Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Exodus 17:16

Exodus 17:16

For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

1. “For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn…”

a. The marginal reading says, “Because the hand of Amalek is against the throne of the LORD, therefore the hand upon the throne of the LORD will have war with Amalek…”

b. Amplified Bible: “And he said, Because theirs is a hand against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

c. Chumash: “Moses declared that God had sworn by placing His hand on His throne, as it were, that He would continue the war against Amalek forever, until the memory of that evil nation is obliterated.”

1). What a powerful word picture is given by these words. God placed his hand on His throne and swore an oath! This reminds me of a paragraph out of Pink’s, Exposistion of Hebrews, which is very fitting here.

a). Exposition of Hebrews, Arthur Pink, Baker Book House, 1986, p. 341. “The assurance which was given to Abraham was the greatest that Heaven itself could afford: a promise and an oath. We say the greatest, for in v. 16, the Apostle declares that amongst men an “oath” is an end of strife; how much more when the great God Himself takes one! Moreover, observe He sware “by Himself”: He staked Himself; it was as though He had said, I will cease to be God if I do not perform this. The Lord pledged His veracity, declared the event should be as certain as His existence.”

2). If the LORD would not be faithful on this oath of removing Amalek/the flesh from his people, then He would cease to be God!

2. “…that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

a. A powerful lesson is shown in 1 Samuel where we see that Saul, Israel’s first king was rejected by God because of his failure to obey the commandments of God, in particular, his failure to destroy Amalek.

1). 1 Samuel 15:1-28 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.

And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.

And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

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 every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

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.

And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.

And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.

And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

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?

And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

a). Saul was rejected from being king of Israel because of his disobedience. God considered his disobedience to be a “rejection of the word of God”. Since Amalek is a type of the flesh, this leads me to believe that our failure to get the flesh out of our lives will result in our failing to achieve what God wants to do in our lives.

b). Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

b. Another lesson that might possibly be linked directly to Saul’s failure is what happened during a time centuries later, when Israel was in exile in Persia during Esther’s life. A very demonic plan was set in motion and came very close to being carried out, to kill every Jew in the Persian kingdom. The plan was being implemented by a person named Haman. Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalakites.

1). Esther 3:1-6 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?

Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

c. Haman was a direct descendant of Agag. It seems to me that this threat would not have occurred at all if Saul would have been faithful to the commandment of God in 1 Samuel 15. Josephus writes centuries later in his Antiquities of the Jews, that Haman’s attempt was because the Jews had tried to wipe out the Amalakites.

1). Antiquities of the Jews , Book XI, Chapter 6, Paragraph 5. “Now there was one Haman, the son of Amedatha, by birth an Amalekite, that used to go in to the king; and the foreigners and Persians worshipped him, as Artaxerxes had commanded that such honor should be paid to him; but Mordecai was so wise, and so observant of his own country's laws, that he would not worship the man. When Haman observed this, he inquired whence he came; and when he understood that he was a Jew, he had indignation at him, and said within himself, that whereas the Persians, who were free men, worshipped him, this man, who was no better than a slave, does not vouchsafe to do so. And when he desired to punish Mordecai, he thought it too small a thing to request of the king that he alone might be punished; he rather determined to abolish the whole nation, for he was naturally an enemy to the Jews, because the nation of the Amalekites, of which he was; had been destroyed by them.”

Exodus 17:15

Exodus 17:15
And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:
1. “And Moses built an altar…”
a. Initially the Lord told Moses to write the account of what happened so the event could be rehearsed in the ears of Joshua. Then the Lord coupled that with the swearing of an oath concerning the eradication of Amalek. I can’t help but believe that it moved Moses to build the altar as a memorial to the miraculous provision of God.
2. “…and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:”
a. Chumash: “Moses built an altar and called its name “HASHEM is My Miracle”;”
b. Unger;s Bible Dictionary, “Jehovah my banner”
c. This is one of the seven Redemptive Names of God
1). Jehovah-Jireh: "the Lord will provide" (Genesis 22:13,14). i.e., will provide a sacrifice.
2). Jehovah-Rapha: "the Lord that healeth" (Exodus 15:26).
3). Jehovah-Nissi: "the Lord our banner" (Exodus 17:8-15).
4). Jehovah-Shalom: "the Lord our peace," or "the Lord send peace" (Judges 6:24).

5). Jehovah-Ra-ah: "the Lord my shepherd" (Psalm 23.).

6). Jehovah-Tsidkenu: "the Lord our righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:6).

7). Jehovah-Shammah: "the Lord is present" (Ezekiel 48:35).
3. “…Jehovah-Nissi.”
a. Jehovah-Nissi means the Lord my Banner.
1). Psalm 20:5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.

Exodus 17:12, 13

Exodus 17:12, 13

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.

a. These verses are a powerful lesson about praying for our leaders because as they are flesh and blood, they get tired and weary also. We need to uphold them in prayer.

b. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2 concerning the responsibility of Christians to pray for their leaders. What we do not want to miss is that , the exhortation is given after a warning concerning two individuals who had been excommunicated for their blasphemy.

1). 1 Timothy 1:19-2:2 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Exodus 17:14

Exodus 17:14

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.

1. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua…”

a. write [3789 * kathab] [Strong: to write, inscribe, describe.]

b. memorial [2146 * zikrown] [Strong: a memorable thing, day or writing, memorial, record.] [AMG: This word conveys the essential quality of remembering something in the past that has particular significance.]

c. book[5612 * siprah] [AMG: a writing, document, a book, scroll.]

1). One Jewish tradition says this book is the Torah since the commandment to exterminate Amalek is recorded in Deuteronomy 25:17-19. Another Jewish tradition says this book is The Book of Hashem’s Wars, mentioned in Numbers 21:14 which is no longer around. (Chumash, p393, Note 14.)

d. rehearse [7760 * suwm or siym] [Strong: to put, appoint, change, preserve, rehearse…] [AMG; The primary meaning of the verb is to put, to set, or to place.]

e. The events of the battle with Amalek were to be written down as a memorial so that they could be rehearsed in Joshua’s ears. Rereading memorials or things that God has done in our lives will stir us up spiritually and establish us in our walk and relationship with Jesus.

1). 2 Peter 1:12, 13 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

2). Our giving and our prayers come up for memorials before God and in effect he rewards them. In Cornelius’s example it led to the salvation of his whole family and household.

a). Acts 10:1-4 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

b). Matthew 6:3-6 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

3). The Lord has a book of remembrance that He has caused to be written for Himself about His people concerning their faithfulness to which He will reward them accordingly.

a). Malachi 3:16, 17 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

4). What more powerful examples can be shown to inspire us to pray, give and be obedient to the Most High God.

2. “…for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”

a. It appears to me that Exodus 17:15, 16, the next two verses are a result and a further description of this statement of God.

b. To “put out the remembrance of” means remove the memory of. It reminds me of other verses.

1). Psalm 9:5, 6 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

c. I can’t help but believe though that this particular action on the part of God, the fact He swore with an oath elevates this particular removing from memory from others.