"OUR UNENDING WAR."
Intro. "So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordicai," Haman the Agagite a descendant of king Agag, king of the Amalekites. That wicked Haman, who had plotted to exterminate all of the Jews from off of the face of the earth. There he is swinging from his own 75-foot high gallows that he intended to hang Mordicai on.
I. THE AMAZING BIBLE.
A. It was written over a span of 1500 years, by over 40 different writers, yet it is one intergraded story because there was just one author; God, the Holy Spirit.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke [as they were] inspired by the Holy Spirit.
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
God, who at different times and in various ways spoke to our fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.
But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
For David himself said by the Holy Spirit, The Lord said to My Lord, "Sit on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."
B. Let us follow Amalek through this continuing story.
1. First mention in Genesis 36
, he is a grandson of Esau, twin brother of Jacob, about 1800 B.C.
a. Esau is a type of the man governed by the flesh, as Jacob is the type of the spiritual man.
b. God said, Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.
c. God hates the life of the flesh.
2. Next mention of Amalek is found in Exodus 17
about three years later, 1500 B.C.
a. The descendants of Amalek are fighting against the descendants of Jacob. They attacked Israel right after they escaped the bondage of Egypt and were crossing the wilderness on their way to the promised land.
b. They made their attack at the weakest point, where the oldest and most feeble of the people were trailing the rest of the nation.
c. This becomes a type of the war of the flesh against the spirit that every believer finds himself engaged in as soon as he is delivered from the bondage of sin.
d. Sinners do not know of this battle, for they just live after the flesh, as one of their songs expressed, "Doing what comes naturally."
e. God declared that He would have war with Amalek from generation to generation. So that everyone who is born again knows about this warfare.
3. About 40 years later in Deuteronomy 25:17
, God told Moses to remember what Amalek had done to them and when they had come out of Egypt and when they possessed the land that God had given to them that they should return and wipe out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. Not to forget this.
4. Some 400 years later in 1079 B.C., God told king Saul by the prophet Samuel that the time had come to destroy Amalek. That he was to leave none of his descendants alive, all of the animals were also to be destroyed.
a. Saul led his armies against the Amalekites, however he did not utterly destroy them. He saved alive the best of the animals and brought back their king Agag, sort of as a prize of war.
b. Saul was rebuked by the prophet for his disobedience and as a consequence was rejected by God as king.
5. Twenty-three years later, Saul was battling against the Philistines and the battle was going against him. He sought for guidance from the Lord, but the Lord had ceased talking to him, so he went to a witch to conger up the spirit of Samuel who had died. When Samuel appeared to him, he rebuked him for disturbing his rest and told him that the Lord had taken the kingdom from him and was going to give it to David because he did not obey the Lord by utterly destroying the Amalakites.
6. The following day Saul was wounded in the battle against the Philistines, and Saul was fearful that he would be captured by the Philistines and tortured, so he asked a young boy who was passing by to thrust him through with a sword. This boy was an Amalekite.
a. Because he failed to obey God in utterly destroying the Amalekites, He ultimately was destroyed by an Amalekite.
b. If you do not conquer over your flesh, it will one day conquer you.
7. Now 520 years later, in our story here in Esther, we find Haman because of his hatred of Mordecai has plotted to destroy all of the Jews in the world. We read that Haman was an Agagite, that is, he was a descendant of king Agag who was the king of the Amalekites. Saul's failure to fully obey the commandment of God to utterly destroy the Amalekites is coming back to haunt the people of God.
a. It again speaks to us of the importance of total victory over our flesh life.
II. THIS BATTLE WITH OUR FLESH IS A LIFE LONG BATTLE.
A. Paul tells us in GAL 5:17
, That the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary to one another.
B. To the Romans, Paul speaks of his own personal struggle. 7:14, For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For the things that I don't want to do, I do, and I do not do the things I know I should be doing. I hate what I do. If I then am doing things that I do not want to do, I affirm that the law is good. Thus, it is no more I that is doing it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for I desire to do that which is right, but I can't seem to find the way to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I find myself doing the evil that I don't want to do. I find that there seems to be a law that is working in me, that when I would do good, that evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God in the inner man, but there is another law in me that wars against my mind, and brings me into captivity to the law of sin that is in my body. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from
this body of death? I thank God for the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
1. In this paragraph, Paul uses the personal pronoun "I" 28 times, and "me" and "my" 10 times.
2. He has struggled with this battle until he has been brought to a point of despair where he realizes that he cannot deliver himself. He cries for a power beyond and greater than himself. "Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me." He knows he can't deliver himself.
3. It is at this point that He seeks for a power greater than his own. Who shall deliver me? Not "How can I deliver myself?".
4. From the cry for help comes the power of Jesus Christ, so we hear him say, "I thank God through Jesus Christ."
5. We so often have to come to that point of despair where we recognize our own inability so that we rely completely on the Lord.
III. THERE CAN BE NO PEACEFUL EXISTENCE TREATY BETWEEN THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT.
A. Paul commanded, "Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Rom. 13:4
1. You cannot make allowances for your fleshly reactions.
2. The worst thing you can do for your flesh is to feed it, for the more you feed it, the more it grows.
3. There can be no such thing as just a little indulgence, for it will demand more and more until it controls you completely.
4. Jesus said, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it."
5. Some of you do not like it that we tell it to you strait. I would rather tell it strait and have you angry with me than to speak soothing lies and comfort you on your way to hell.
6. Broad is the gate and wide is the path that leads to destruction, and many are going in.
7. It is interesting that it this point Jesus warns about false prophets that will come to you in sheep's clothing.
8. All roads do not lead to heaven.
9. There is only one way and that is Jesus Christ who said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no man comes to Father but by Me." And if you are to come after Him you must first, deny yourself, deny the flesh life, then take up your cross and follow Him.
B. Paul declared in ROM 8:13
, For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.
1. God ordered Amelek to be utterly destroyed, the failure to do so cost Saul his kingdom and his life, and almost cost the Jews their survival.
2. God orders you to reckon that old life controlled by the flesh to be dead, to make no provision for your flesh, to fail to do so can cost you the Kingdom, and possibly your life.
3. You cannot do it in your own power, you need the help of the Holy Spirit.
4. It is a combined effort, "If you through the Spirit," you must resist the flesh, seeking and asking the Spirit to help you.
5. Some of you have opened the door to the flesh. You find yourself trapped in bondage to the flesh.
a. Perhaps it is in the area of pornography, or an affair, or alcoholism, or you name it.
b. You are going through mental torture today by the approach avoidance conflict. You want it, but you know it is wrong, so you want to avoid it. But when you try to avoid it, you find you can't, so you are still pursuing it. Like Paul you are crying "O wretched man that I am."
c. You must determine to stop, and then you must call for the help of the Holy Spirit, for you know you cannot stop.