Leslie M. John
”And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so” (Judges 2:17)
Israel sinned against the LORD several times by disobeying His commands. The first two commandments are that there shall be no other gods before the LORD, and they shall not make for themselves any graven image or likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth and they shall not bow down to them, nor serve them (cf. Exodus 20:3-6)
God handed them over to their enemies several times in order to chasten them for flouting His commands, and yet in spite of severe chastening, they did not obey the judges the LORD raised to protect them. They were delivered from oppression and vexation by their enemies because the LORD showed mercy as long as they obeyed Him. They obeyed the LORD reluctantly, yet not fully, as long as there was judge in authority but when the judge was dead they returned to corruption in a greater way than their fathers, and bowed down to other gods; they did not stop being stubborn and disobeying the LORD (Ref. Judges 2:18-19)
The LORD swore that He will be at war with ”Amalekites” from generation to generation, because although they were not a great nation, they were the first nation to attack Israel, even the feeble and weak among them, from behind at ”Rephidim”. These Amalekites made their next appearance only to be cursed by Balaam that they will be utterly destroyed.
Balaam, who was brought by Balak, to pronounce curse on Israel, could not pronounce any curse on Israel but pronounced blessings upon them because God was controlling his mouth and his actions. One of the blessings that came out of his mouth was that a day will come when Amalek, the first of nations, who attacked Israel, will be destroyed totally.
”And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever” (Numbers 24:20)
When the children of Israel were serving chastisement for eight years, under king of Mesopotamia, for their disobedience of the LORD’s commandments, they cried unto the LORD, who raised up Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother to be their deliverer.
The Land of Israel had peace and rested for forty years after Othniel, with the help of the LORD, delivered the children of Israel from being oppressed by the king of Mesopotamia.
However, as soon as Othniel died the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and therefore, the LORD strengthened their enemy Eglon, the king of Moab against them. The king of Moab gathered the children of Ammon, (who was also known by the name Ben-Ammi), and Amalek, and held them captive for eighteen years after defeating them. (Ref. Gen. 19:38; Judges 3:8-13; Psalms 83:7)
”And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8 ESV)
The LORD is merciful and longsuffering and yet when His children commit sin against Him He will not hesitate to chastise them in order to bring them back to his fold. For the ungodly, who are not saved as yet, the Bible says
”For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6
Lord Jesus came into this world not to save righteous, who do not need Him, but to save the sinners who humble themselves; and confess that Jesus is the Lord and God raised Him from the dead. He died for the ungodly in due time, even for those who were yet without any strength. He not only died and was buried, but His body did not suffer corruption. He rose from the dead that He might be the Lord both of the dead and the living. Amalek represents flesh and sin; let us put away Amalek from our lives.