In Exodus 17 Amalek and his people came to fight the people of Israel as they were on their journey to the good land to fulfill God’s purpose. Amalek didn’t just attack the people of Israel but they had a hand against the throne of God. Amalek tried to overthrow God’s throne, just as Satan once tried to do.
Amalek is a type of the flesh; the flesh is in rebellion against God, and whatever God wants to do in His economy, the flesh opposes. The flesh is not merely the physical flesh of man but the totality of our fallen human being with its activities, doings, and things.
The Lord Jesus as the Spirit dwells in our spirit and makes His home in our heart (2 Tim. 4:22; Eph. 3:16-17), but Satan dwells in our flesh and operates in our flesh. Our flesh never improves neither does it change; the flesh cannot be pleasing to God but is rather rebellious against God.
King Saul in the Old Testament lost his kingship because he failed to thoroughly deal with the Amalekites as God commanded him, and many believers will lose the kingship and will not be overcomers because they are not absolute in dealing with their flesh.
How can we deal with the flesh? We cannot and we should not physically try to “crucify our flesh”; God’s way of dealing with the flesh is not self-inflicted pain, punishment, or asceticism. In the story of defeating Amalek in Exo. 17 Moses prayed on the top of the hill while Joshua fought the battle in the valley.
Christ as our High Priest is interceding for us, and Christ as the fighting Spirit in our spirit is ready to defeat the flesh and put it to death – all we have to do is cooperate with the Lord by unceasing prayer. The way we apply the cross to our flesh and put to death the works of the flesh is by exercising our spirit to pray and apply the cross of Christ to the flesh.
When we exercise our spirit, we respond to and are strengthened within by the interceding Christ, and we cooperate with the fighting Spirit in our spirit to overcome the flesh.
Following the Lord’s Word to Utterly Destroy the Flesh and thus Have the Kingship
Amalek lifted his hand against God to overthrow His throne, and he attacked the people of Israel as they were journeying toward the good land; therefore, God commanded that Amalek will be utterly destroyed.
As a type of the flesh, Amalek is in rebellion against God and always frustrates and disturbs the people of God from fulfilling God’s purpose. It is not possible for the flesh to be subject to God; our entire fallen being with its activities and doings does not subject to God, cannot subject to God, but is rather in rebellion against God.
The kingdom of God is God’s authority by which all things are made subject to God; Satan is not subject to God, and Satan instigates our flesh to be in rebellion against God. However, many believers deal with the ugly and evil aspects of the flesh while treasuring and “using for God” the nice aspects of the flesh. If we are not absolute in cooperating with the Lord to destroy the flesh, our experience of the kingdom has not come in full but rather we don’t have much sense of the kinship.
We need to follow the Lord’s word and utterly destroy the flesh in all its peculiar traits and activities. May the Lord show us how our habits – as good and useful as they are for our human existence – preserve the good aspects of the flesh and are in utter rebellion against God.
The flesh is versus grace and versus the kingship; our peculiarities, natural kindness, natural gentleness, natural patience, and good habits are a stronghold of rebellion against God. We lack spiritual authority because we did not deal with our flesh in an absolute way.
We may spare the good aspects of the flesh – just as Saul spared the good things of the Amalekites, which God ordained for destruction – and these good things of our culture, habits, peculiarities, and opinions are hiding places for the flesh, damaging our spiritual life.
May we be those who cooperate with the Lord to absolutely deal with the flesh as the Lord exposes it so that we may not lose the kingship or be joined to the demons and to idols of vanity. May we be those who enjoy the Lord and lovingly seek Him, growing in life in a normal way and gaining spiritual weight as we grow day by day.
Lord Jesus, we want to follow Your word and utterly destroy the flesh so that we may have the kingship and enter into Your kingdom. Lord, we seek You, we love You, and we enjoy You; grow in us and keep us going on with You in a normal way every day to gain spiritual experiences of Christ and be produced as Your overcomers. Strengthen us into our inner man to see the rebellious flesh in all its aspects and be one with you to repudiate, exterminate, and thoroughly deal with the flesh so that we may have the kingship!
Cooperating with the Lord by Exercising our Spirit to Pray and Put the Flesh to Death
In Exodus 17:9-13 Moses commanded Joshua to take men from Israel and go fight with Amalek; then Moses and Hur and Aaron went on the top of the hill, where he prayed and lifted up his hands to God. When his hands were lifted up, Israel prevailed, but when his hands were down, Amalek prevailed. Aaron and Hur therefore sat Moses on a rock and each held one of his hands up until Joshua with Israel prevailed and Amalek was destroyed. This is a picture of how we fight against the flesh.
Moses praying on the hill typifies the ascended Christ interceding in the heavens, and Joshua fighting against Amalek typifies the indwelling Spirit fighting against the flesh. We fight against the flesh not by separating ourselves physically from the world and inflicting pain and hunger on our flesh until the desires and lusts flee from us; God doesn’t want us to “kill our flesh” but to cooperate with Him by exercising our spirit so that the fighting Spirit in our spirit would defeat the flesh.
At the same time, the Lord realizes that we are weak: just as Moses’ hands were weary and he let them down, so many times we are weary and cease our prayer for a while…but the priesthood (typified by Aaron) and the kingship (typified by Hur) strengthen our spirit to rise up and cooperate with the ascended Lord’s intercession and the indwelling Spirit’s fighting.
Because our flesh never changes or improves, in order for us to prevail against the flesh we need to pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17; Col. 4:2), joining ourselves to Christ in His intercession. When we become weary, we need to realize that we are weak and need Christ (as typified by the rock on which Moses sat; see John 15:5) as our support.
We need to be under the Lord’s ministering through the priesthood in the church life and be obedient to the Lord’s authority, His kingship, and we will be strengthened to continue to pray unceasingly. On the Lord’s side, He crucified the old man, the old I (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20) two thousand years ago; on our side, we need to apply this by crucifying our flesh with its passions and its lusts (Gal. 5:24).
The way we crucify the flesh is by the Spirit: the practical experience of the crucifixion of Christ applied to our flesh is in the Spirit, and we put to death by the Spirit the practices of our lustful body with its evil members. The ascended Christ is interceding, the Spirit within us is fighting, and we cooperate by exercising our spirit and stand with the Lord to condemn and crucify the flesh.
When we see something of the flesh being exposed, we need to exercise our spirit and call on the name of the Lord, and in spirit we apply the cross to that particular expression of the flesh. Christ is interceding and He is fighting; there is NO reason and NO excuse for us to remain in the flesh; we need to exercise our spirit, turn to the Lord, apply the death of Christ, and we will overcome the flesh!
When we pray, we are one with the interceding Christ (Rom. 8:34), and when we put the flesh to death, we are one with the fighting Spirit (Gal. 5:17).
Lord Jesus, cause us to realize that our old man has been crucified with You, and now we can apply the cross to the flesh by exercising our spirit to pray unceasingly. Lord, keep us calling on Your name today, always praying so that we may escape the lusts of the flesh. Strengthen us with the priesthood and keep us under Your authority so that we may be sustained in our prayer life, taking the building up of the church as the goal of our prayer. Lord, may we realize that we have no excuse to stay in the flesh: we can exercise our spirit, call on the Lord, turn to our mingled spirit, apply the death of Christ, and overcome the flesh for the building up of the church and the bringing in of the kingdom of God!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Exodus, msgs. 47-48, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (1), week 8 / msg 8, The Glorious Triumph of Jehovah as a Man of War and the Continual War with Amalek (you can buy this morning revival book here via LSM and here via Amazon).
- Further reading on this topic: recommending Gal. 5:24 with footnote 2 and Exo. 17:12 and footnote 1 in Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# I am crucified with Christ, with Christ; / And it is no longer I who live, I who live, / But it is Christ who lives in me, it is Christ who lives in me; / And the life which I now live in the flesh / I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, / Who loved me and gave Himself, / Gave Himself up for me, gave Himself up for me. (Song on Gal. 2:20)
# So many times we are so weak, / But Someone deep within / Supplies the very help we need, / And we’re upheld by Him. / He says, “Don’t be disappointed.” / He knows all your fears and failures; / He’s praying for you / As no one else can do. (Song on the Lord’s Interceding)
# By the cross discern the spirit, / Put the soul to death alway; / Bear the cross, deny the self-life, / Walk in spirit day by day. (Hymns #748)
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