Thoughts of...Amalekite at the Cross
In a few days we Christians will observe the most profound day in the history of man. The day that the Creator of the universe willingly and lovingly allowed His beloved creatures to curse, mock, insult, beat, humiliate, mutilate, and crucify Him. One thousand nine hundred and thirty years ago Jesus Christ elected to stay on that Cross and die for the sins of man rather than to call down legions of angels in heaven to exterminate the vermin called humanity (Matt 26:53). Despite our rabid fury, man did not kill Jesus; the finite mortal cannot take the life of the Infinite Immortal. No, the Giver of Life gave His life so that we might by His grace receive His life and be transformed into children of God. (John 10:14-18, John 1:12, John 3:16)
How will you observe this day? I have a suggestion.
The promise of the Messiah to come was given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob had a twin brother named Esau. Esau was a man more concerned about the desires of his flesh than he was of the need of his spirit. He was totally governed by the lusts of his flesh. So, not too surprisingly, he preferred a bowl of homemade soup to his birthright of the firstborn son (Gen 25:31-34).
Esau’s brother Jacob, even though he was a real scoundrel, finally surrendered to God’s will in his life and, coming to a personal faith in the Word of God, was re-named Israel, meaning “governed by God.” Absolutely not governed by God, Esau is a model in the Scriptures of the flesh, our sinful, lustful human nature. We read of what God feels about these two boys (and the two natures they represent) in Malachi 1:1-3. These two brothers were in constant conflict.
Esau had children, one of which had a son named Amalek (Gen 36:12). Like father, like son. The conflict between the fathers (Esau and Israel) is carried on by the sons.
Amalek starts his unending hostility toward Israel when Moses and the 12 tribes of Israel appear in their exodus from Egypt (Ex 17:8). The Amalekites attack the procession of Jews in the rear, where all the sick and weak and elderly are struggling to keep up. Moses and Israel, directed by God, Who is the Defender of the weak and the oppressed, fight back. Joshua (meaning “Jehovah is salvation” and the Hebrew form of the Greek name “Jesus”) leads the attack. As long as Moses’ arms are raised, Israel “has the upper hand”, as it were. The momentum of the battle shifts to the Amalekites when Moses tires and lowers his arms. Moses saw how the Lord was working and recruited help to hold up his arms. Thus, Israel defeated the Amalekites. At the end of the battle, God promised His people that He would completely destroy this vile people (Ex 17:14-16).
About 600 years later, the Lord commands the first king of Israel, Saul, to completely wipe out the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:1-3). Saul, a prideful and self-centered man who listened more to his flesh than he did the Word of God, did not do as God commanded. This disobedience by Saul resulted in the kingdom being ripped from him and given to David (1 Sam 15:14-23), and, ultimately, in his death – at the hand of an Amalekite (2 Sam 1:1-16) !