Then Came Amalek

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"THEN"—just at the time of Israel's murmurings, just when they had chidden with Moses and had tempted Jehovah! And so it is, when God's people murmur and are disbelieving they expose themselves to the assaults of the foe, and then comes Satan! Yes, while their complaints still linger on their lips, sudden and unexpected, like a flood bursting down a hillside, like a lion leaping upon its prey, comes Satan!
Professor Palmer, in his Desert of the Exodus, speaks of a hill whereon, in great
probability, Moses sat with uplifted hands at the battle of Rephidim. In some parts of the desert of the Exodus there is fertility,
and around the best watered parts we may well believe the Amalekites would rally, and "when the hostile body had encamped within a short distance of the oasis they would no doubt watch for an opportunity of attacking them unawares in order to take them at a disadvantage.”
Not far from the locality where it is supposed the battle of Rephidim was fought is a rock, which the Arabs regard as the site of the miracle that supplied Israel with water;
and to this day they cast pebbles, in the name of Moses, when they come there, in memory of the water which flowed from the rock.
We seem to see the foe creeping up to the camp of Israel, and then, suddenly bursting over the hill-sides, the warriors leap down the rocks and fling themselves upon the host.
The Lord was Israel's strength and shield, but Israel had said, "Is the Lord among us or not?" Ah! "then came Amalek." Yes, let go faith, and Satan is upon us.
It was hardly three months since Israel were slaves in the bondage of Egypt, and how could they withstand these desert warriors? Israel were untrained for war, and were moreover encumbered with their women and children and their cattle. ‘They seemed, indeed, to be hut a prey for the foe; they had advanced far into the mountains and valleys of Horeb, and now Amalek seemed to have them for his own. Amalek would slay the warriors of Israel, and take the flock and the herds, the women and the children, a prey for himself. But behold the hill-top! See Moses is there with uplifted hands, and against those hands uplifted in intercession to Heaven, the sword and the spear shall not prevail.
Satan keeps a keen watch on God's people. He is ever on the look out for their murmurings, their unbelief, their questioning of God's faithful, untiring care. Let God's pilgrims make light of His unfailing grace and goodness to them; let the trials of the way tempt them to say, "What is God still for me? Is He still my Defender, my Shield?" and, lo!—then comes Satan. And were it not that our Lord Jesus Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us, we should be scattered to the four winds of heaven.
And how true to Satan's ways this very day is this coming of Amalek. He overwhelms the men who should stand for God, and then he carries captive the weak and the young. Now there are ever warriors in the company of God's people who are called to the front. "Moses said unto Joshua Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek." Joshua, as we know from the book that bears his name, was the energetic fighting leader of Israel. Joshua's is the book of the sword, as Moses's books of the wanderings are those of the rod; and thus, though Israel had but begun their pilgrimage when this call to fighting came, it is Joshua whom God appoints to direct the battle. The great difference between this struggle and the wars 'of Canaan is, that here Amalek came to attack Israel, whereas in Canaan, Israel came to attack and drive out the Canaanites. But view the ways of Satan against God's people as we may, the issues of our conflicts are settled on the mountain top—decided by what Christ is for us. And let Satan's assaults be what they may, God calls us to resist the devil. Resist him, and he wilt flee from you; take tamely his energies against us, and Satan will certainly get us under his power.
“And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword." "Take....the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," says the scripture, for against that Satan cannot stand. Yet, think not that after a battle, and by grace a victory, Satan is overwhelmed, for "the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." Right on to the end there will be conflict with Satan. He is an untiring adversary. Ever on the watch himself, and ever on the look out for unwatchfulness on the part of God's people. Vet, let none be discouraged, for though God try us and allow us to be tried, He is ever for His people, and if God be for us, who can be against us?”