purpose of the written record was
for rehearsal in the ears of Joshua. Thus, the Lord warns and
prepares His people for the continual conflict with Amalek with
His written word, Ex 17:14-16. Amalek..
He appears throughout history in any expressed effort to destroy
the covenant-people; he is the spirit behind pagan civil governments'
efforts to destroy Christianity within their lands (John identifies
him as that spirit of antichrist, 1 Jn 4). Today he is
identified with Humanism (in all its ugly forms from the pulpit
to the center of civil government) and its total unprovoked war
against the law and people of God.
The margin for Ex 17:16 reads, Because the hand
of Amalek is against the throne of the Lord.. Therefore, in
Amalek we see the heathen raging against the Lord and His Christ
(Psalms 2 opens with, Why do the heathen rage and the
people imagine a vain thing?). Amalek cannot overthrow the
throne of God, so his effort is against the people of God.
There is a terrible warfare going on, and Amalek picks
off the stragglers, tired, faint, weak, weary, feeble and the
uninformed of God's people. Even though the Lord warned of
the continual conflict with Amalek, the vast majority of God's
people, because of their leaders' inability to bark (Isa
56:10), do not even know they are in a bloody life and death struggle
with spiritual wickedness in high places, Ep 6:12.
Through Moses, God commands His people to be actively engaged
against the ungodly Amalekites of all ages; Humanism is to be
challenged and war waged against it everywhere it is found: the
home, schools, churches, occupation, civil government, &c.
Moses tells us in Ex 15:3, that The Lord is a man of
war: He is at war against Egypt; He is at war against Amalek,
and He carries out His warfare through His people. When His people
refuse to become involved in the continuing warfare against Amalek,
they are refusing to get involved in God's warfare against His
enemies. They are then included with Saul who refused to claim
the victory over Amalek: For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
The battle rages
We see examine Moses' sending Joshua to lead God's people
into the fray against Amalek, we see the proper combination of
prayer and action:
First, Joshua is the OT spelling of Jesus (cf Acts 7:45;
Heb 4:8); therefore, we are shown Jesus fighting the battle against
Amalek, cf. Ps 2. ("Jehovah is help" Evidently Moses
changed Oshea's name for this event, and he shows us the we must
not attempt to fight the good fight in our own strength,
Num 13:8. Furthermore, Joshua is the OT type of Jesus, not Moses.
We can all identify with Joshua, but who can identify with the
greatest of men, Moses? Joshua was exalted from being a faithful
servant of Moses; anyone can be a faithful servant.) Joshua puts
on the whole armour of God and enters victoriously into the
Second, unlike the destruction of Egypt in the Red Sea,
this battle required Israel's involvement to destroy Amalek. Furthermore,
success was only granted as Israel fought under the banner of
Third, Moses commanded Joshua into the battle; therefore,
the battle is waged at and by the command of Moses. The victory
is available over Amalek, but the victory will be according to
the words of Moses. Joshua could not fight without Moses behind
him. In other words, Joshua cannot be cut off from Moses if there
is going to be victory over Amalek. As long as 20th century Christian
warfare against Amalek remains separated from the words of Moses,
victory is impossible. God's victory is through the application
of the law of Moses. (Did not Christ come in obedience to the
law of Moses? Are we not to do all things according to the command-word
as given through Moses? Cf. Jos 1:5-9; Mt 28:19, 20; 1 Cor 1:18.)
The air-waves are full of professed "men of God"
who claim to be fighting the battles of the Lord, but they have
cut off their source of strength, the words of Moses. Like Saul
and his people of old, they are enamored of the "treasures"
of this world; they feel they can serve God with the worldly treasures
of human understanding, wisdom, philosophy and psychology. They
do not apply Moses to the situation; rather, they apply their
own observations and wisdom. Their defeat is assured at the hands
of Amalek because they are going against him in the arm of
the flesh, which, by the way, has God's curse against it
Fourth, Moses goes up on the top of the hill to pray while
Joshua fights the battle; therefore, prayer was necessary. As
long as Moses lifted up his hands there was victory, but prayer
could not be separated from active engagement against the enemy
according to the command of Moses. Scripture records far more
times when action is required over prayer (cf. Ex 14:15, Jos 7:10),
than it records times when prayer is required over action. This
tells us that God is a God of action; we must put action to our
prayers. How many times have we heard (and used) the lame ungodly
excuse, "I'll pray for you" when it comes time to confront
Amalek? Many "Christians" seem to feel that prayer alone
is sufficient or is all God requires of them for victory over
Amalek. Obviously, Israel would have been annihilated if all they
did was send Moses up to the mount to pray. Clearly today, prayer
more often than not, is used to justify unbelief and slothfulness.
If "Christians" do not get up off their face (as the
Lord told Joshua) and get involved, Amalek will win. Furthermore,
God will use anti-Christ Amalek to judge His people's rebellion
in refusing to confront Amalek.
1 Timothy 2:2 tells us to pray for those in authority,
but prayer without active engagement against Amalek (Humanism
in all its many forms which is intent on destroying Christianity
and Bible based law), is rebellion against the command of God.
(We would define "engagement" as something like salt's
effect on a wound or against corruption, Mt 5:13-16.) Thus we
see that godly prayer must be accompanied with godly action.
Fifth, the help of others is also needed. There was a bloody
battle to be fought, for which Joshua needed an army; there were
petitions to be presented to God, for which Moses needed Aaron
and Hur. A person cannot wage an effective warfare against Amalek
Sixth, Joshua did not totally destroy Amalek (nor did Saul),
so Moses is commanded to record Amalek's wickedness and the resulting
war. The record was to be rehearsed in the ears of Joshua,
not necessarily in the ears of the people. The leaders of
God's people are the ones who must be made aware of the details
of what took place because they must train and lead God's people
in the continuing warfare against Amalek.
Seventh, Moses built an altar, and called the name of
it Jehovah-nissi, "The Lord by Banner." Banner
speaks of united orderly warfare; it speaks of following a Captain
into war, The Lord is a man of war, Ex 15:3. The
Lord overthrew Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and He provides Joshua
victory over Amalek.
Eighth, note that Egypt was not considered a perpetual
enemy of the covenant-people; God did not command a continual
war against Egypt, from generation to generation, as He
commanded against Amalek. Though the nation of Amalek is no longer
with us as such, his spirit of unprovoked hatred toward God and
His people is still very much alive; therefore, the Lord will
have war with Amalek from generation to generation. The warfare
against the ungodly antichrist spirit of our day is a continuation
of Moses' and Joshua's war against Amalek.
Ninth, clearly the Christian life for God is a life of
continual warfare; it is a warfare against Amalek.
The Lord gave His people His Divine command to carry on
a continual war against Amalek until Amalek is annihilated by
God's power. Consequently, when they follow Saul's example and
refuse to claim and work for the victory over Amalek, when they
fail to engage Amalek in warfare according to the words of Moses,
they are in open rebellion against God: virtual witchcraft!
Tenth, the victory over Amalek has been assured, but there
must be hard, disciplined and sacrificial battle in the might
of the Lord. We are more than conquerors through him that loved
us, and nothing can separate us from the victory over Amalek
except our lack of active faith. Are we not more than conquerors
through Him that Loved us and gave Himself for us? (Cf. Num
24:20; Rom 8:37; 1 Jn 5:4. If one does not believe that Amalek
can be overcome, can the victory of 1 Jn be claimed?)
The reason antichrist leaders of 20th century nations have
so much power is because God's people have followed Saul's example:
they are more interested in "spoiling" Amalek than in
claiming his territory for God; Agag and the best has been spared
under the guise of "serving God" and loving God's enemies
(people love the enemies of God more than they love God).
Only a willfully blind person (or Amalek's "lap-dog")
would say that a civil government made up of unregenerate men
will not in time move against God's kingdom on earth. Did not
the Lord assure us that He would have continual war against Amalek?
How can one fail to see that Amalek is not "kicking up his
heals" against God's kingdom?
Balaam's prophecies still stand; the people of God shall
do valiantly through their King if they will: 1) realize they
are involved in an ongoing battle to the death against Amalek
(Humanism); 2) keep the proper balance between prayer and action;
3) take the proper precautions concerning the wiles of Amalek
(cf. Eph 6); and remain confident of the final inhalation of Amalek
by the rightful king, King Jesus.
Even though the present and foreseeable future commands
and promises a continual conflict against Amalek, we have a wonderful
prospect for the future.
And so it ever is: Amalek opposes the advance of Israel; Israel
must fight, but the victory is God's; Israel holds the rod of
almighty power in the hand of faith; but that rod must ever be
uplifted toward heaven in present application for the blessing
secured by covenant-promise. (Edersheim)
As we consider the Biblical law concerning a thief, we
see that the word of god requires the godly to protect his person,
family and property.
1. The thief, if caught without what he stole in his hand,
is to restore: 1) five-fold (five returned for the one taken)
for an ox; 2) four-fold for a sheep. The ox represents the farmer's
living and would be difficult to train as a work animal. On the
other hand, the sheep would not require the investment and effort
to train as did the ox; thus, the different value in restoration.
In other words, the tools of one's trade are worth the greatest
amount to the owner, so they require more restitution. A comparison
in our farming community would be the farmer who has a beef and
a tractor stolen; the beef requires the thief to restore 4 times
its value and the tractor requires restoration of 5 times its
value (see also Pro. 6:31).
2. On the other hand, if what the thief stole is found
alive and well in his possession, he restores double to the owner.
The law here is much easer on the thief if what he stole remains
in his possession because he stole for his own use, not for profit.
Furthermore, the owner has his own goods returned to him, thus
minimizing his loss.
3. If the thief is caught and is unable to make the required
restitution, he is sold to pay off the debt. The thief must be
repaid if necessary with the person himself.
There was no way to avoid lawful restitution; even if this
requires the thief being sold to pay for his theft, it had to
be paid. The rest of Exodus 22 builds upon this basic law of restitution:
returning to the owner what is removed from him by thief or carelessness.
It is important to note that restitution is to the owner, not
to the state. But when the state claims to be god, owner of heaven
and earth, it will demand restitution for all crimes to itself
with no consideration to the victim.
4. If the thief is caught breaking in at night, he can
be killed with no guilt on the killer's part; the killer would
not even have to go to the city of refuge. In the dark, the intruder's
intentions are unknown; the person may be armed with murder in
his heart, so the Lord doesn't require the one protecting his
property to check first. But if the thief is killed in the light,
then the killer is guilty of murder because the thief's intentions
can be more plainly seen. Moreover, whatever force is necessary
can be used for self- protection.
The Lord Jesus clearly placed His approval upon this law
when He said, When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his
goods are in peace, Lk 11:21. The next verse is interesting:
But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome
him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and
divideth his spoils. (Ff. Matt 12:29; Mk 3:27, three of the
four gospels.) Observe these two clear references:
A) The strong man, the devil, Eph 2:2; 6:12. The
head of the house, the dad, must be strong in the Lord, or his
family will be victims of the enemy, and dad will be held accountable.
B) The stronger man cannot be restricted to a spiritual
strong man protecting his household against its strong spiritual
enemies. The Lord clearly refers to the law of Moses which speaks
of an individual's right to use whatever force necessary to protect
his goods from a physical intruder, Exodus 22:1-4. Furthermore,
the implication is that the stronger the "intruder,"
the stronger the householder must be.
1 Timothy 5:8, tells us that if the householder
does not provide for those he is responsible for, he is worse
than an infidel [without faith or trust]. Thayer lists
several implications under infidel: 1) Thomas disbelieving
the news of the resurrection of Jesus, Jn 20:27; 2) those who
refuse belief in the gospel, 1 Cor 6:6; 3) its usage in 1 Tim
5:8 holds the added idea of impiety and wickedness, 2 Cor 6:14
sq.; 4) it contains the thought of a Christian denying the faith
as in Titus 1:15. Point 4 brings to mind James' words: But
be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your
own selves, 1:22, & For as the body without the
spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also, 2:26.
(Thus, faith without works makes one an infidel.)
Thus, if we follow our Lord's words through and based (as
was His every thought, word and deed) upon the law of Moses, we
see that God requires the godly householder to use whatever force
is needed to protect his house and those under his authority from
those with evil intentions against him and his household. Furthermore,
those who do not take every precaution necessary to protect their
homes from both the spiritual and physical intruder from any source
are worse than those who have denied faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The above gives us these two points in conclusion:
First, restitution to the owner by the thief is required
for a godly society to exist. Second, part of faithfulness to
the law-word of God is obedience to the requirement for the householder
do all that is humanly possible to protect those under his authority
from the intended evil of the wicked (men or spirits). These two
points are essential to a godly society.
An excuse we hear today for not getting involved against
evil in high places is that because the heart of the king is
in the hand of the Lord, there is no need to get involved:
"The Lord will take care of everything without our involvement,
so we can go do our thing while He moves in the kings heart."
We are shown something quite different in the actions of David
when Absalom usurped the thrown.
2 Sam 17:14, Absalom and all the men with him loved
the idea of a great battle in which they could show their strength,
and besides, they could prove that the Lord was truly on their
side. So they accepted Hushai's counsel over the good counsel
Observe: 1) it was of the Lord that Absalom took
the bad counsel. Again we see the hand of God in everything: it
is of the Lord that we receive good or bad counsel; it is of the
Lord that we accept good or bad counsel. On the national scene:
the Lord could cause the wicked men in authority to take bad counsel
to their own destruction just as easily as He did here with Absalom.
In fact, we can rest assured that the Lord is not inactive in
national affairs; He is at work in the hearts of all the leaders
of all the nations, including Clinton, accomplishing His will
2) It is very obvious here that, though Hushai was a great
man who knew and used the character of a person to that person's
own destruction, all of Hushai's wise words would have been wasted
were it not for the hand of God. In other words, it was not Hushai's
way with words, though it was excellent, which swayed Absalom;
rather, it was the hand of the Lord.
3) Though David was reaping the result of his past sins,
he still knew he had to do something to put a stop to the usurper.
4) Neither David nor Hushai could have left the situation
totally up to the Lord by not doing what they could, Prov 21:1.
An excuse we hear today for not getting involved against evil
in high places or involved in sticky issues is that because the
heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, there is no
need to get involved: The Lord will take care of everything without
our involvement, so we can go do our thing while He moves in the
kings heart. ("I believe in the sovereignty of God."
Did not David and Hushai?)
We are clearly shown here with David and Hushai that the
child of God must do all he can against evil every place he finds
it. If he leaves the bad situations in the hands of the Lord with
no effort on his part to do something, he is guilty of presumption.
He must do all he can, then leave the results in the Lord's hands.
We are required by God to be actively involved for Godliness and
against evil in every area. Then it is up to the divine providence
of our Sovereign God to work it out for His good pleasure.
We are seeing the hand of the Lord all around us in judgment
against "followers" of the King who have refused to
get involved and are leaving it all up to the hand of the Lord.
The result is that the Absaloms of this world, the ones who have
usurped the kingdoms of this world from their rightful King, are
in hot successful pursuit against the followers of the King. One
day though, the Spirit will work in the hearts of the true followers
of King Jesus, and they will get some backbone and stand up to
Absalom. Then the usurpers of this world will be overthrown by
the Spirit of God, and the rightful King restored to His rightful
place over all the nations.
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