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.”