October 21, 2023
Exodus 17:14: New International Translation
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.’”
When you read this statement, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back.” (Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19) What goes through your mind? Do you believe it and take comfort in it? Or do you think to yourself, “How is it possible for me to do nothing given how I have been treated? Does anyone know how much hurt and pain that it caused me?” Rather than waiting for the Lord, or finding comfort in Him, do you submit to your emotions or take matters into your own hands?
Listen, this is not a message of condemnation. This is an encouragement through a historical event. Let’s walk step by step through different chapters of the bible which tell about battles between God’s chosen people and their enemies and see what we can learn.
During the time when Moses was leading Israelites through the wilderness, Exodus 17:14 (NLT) tells us, “While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them.” Four hundred years later, God still remembered what they did to His people. So, He instructed Saul, the first king for His chosen people, saying this “…I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them…” (1 Samuel 15:2-3, NIV) Sadly, Paul disobeyed and did not carry out the Lord’s instruction (1 Samuel 15:9-11), and his own consequences was that he would be killed by an Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:8-10). Then for nearly fourteen years, God waited patiently for the right time, the right person, and the right circumstances. The Amalekites raided Ziklag, which God had given to the tribe of Judah (1 Samuel 30:8 and Joshua 19:5). “…David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?’ ‘Pursue them,’ he answered. ‘You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.’… David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away…” (1 Samuel 30:8,17-18, NIV)
Two lessons we should learn from this event:
First, God remembers, and He will surely pay back for what the enemy does to His people. Including restoring what he stole from us. This is just as He did for David and Job. (Job 2:25-26)
Secondly, we must understand and take God’s commandments seriously. He is all-knowing and He knows the consequences we will bring to ourselves if we decide to disobey or ignore His word.
My dear brothers and sisters, “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.” (Proverbs 20:22, ESV) Learn and believe that listening and obeying Him is the best choice we can make in our life.