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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

O God ... Thine Enemies # 6

(5) Gebal: Gebal has the infamous privilege of being in league with the city of Eyre (Thyrus). Ezekiel 27:9 tells us that Gebal contributed the wisdom and maritime ability of their elders to the strong, fortified, wealthy, and prideful city of Tyre. The only time Tyre had anything to do with Israel was during David and Solomon's time; and that was because it was prosperous for Gebal and Tyre. Over a period of time, Tyre developed a venomous hatred for Israel that could only be sourced out from the depths of satan himself. Tyre, the center of pride and idolatry, desired the downfall of Jerusalem, which was Israel's center of worship - the worship of the True and Living God. In Ezekiel 26:2, when Tyre heard that Jerusalem was under desperate siege and certain to fall, Tyre rejoiced and said, "Jerusalem's downfall would make Tyre full"; but God knew that satan himself was behind this unholy rejoicing. Therefore, God said that the city of Tyre would be cut off from the land of the living - and so "the deep", the very evil from which Tyre had sprung, would overwhelm and destroy its greatness.

The prince - the leader, the ruler - of Tyre embodied the character of this city whose main god was Baal; he called himself Ethbaal (II) which means, "I am god himself." Tyre and its evil leaders embody the main principle, means and ways, used by satan to capture the souls of mankind: wealth, riches, prosperity, world-power, which always result in pride and self-deification, self-preeminence. Consequently, in Ezekiel 28:11-19, we can see that God uses the prince of this evil city, who is the embodiment of the city itself, to explain to us that which constitutes the very depths of satan: (verse 15) iniquity was found in thee; (verse 16) you were internally filled with violence; (verse 17) pride, your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor, etc.

In these Scriptures in Ezekiel, God is addressing an evil, supernatural being: God is addressing he of whom the prince of Tyre was only a type - this evil "he" was using that "prince" as one of his agents to secure world-power; this he is not a mere man as was the "prince of Tyre." No! God's description and judgment of this supernatural being, who is the power behind the literal princes of Tyre, can refer to no other than satan himself.

Thus, Gebal, being in league with Tyre, represents the wickedest and most effective force that the enemy uses against the people of God; the coveting of wealth, riches, prosperity, world-power, and influence - and these always produce pride, natural wisdom and ability, and self-deification - in other words, self becomes pre-eminent in all things. Beloved, The Lamb of God, Who is The King of kings and Lord of lords, defeated the king of Tyre: The Lamb defeated satan and all his evil host upon and in and through the Cross!

(6.) Ammon: Discussed with enemy number 3, Moab.

O God ... for, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult: - They are confederate against Thee" (Psalm 83).

(7) Amalek: First of all, the most significant thing said about Amalek in the Word of God is found in Exodus 17:14-16: "I (God) will utterly blot out the memory (the remembrance) of Amalek from under the heaven ... the Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek, from generation to generation". Why does God pronounce such a grave judgment upon Amalek? Why does God have perpetual war with Amalek? Why is Amalek one of Israel's bitterest foes?

We begin to find the answer to our questions in Genesis 36:9-12 where the generations of Esau, the father of the  Edomites in Mount Seir, are recorded; and here we find that Amalek is the grandson of Esau. Now, if we did not have the revelation of the Holy Spirit, this could be somewhat perplexing, because the first mention of Amalek and his descendants (the Amalekites) is found in Genesis 14;7; and the events recorded in Genesis 14:7 take place in the time of Abraham, long before Esau or Amalek were born.

Let us remember that the first five Books of the Bible were written by Moses through the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in Genesis fourteen, it is the Holy Spirit Who placed the Amalekites among that evil horde which is of satan's seed; the Holy Spirit placed Amalek in this evil list of Genesis 14, because He knows the true significance of things past, of things present, and of things to come. The Holy Spirit knows: "The Lord has sworn; The Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation."

And what a long war with Amalek it is: it is fought by Moses, Joshua, and the army in the wilderness (exodus 17:8-13);  by Ehud (Judges 3:13-15); by Barak (Judges 5:14); by Gideon ... by David ... by Mordecai ... etc. But what is really behind this war? Deuteronomy 25:17 and 18 says of Amalek: "... he feared not God." And we believe the key to this war is found in the words surrounding that statement:

"Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he (Amalek) feared not God."

Israel was faint and weary in the way because they could not find water, the water of Life, in the wilderness (Exodus 17). And God caused rivers of water to flow out from the smitten Rock, and that Rock was Christ.

Israel was faint and weary, and God provided them with rivers of living water to quench their thirst, to strengthen them in the way, and to give them rest. But right at this same time, when Israel was still weak, the Amalekites came out and fought against Israel to stop them from being strengthened and to stop them from entering into the rest of God - for "Amalek feared not God." Therefore, Amalek represents that which satan devises to stop God's people from being strengthened and enabled by the Holy Spirit.

Also, Amalek represents that which would stop God's people from entering into rest. Amalek was not successful in the first recorded war that he fought with with the people of God, for the Word says: "So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword." Nevertheless, the evil spirit of satan, which was behind Amalek, was successful at a later time; and this we know because Hebrews three and four tells us that a whole generation fell in the wilderness. And God Himself says, "They shall not enter into My Rest." This is not speaking of their salvation; it is speaking of taking the land and occupying it and building the House of God, the place of God's rest. It is speaking of ceasing from our own works. It is speaking of the thoughts, the intent, and the motives of our own heart. The only way to cease from our own works - the only way to stop "Amalek" is by the edge of the sword. And in the Bible, the edge of the sword, the cutting-edge of the sword, is always the Word of God - it is always the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: "For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power - making it active, operative, energizing and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [that is, of the deepest parts of our nature] exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 7)

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