Friday, July 3, 2009

A life of warfare

“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.”- Exodus 17:8.

Young Christian, you have begun a life of warfare, rest assured of that. You would never be told to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ if it were not so. You must not put that sword up into its scabbard, but rather grind it sharp and hold it always ready in your hand. Watch constantly, and pray without ceasing; for, till you get your foot upon the golden pavement of the New Jerusalem, you must wear a warrior’s harness, and bear a warrior’s toils. Indeed, dear friends, there was that in the camp of the children of Israel which ought to have taught them to expect trouble, for was there not a voice heard among the murmuring host, “Is the Lord among us or not?” That croaking voice of unbelief foreboded ill. How could they expect to know peace when they doubted the God of peace. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked;” and in proportion as the righteous are at all like the wicked, in that proportion they lose peace. The cry of unbelief in your beam and mine, when it says, “Is the Lord among us or not?” ought to warn us that we are not yet in the land of rest, but shall have to fight with many an enemy before the banner may be furled.

Besides, Israel ought to have remembered that there was an ancient feud between the children of Esau and the children of Jacob, for had not Esau been supplanted by his brother? Amalek, Duke Amalek as he was called, was a descendant of Esau, and treasured up all his father’s hatred and enmity towards the house of Israel. Did Israel expect to journey near to Edom and not be attacked? And do you expect, Christian, that sin shall be round about you and not assault you?

From a sermon entitled War With Amalek, delivered September 23, 1866. Image by Dean Souglass under Creative Commons License.

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