“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God.
(Deuteronomy 25:17-18 ESV)
The Amalekites. You remember them, right? The Israelites were fresh out of Egypt, they were able to cross the Red Sea and God gave them manna. Things seem to be settling down. Then, the surprise attack from the Amalekites. Who can forget the epic battle from Exodus 17? As long as Moses’ arms were up, Israel won. When his arms came down, they were defeated. So Aaron and Hur help up Moses’ arms and they won that very first battle.
Today as I ponder the above verses and thought about these sneaky Amalekites, I found wisdom from three great men ~ all named Charles.
The first treasure is from Charles Ward Smith aka Pastor Chuck Smith:
In his commentary on this passage, Pastor Chuck said that “Amalek is a type of the flesh. Here God’s people, the spiritual seed is coming in to take the land, but the flesh is the first thing that moves in the way to stop them, and to hinder them from going in and taking, and possessing that which God has promised to give to them. One of the biggest barriers to our receiving the full promises of God for our lives is our flesh. The flesh is always warring against the spirit. Our flesh would keep us from entering into the fullness of God’s promises, and into the fullness of God’s blessings. Amalek came out to meet them, the picture of the flesh, and fought with them.”
That is true, isn’t it? In our journey of sanctification where God is cleaning out remnants of our Egypt, our flesh will not easily give in. And it sneaks in just as we are getting comfortable and think that all is well.
The second treasure is from Charles H. Spurgeon circa 1866. I had to read it twice to understand what he was saying. My mind is not used to hearing these words in everyday conversation. (But don’t you secretly wish we could go back to talking like this again? No? Just me? Or is it I?)
Israel was assailed in a quarter which was unguarded because unlikely to be attacked. In the [Dt 25:17, 18] we find that Amalek fell upon the rear of the host. The hindmost must have seemed to themselves to be the most secure, for Pharaoh’s host had been destroyed, and what further was there to fear? The weak and feeble came slowly on, at perfect ease, never so much as suspecting the existence of a foe; the van, I have no doubt, they kept well protected, for they knew not what hands might interrupt their onward march, but the rear they thought might be left exposed, and there it was the foe attacked them.
Christian man, wherever thou dost diminish thy caution, there, will the foe be upon thee. When thou sayest to thyself, “My mountain standeth firm;” I shall never be moved,” concerning such and such a thing, it is there that thou art most likely to fall. We are strongest usually when we fancy ourselves weakest because we take the matter to God, and weakest where we dream that we are strongest because we refrain from prayer. It will be observed, I think, in most Christians’ experience that God has left them to see their weakness, where they themselves reckoned that no Weakness could have been perceptible. Let us then set a watch all around, and ask the Lord to be a wall of fire around us, and a glory in the midst.
This attack of Amalek was rendered the more dangerous because it was on a sudden. It seems that Amalek caught them in ambush, and fell upon them without notice. There was no regular proclamation of war, no pitching of the battle, no sending out of skirmishers and scouts, but the enemy fell upon them on a sudden like a gang of banditti.
Just so will sin do with you and me. If the devil would send me a notice when he means to tempt me, I might readily contend with him and defeat him, but this he will never do. He will not tell you whether or not to-morrow he will tempt you in your business; this is not his way of hunting for his game: “Surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird.” He will, if possible, take you unawares, and before you can put on your armor his arrows will sorely wound you. We are not ignorant of his devices (2Co 2:11). Well did the Master say, “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch!” And oh! with what vigilance, what holy diligence must you and I watch against the windings and twistings of the old serpent, who will, if possible, bite our heels or insinuate his venom into our hearts.
Spurgeon on “War with Amalek” thru Precept Austin
Just like Spurgeon said, the devil, the inconsiderate guy that he is, will not give us a notice on when he will attack.
The third Charles comes with an answer on when it is most likely to happen. Meet Pastor Charles Stanley:
You are most vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy when you are hungry, angry, lonely and tired (H.A.L.T.).
Foolishness of some kind often results when people give in to stress placed on body and mind. These “earthly vessels” are more vulnerable than we think. That’s why Christians shouldn’t make snap judgments when feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. In those states, we are particularly at risk of making bad decisions with no lasting gain.
Craving immediate gratification makes for poor decision making. We need time to weigh a situation’s merits and drawbacks. And we must consider potential long-term outcomes, particularly if there might be an eternal impact. Sometimes that process takes a few minutes, but in other cases, we might have to deliberate and seek God’s guidance for weeks or months.
Satan is always on the lookout for a gap in the Christian soldier’s spiritual armor, but physical, mental, and emotional vulnerabilities prove handy for his cause as well. Do not give the Evil One a toehold! Keep yourself fed, rational, in good company, and rested. Then you are prepared to make godly judgments on the spot rather than thinking of them in retrospect.”
Thank you, Father, for giving us wisdom through these three men spread thru the ages (how timeless is Your Word!) on how to be on the watch for the enemy. You have warned us that the enemy attacks when we least expect it and to be careful when we are feeling hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Thank you for equipping us and never ever leaving alone. May we win our battles and may our lives honor You today and everyday until we see You face to face.
[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]