Life-Study of Exodus

Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0397-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 46 of 185 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF EXODUS

MESSAGE FORTY-SIX

THE DEFEAT OF AMALEK

Scripture Reading: Exo. 17:8-16; 1 Pet. 2:11; Deut. 25:17-19; 1 Sam. 15:2; Rom. 7:24; 8:34b; Heb. 7:25; Gal. 5:16-17; Rom. 8:13; Num. 24:20

It is important to see that the book of Exodus is a complete picture of God’s full salvation. This fact is confirmed by the picture presented in 17:8-16. In chapter sixteen we have the manna from heaven as the life supply, and in chapter seventeen, the living water flowing out of the cleft rock for the quenching of our thirst. Then in 17:8-16 we have the war against Amalek. To be sure, this sequence is not at all coincidental. On the contrary, it is according to God’s plan. According to the picture in chapters sixteen and seventeen, after we have received the heavenly life supply and the living water from the cleft rock, we are ready to fight against Amalek.

The battle against Amalek was the first fight in which the children of Israel were engaged. When they were in Egypt, they did not fight. At the Red Sea there was war between God and Pharaoh, but the children of Israel themselves did not fight against Pharaoh’s army. However, in chapter seventeen we see the children of Israel engaged in a battle against Amalek. Many students of the Bible realize that this fight depicts the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. This indicates that as we are going on with the Lord, the first fight is that between the flesh and the Spirit. The fact that the first fight in which the children of Israel were engaged was that against Amalek indicates that after we are saved and baptized, the first conflict we experience will be the warfare between the flesh and the Spirit who regenerated us.

In chapters fourteen through seventeen we have a portrait of the many experiences through which we pass after baptism. These experiences include the experiences at Marah and Elim, the eating of the heavenly manna to satisfy our hunger, and the drinking of the living water to quench our thirst. After these experiences, we are equipped and made ready to fight against the flesh. This is confirmed by our experience with the Lord. After we were saved and baptized, we had the experiences at Marah and at Elim. Then we ate the manna and drank the living water. Only then did we discover how much the flesh frustrates us from following the Lord. The flesh is the enemy which hinders us from going on with the Lord. In this matter, the flesh is a greater enemy than the world is.

I. THE SUPPORT FOR FIGHTING

If we are inwardly hungry and thirsty, we shall not be able to fight against the flesh. In order to fight, we must first have our hunger satisfied and our thirst quenched. We need manna, the heavenly food, and the water out of the rock, the living water. Only then shall we have the strength to fight. The manna and the living water supported the children of Israel in their fight against Amalek. Without this support, the children of Israel could not have engaged in this battle. It is the same in our spiritual experience. If we do not enjoy the heavenly manna daily and drink of the living water consistently, we shall be defeated by the flesh and subdued by it. Those Christians who do not partake of the manna and drink of the living water are already subdued by the flesh. Without the manna and the living water we are spontaneously one with the flesh and walk according to it. Only when we are supplied by Christ and with Christ and have our thirst quenched by the life-giving Spirit are we ready to fight against the flesh.

Exodus 17:8 says, “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” This verse indicates that Amalek took the initiative to fight against the children of Israel. Amalek attacked them because of envy. The Amalekites had heard what had happened to the children of Israel, and they were jealous. Therefore, Amalek came out to fight against God’s people.

Whenever we are not satisfied with Christ and not supplied by the life-giving Spirit, we are subdued under the flesh. But whenever we rise up and enjoy Christ as our manna and drink of the life-giving Spirit as the living water, we are no longer subdued by the flesh. The activities of the flesh are, of course, instigated by Satan, who works through the flesh. The flesh cannot tolerate our enjoyment of Christ and our drinking of the living water. For this reason, the flesh rises up to fight against us and to attempt to subdue us.

Before we began to enjoy Christ as our food and the life-giving Spirit as our living water, we did not have any consciousness that the flesh was fighting against us. At that time we were absolutely subdued under the flesh. We lived in the flesh, acted by the flesh, and walked according to the flesh. Everything we did was in the flesh. Nevertheless, we did not have any realization that the flesh was so active and prevailing. We were helpless victims under the evil power of the serpent, Satan. The serpent could work in us and upon us, and we had no consciousness of it. But one day we began to partake of the heavenly food and to drink of the living water. Then we began to rise up from under Satan’s hand and refused to be victims any longer. It is at such a time that Satan instigates the flesh to fight against us. Many of us can testify of this. We can testify that after we began to enjoy Christ and to drink of the living water, the flesh rose up to fight against us. Praise the Lord that we have the heavenly manna and the living water to support us as we fight against the flesh!

Day by day we are supplied with manna, the heavenly Christ, as our portion. The Lord Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Each day we need to pray like this: “Lord, give us this day our daily portion of Christ.” I like to pray in this way. Often I say, “Lord, I thank You for another new day. I ask You to give me this day’s portion of grace.” Every day we need a particular portion of grace, of Christ as our life supply. We also need the Spirit as the living water. We have both the heavenly Christ and the life-giving Spirit. The heavenly Christ is our manna to satisfy our hunger, and the Spirit is the living water to quench our thirst. Do you enjoy this manna and living water day by day? I can testify that today I have enjoyed my portion of Christ, and I have drunk a good deal of the living water. Therefore, I am not subdued by the flesh. My hunger has been satisfied, and my thirst has been quenched. Thus, I have something to share with the saints. Living water can flow out from my inner being to quench the thirst of others.

Even though we partake of Christ as the heavenly manna and drink of the Spirit as the living water, Amalek is at hand to fight against us. We need to be mindful of the fact that Amalek, the flesh, is always with us. Immediately after we enjoy the Lord in morning watch, something may happen, perhaps at the breakfast table, to provoke the flesh. The flesh is envious of our enjoyment of Christ. Hence, Satan stirs up the flesh to fight against us in order to frustrate us from following the Lord.

The only reason for Amalek’s attack was his envy of God’s people. He did not want to see that a people could be so radiant and victorious. The children of Israel had been satisfied by the heavenly manna, and they were drinking of the wonderful living water. In the words of Paul, the rock flowing with living water was following them (1 Cor. 10:4). The children of Israel must have been happy with the manna and the living water. Would you not have been happy had you been there? There was no need for them to worry about food. They had the daily supply of heavenly manna. Furthermore, they could drink of the water flowing from the cleft rock. What a beautiful scene! Suppose, however, that the children of Israel had neither manna nor living water. In such a case, the people would no doubt have quarreled with one another and even fought with one another. Such a situation would not have made the enemy jealous. But Amalek was provoked to jealousy by hearing of a people who were radiant, happy, and victorious. Motivated by envy, he fought against them with the intention of destroying them.

Much attention is given in Scripture to the warfare between the flesh and the Spirit. This battle is recorded not only in Exodus 17, but also in 1 Samuel 15. The Bible has much to say about Amalek. The reason for this is that in the history of Christian experience, the flesh occupies much space. If you were to write a biography of any believer, you would have to devote considerable attention to the flesh. On the negative side, the Christian life is a history, a record, of the flesh. Daily in our Christian walk we are troubled by the flesh. Perhaps even as you sit in the church meetings you remember certain offenses or recall how others have mistreated you. Your thoughts concerning these offenses may be in the flesh. After the meeting, you may be strongly attacked by the flesh. Amalek may come to fight against you. On the negative side, the Christian life is mainly concerned with the flesh. In many different ways, the flesh rises up to attack us.


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