“And Moses built an altar and called the name Yehovah-Nissi.”
The nation of Israel had been delivered from the hand of Pharaoh and the land of Egypt by the mighty hand of God. He led them into the wilderness, trapped them between the Red Sea and the army of Pharaoh and, making a most spectacular manifestation of His power, brought them forth, dry shod, across the floor of the sea. He delivered them from bondage and showed them the destruction of their enemies. He then turned this company of 600,000 freed slaves from Elim (trees) into the wilderness of Sin (thorns and clay). Here just 15 days from their delivery the people of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron because they had no food. God heard their cries and rained down ‘Manna’ from the heaven and fed His children all the days of their journey. Yet in the midst of this marvelous miracle some were still disobedient and gathered more than they needed, others did not gather twice as much on the sixth day and still more attempted to gather on Shabbat. Still God continued to feed this wandering nation, “and the children of Israel did eat Manna forty years until they came to a land inhabited. They did eat Manna until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan” (Ex. 16:35).
The nation then traveled into the land of Rephidim (resting place) and there they pitched tents and rested. But the water here was bitter (Meribah) and could not be drunk. Therefore the people once again murmured (Massah) against Moses and Moses cried unto Yehovah. God heard their cry again and went before them to stand upon the Rock at Horeb (desert). Here He commanded Moses to strike the Rock with his rod; “And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel” and water came out of the Rock to quench the thirst of the people. (And that Rock was Anointed I Cor. 10:4)
Now without warning or provocation, Amalek came up and fought with Israel at the resting place. Israel was not a warring nation and they had no weapons or military training yet this nation of ‘valley dwellers’ (Amalek) engaged them in battle. They had just finished 450 years of captivity and privation and now, for no apparent reason, in the middle of the desert, a people unknown to them comes upon them to do battle with the children of Israel.
Moses instructed Joshua to choose up men and go out and fight Amalek tomorrow and Joshua did as Moses had said unto him. Moses, Aaron and Hur went up into the mountain with the rod of God in Moses’ hand and the battle was engaged. When the hands of Moses were held high, Joshua and the children of Israel prevailed, but when his hands were heavy and let down, Amalek prevailed. So Aaron and Hur each sat on a rock on either side of Moses and stayed his hands until sun set and Joshua discomforted Amalek.
Israel had just won a decisive victory that, humanly speaking, they should have never won and Moses reared up the altar to God and called it the ‘banner of Yehovah’. This stood as a memorial for the children of Israel lest they should forget the events of that day and the “oath of Yehovah that Yehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation” (16).
But who is this Amalek?
The first reference to Amalek is found in the genealogy of the house of Esau. Esau’s son, Eliphaz (my god is gold or brilliant) had a concubine named Timna (restrained) who bore him a son called Amalek. (Gen. 36:12) He became one of the Princes of the kingdoms of the great house of Esau (16) and his people dwelled in the valley in the land of Edom.
Now Esau is Edom and he is the father of the Edomites (43). He was a cunning hunter and a man of the field. He lived in the fields and woods and was sustained by the dust of the earth. He took unto himself wives of the daughters of the children of terror (Heth). The first was one who was ‘the praise of my well’ (Judith of Beer-i) and the second was ‘a mighty sweet smell or spices of terror’ (Bash-e-math of Elon the Hittitie). This grieved the mind of Isaac and Rebekah (26:34). Also, seeing that the daughters of Canaan displeased Isaac his father, he went to his uncle Ishmael and took his daughter for a wife (28:9). From these came forth the twelve sons of Esau whom God hated and whom God had decreed should serve Jacob his younger brother.
Amalek, being a son of Edom (which is Adam), came forth out of the valley and accosted the chosen people of God. Not Amalek the man for this event at Rephidim took place almost 500 years after his birth. No, this was Amalek the people of the land. They did not dwell in the mountain for that is where Zion dwells. These have animosity for Jacob and his children because they are the children of promise which God had separated them from their mother’s womb where they struggled together. NEVER shall there be any confederation or allegiance between these two people and nations. Edom is of the earth and his affections are upon the things of this world. He sees the fertile soil of the valleys and desires to dwell where there is prosperity and wealth. Amalek is forever in conflict and contention with the children born from above, yet he is created for their good and serves them.
This contradiction between the natural man of this world and the incorruptible seed is not a warfare of carnal matters. The people of the land contest for the things of the land but the children of grace do not struggle with flesh and blood. Amalek was a man who became a prince of a kingdom. This kingdom strives to exalt itself against the throne of God and desires to be like the Most High God. Esau begged Isaac for a blessing and cried an exceeding bitter cry saying; “Bless Me even me also, O my father” (27:34) but there was no blessing for Esau. Even now there remains no blessing for the one whom God hated for he is a child of the flesh and not of the election according to grace.
“Amalek was the first of nations but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever” (Numb. 24:20)
That which is first is the natural world and the children of that nation thrive in the comfort of their element, which is carnal. Those that dwell in the valleys, naturally speaking, have great difficulty adapting to the high altitudes of the mountains and those of the high lands find the low plains uncomfortable to their ways. It is, however, impossible for those who dwell in the valley of the shadows of the weak and beggarly elements of this world to find peace and comfort in the exalted heights of the Mountain of God. They find no food there to feed their bodies, no drink to quench their thirst and no resting place because though they earnestly strive and labour yet they shall never enter therein. They do not speak that pure language of the people of the land, they have not the name of the Father sealed in the foreheads and they do not delight after the law of God. They do not have the testimony of Jesus Christ and they cannot keep the commandments of God therefore they have no right, nor memorial nor portion in the kingdom of Zion. They are the dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murders, idolaters and whosoever loves and make a lie and they shall in no wise enter in through the gates of that city (Rev. 22:15).
Now since all men are liars and God is not a man that He should lie, there shall none of the family of Edom enter into that Holy city. “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance and there shall be holiness and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame and the house of Esau for stubble and they shall kindle them and devour them and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for Yehovah has spoken” (Ob. 17). The Refiner’s fire shall consume all wood, hay and stubble as it reveals the precious living stones within. The trials and tribulations are for the proving of the faith within and the furnace of affliction is for the abasement and destruction of Adam, for no flesh shall glory in His sight.
“Remember what Amalek did unto you by the way when you were come forth out of Egypt…you shall not forget” (Deut. 25:17-19)
The warfare between the natural man and his kingdoms of darkness and the children of light will never end until such time as the habitation of this dwelling is dissolved. The written record left by the Spirit is for their learning, that they, who have eternal life, through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. This hope is based on their remembrance of Jerusalem the city of their God as the long to return to their Father’s house and be delivered from the bondage of this corruption. They have peace with God and the testimony of the finished work in Jesus Christ is because of the Spirit that dwells in them. But as they walk the path assigned to them through this present evil generation, they are reminded that the people of the valley, the people of Canaan and the inhabitants of this world are as the children that sit in the marketplace and pipe to them saying come and dance with us. They assert that they serve the same God as those born from above and they seek alliances and confederacies with them. They wish to compare their works of righteousness which are visible and carnal with the good works that the redeemed have been created in Christ Jesus unto. Since the inhabitants of this world can boast of numbers, affluence and comfort in the things of this world whereas the poor pilgrims of Zion are strangers and sojourners in the weary land who at times are blessed to be gathered together in His name by two and three, the conclusions of the natural man is obvious. These outward manifestations are a reminder to the weary traveler that the valley dwellers (Amalek) are sent to discomfort them, to war against them and to be antagonistic to them all the days of their existence in the earthen vessels. They are also a constant reminder that this is not the home of the children of light and that those things which are seen are temporal (II Cor. 4:18).
It is not a matter of the children of the King reminding themselves in stories, customs and fables of the atrocities committed against them in the wilderness those many years ago by the tribes of this world (Ammon). It is the communication of the Spirit from faith to faith that they walk not by sight, or by the strength of their hands or the will of their minds. They live by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them.
“Thus saith Yehovah of Hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid for him in the way when he came up from Egypt” (I Sam. 15:2).
Israel wanted to be like the other nations of the earth. They rejected Yehovah God and desired a king. God gave them the desire (Saul) of their hearts and sent His servant Samuel to anoint him king. God’s instructions were not of diplomacy, peace missions or foreign aid. He commanded that Saul “go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have and spare not” (3). Yet Saul thought he knew better than Yehovah God. He spared those things that made him rich claiming that if these were used in sacrifice unto God the end justified the means. Then he blamed the people for disobeying the Word of God. The desire of the people was not the mind of God and did evil in the sight of Yehovah. This rebellion was as the sin of witchcraft and the stubbornness as the iniquity of idolatry, therefore the desire of the people was rejected from being king (15:23).
The desire of the heart and mind attempts to rationalize and justify disobedience. This is a constant reminder of the warfare within the children of hope. When there is a desire after the inward man to do those things that are pure and righteous there cannot be found a way to do them in the flesh and when there is an earnest desire to overcome the lusts of the flesh, the natural man delights in the deeds. Since the natural man is of the earth and the earthen vessel was formed from the dust, he is of Edom and dwells in the valley. In him, that is in the flesh, dwells no good thing and according to the corrupt finite limitations of his understanding and reasoning, he justifies his works as being proper and good. He calls the evil good and the liberal as common and acceptable. Therefore does the Spirit groan within earnestly waiting the day of the deliverance and the manifestation of the sons of God.
“Keep not silent. God hold not thy peace and be not still, O God, for lo thine enemies make a tumult and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, come and let us cut them off from being a nation that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. They have consulted together with one consent; they are confederate against thee. The tabernacles of Edom and Ishmaelites; of Moab (of the father) and the Hagarenes (fugitive wanderers children of Hagar); Gebal (the mountainous region of Edom), Ammon (tribal) and Amalek; the Philistines (rolling ash or dust) with the inhabitants of Tyre (rock); Assur (step) also is joined with them they have holpen the children of Lot (Ammon and Moab)” (Ps. 83).
There is no resting place here on this earth for the new man that inner man that is born of God. There is no end to the labour that each has been assigned and there is no hiatus of the constant warfare within. Those who have eternal life are not here to correct the evils of this world or to convert the sinner unto repentance. They have not been sent forth into to compass land and sea to make followers of Christ or set up a spiritual adoption agency for the downtrodden of this world. They have been delivered from the house of the strong man and set on a journey. They are given each and every say to understand that there is no bread in this wilderness, the waters of this land are bitter and the struggle is hard.
Amalek thrives in the valley of the plains and the eyes of natural man are drawn there because of the lushness and beauty (Gen. 13:10), but he is not at liberty to come and go as he pleases. He is a son of Esau who, as the elder, serves the house of Jacob, the younger, and the son of Timna (restrained). He cannot move but by the decree of God, he has no authority or power but what is allotted to him and his angry waves shall never exceed the boundaries set of old.
The church of Jesus Christ, that city of God, is set upon the hills. Jerusalem, which is from above, is the mountain of God, the mountain of His Holiness. She cannot be humbled and brought low because man cannot ascend unto her. Though for a time period allotted of the Father, she dwells in an earthen vessel afore prepared for her unto glory, yet she is not tainted with the dust of the earth and though she is given to walk through the valleys of the plains of this world yet she is not of this world (John 17:16). While her path leads her through these valleys and the shadows that are incumbent to the land, Her Lord and Master never leaves her alone.
He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. He is a Lily among the thorns and briers which are indigenous to the country (Song 2:1), and He is always with her, a very present help in the time of her need. Her walk through these lush and bountiful valleys is attractive to the passions of the earthen vessel but it is not home to the wayfaring stranger. The inhabitants of the valley are at odds with the children of light and shall be for the duration of their journey but, dear brethren the ambassadors for Christ have not been called to rid the valley of thorns or pave a new by-pass highway through the valley. They have not been commissioned to be combative with the inhabitants of the land or at liberty to make alliances with their customs and traditions, for;
“We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and power, against rulers of darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
Those pilgrims of hope who have traversed many valleys and continue in the race set before them, comfort those who find the way in the valley dark and foreboding. Speak of the trials and tribulations that have been endured and strength weak hands fallen down. The hands of Moses, when raised on high, had nothing but a stick in them. He did not bring might, wisdom or cunningness. His hands were raised in praise unto the God of Israel. Joshua won the day and defeated all the foes. He has put them under His feet and is seated in the throne of God and His Beloved Bride is seated there with Him, world without end.
“He brought me to the banqueting house, His banner over me is love” (Song 2:4)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
November 17, 2013