Journey Through The Bible Hero

FEBRUARY 3, 2021 DEVOTION

Exodus 17:8 – 19:15, Matthew 22:34 – 23:12, Psalm 27:7-14, Proverbs 6:27-35

“While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek came to fight against them. Joshua . . . led his men out to fight the army of Amalek. Meanwhile Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff with his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites gained the upper hand.” (Exodus 17:10-11 NLT)

This text is from one of the great stories in the Bible. The Israelites were facing their first battle since their rescue from Egypt. They were prepared for a potential battle with the Egyptian army soon after leaving Egypt, but the Lord took care of that situation with the Red Sea miracle.

Now, having not been engaged in any type of battle for over 500 years, the Israelites were preparing to battle the dreaded Amalekites. Amalek and the Amalekites are mentioned several times in Scripture. In Deuteronomy 25:17-18 the Lord describes the nature and tactics of the Amalekites: “Never forget what the Amalekites did to you as you came from Egypt. They attacked you when you were exhausted and weary, and they struck down those who were lagging behind. They had no fear of God.” The Lord went on to say that the Israelites were to destroy the Amalekites and erase their memory from the earth.

Question – “Who or what are the ‘Amalekites’ in your life?” What is it or who is it that keeps sneaking up on you and dragging you down or dragging you back? We all have “Amalekites” in our lives. Those “Amalekites” may be past hurts that have plagued us for a long time. Just when we think things are going well, those old hurts resurface and drag us back into defeat and despair. Our “Amalekites” may be struggles, strongholds or addictions we have battled throughout much of our lives. Just when we think that we have conquered them forever, they attack us again, and we slip back into some of the old destructive habits from our past. Our “Amalekites” may be other humans who are sources of discouragement and disappointment to us. Our “Amalekites” may be “lies from the Devil” that he frequently launches at us like “fiery darts” that hurt and harm us. We all have “Amalekites” in our lives, that we continually need to be aware of, prepared for, and determined to eliminate from our lives.

Second Question – “How do we defeat the ‘Amalekites’ in our lives?” We have some answers to that question in our text. First, we must be willing, like the Israelites, to “battle” with our “Amalekites”, rather than try to run and hide from them and pretend that they don’t even exist. One of the first steps to overcoming “Amalekites” is acknowledging they are there, and positioning ourselves to do battle with them. Second, we must not try to fight our “Amalekites” alone. Joshua had an army with him, and Moses had Aaron and Hur with him. If we are to defeat the “Amalekites” in our lives we will need a church family and some close Christian friends standing with us. Third, we need to pray and seek God’s help in overcoming our “Amalekites.” That’s what Moses was doing, as he stood on the hill overseeing the battle with the “staff of God” in His hand. He was praying and seeking the Lord’s intervention and help. We need to be doing the same. When we are beset by our enemies or struggles and hurts from our past, prayer needs to be our first resort, rather than our final option. In Ephesians 6 Paul wrote about overcoming our spiritual adversaries with God’s armor and artillery (Ephesians 6:10-20). Paul tells us how to wage the warfare: “Praying with all kinds of prayer in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). Prayer is always the key to overcoming our “Amalekites” when they attack us.

As you pray today: 1) Pray for the Lord to reveal to you the “Amalekites” in your life – those tormenting thoughts, memories, struggles or individuals that keep sneaking up on you and attacking you; 2) Pray for the Lord to shield you against the attacks of your “Amalekites,” and to show you the Christian friends who you can share with and surround yourself with and who will assist you in overcoming this recurring battle in your life; and 3) Pray for the Lord to show you how to completely eliminate the “Amalekites” from your life forever. The Bible teaches us that “the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47), and that we can overcome the Devil and his allies as we daily put on the “Armor of God” (belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation), and utilize the “Artillery of God” (sword of the Spirit, name of Jesus, blood of Jesus, word of our testimony, a surrendered life).