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  • Writer's pictureBy Pastor Andy Plank

Obedience to God

April 14, 2024

History recorded in the Old Testament is quite fascinating. We can read about creation, a world-wide flood, famines, plagues, and miracles. God tells us about his followers, showing us their worthy attributes as well as their warts. It seems God followers are part hero and part outlaw. Sometimes they are obedient and conscientious while at other times they are downright scoundrels. An interesting Old Testament thread to follow is the relationship between the Israelites and the Amalekites. The Amalekites are descendants of Amalek, grandson of Esau, and they first make an appearance in the pages of the Old Testament in Exodus 17 when they attack the Israelites during the Exodus wilderness wanderings. The Amalekites are defeated but become a very consistent thorn in the side of Israel throughout the Old Testament. Not only were the Amalekites defeated by the Israelites, Exodus 17 also records that God put a target on their back and promised to “blot them out from under heaven.” Fast forward to I Samuel 15. God is ready to keep His promise made way back in Exodus 17. He tells King Saul to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites. Saul doesn’t completely obey God. He allows King Agag (and apparently others) to live. Because of Saul’s failure to utterly destroy the enemy, the Amalekites rear their heads again in I Samuel 30 when they attack David’s encampment at Ziklag and take his wives and the wives of his “mighty men” captive. David gets his women back and kills a bunch of the Amalekites. However, he lets 400 young men escape. Fast forward ahead a few hundred years to the book of Esther chapter 3 where Haman, a descendent of King Agag tried to wipe out all the Jews living under Persian authority. As far as I can tell, this is the last time the Amalekites are mentioned in the Bible, but you get the picture. God wanted to remove an enemy, but God’s followers wouldn’t let God do His work, so the enemy stuck around, making appearances at inopportune times. Let’s weave you and me into this story. What enemy keeps hounding you? Maybe you’ve asked God to kill an enemy in your life, but as of yet, YOU haven’t utterly destroyed it. God wants to destroy our enemies. He wants to tear down those things that keep us from looking like and acting like Jesus. Too many Christians are like Saul. He wanted to defeat his enemies but wasn’t willing to utterly destroy them. Y’all, partial obedience is disobedience. Partial obedience cost Saul his kingdom. What will it cost us?

Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy

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