"THE BATTLE WITH THE FLESH."
I. THEN CAME AMALEK AND FOUGHT WITH ISRAEL.
A. Amalek was the grandson of Esau. Esau was a man of the flesh; Jacob a man of the Spirit. Thus, even in their descendants you find the flesh fighting against the spirit.
1. Throughout the scriptures you will find that the Amalekites are a a type of the flesh.
2. Paul told the Galatians that the flesh lusted against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh and that these two were contrary.
3. Within the life of every child of God there is a battle going on; the battle is for the control of your life. You are ruled by your flesh or by the spirit.
B. Looking at Amalek as a type of the flesh, we learn some interesting lessons about our battle with the flesh.
1. We note that Amalek attacked Israel from the rear. God said to Moses in Deuteronomy:
Remember what Amalek did unto you by the way, when you came out of Egypt;
How he met you by the way, and smote the hindmost of you, [even] all [that were] feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he feared not God.
2. Amalek had studied the defenses and decided to attack at the weakest point.
3. They came up behind them where the older people and the infirmed who could not keep up with the others were traveling. They caught them when they were faint and weary of the travel.
4. You can be sure that Satan is studying you to find the weak place in your defenses and that is where he will attack.
5. Never expect him to fight fair.
II. VERSE 17: "THE LORD HAS SWORN THAT HE WILL HAVE WAR WITH AMALEK FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION."
A. As long as we are living in these bodies, we will have war with our flesh.
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
For I do what I don't want to do: I don't do what I know I should do; I find myself doing things that I hate.
The fact that I do that which I know I should not, I agree with the law that [it is] good.
So then it is not me 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 to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I cannot find.
For the good that I want to do I do not: but the evil which I don't want to do I do.
Now if I do that what I don't want to, it is no more I doing it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the spiritual man:
But I see another law in my body, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my body.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
1. How many times have we echoed the cry of Paul when we find ourselves acting in the flesh and after the flesh? Oh, wretched man that I am.
2. We have certain body drives that were created by God to insure our preservation, and for the perpetuation of the human race.
a. In and of themselves they are natural and good.
b. It is the perversion of these drives that is evil.
c. Or being mastered by these drives, God did not intend that we be mastered by our body needs.
3. As long as we are living in our bodies, we will have these body needs, but it seems so hard to keep them in check. They constantly are at war with my spirit as they seek to gain control over my life.
4. Many times we find ourselves groaning to be freed from the slavery to our body appetites.
For we earnestly wait for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For we were made subject to emptiness, not willingly, but by design of Him who has subjected us to hope,
Because the day will come when we shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that all of creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
And not only [they], but we ourselves, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, as we wait for the redemption of our body and receiving our full inheritance as sons.
B. Paul wrote to the Galatians:
I tell you, let your walk and manner of life be dominated by the Spirit, and don't let the desires of the flesh have control. For the desires of the flesh are the very reverse of the desires of the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are the very reverse of those of the flesh, for these are fundamentally opposed to each other, so that you cannot do whatever you like. The deeds of the flesh are manifested in fornication, impurity, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, enmity, strife, jealousy, uncontrolled temper, self-seeking, dissension, heretical division, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and all that is like these things. I warn you, as I have warned you before, that those who do things like that will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
C. On the other side of the coin, the life of the Spirit is manifested in agape love, which is manifested in joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness faithfulness, meekness, temperance.
D. In evaluating your life this past week, would you say that your life was ruled by the flesh or the Spirit?
E. Who won the battle in your life; Amalek or Joshua?
III. GOD HAS PROMISED THE DESTRUCTION OF AMALEK.
And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek [was] the first of the nations; but his latter end [shall be] that he perish for ever.
A. God ordered them to destroy Amalek when they came into the promised land and had become strong.
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies, in the land which the LORD your God will give you [for] your inheritance to possess it, [that] you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shalt not forget to do it.
B. That day came when Saul was king over Israel. The prophet Samuel came to him and said:
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.
And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.
And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for you showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah [until] you come to Shur, that [is] over near Egypt.
And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all [that was] good, and would not utterly destroy them:
1. Saul had claimed their utter destruction, but we find David fighting against the Amalekites later on.
2. David and his men had gone to battle and while the men were off to war in the north, the Amalekites attacked the city of Ziglag and took their wives and children as hostages. Another dirty, sneaky attack.
3. You can always expect an attack when you are at your weakest moment.
4. Still almost 500 years later at the time of Esther, we find a man plotting to kill all of the Jews. His name was Haman the Agagite; he obviously was a descendant of King Agag, one of the Amalekites that Saul did not destroy.
5. Some question God's command to Saul to utterly destroy, but if you don't, you will find that it will come back and seek to destroy you.
IV. HOW CAN I HAVE VICTORY OVER MY FLESH?
A. Not by my own strength.
1. There are always many self-help programs offered by different people.
2. People have tried hypnosis.
B. Paul said, "If we by the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, we shall live."
1. Jesus overcame the temptations through the Word.
a. He had gone for forty days without eating, naturally He was hungry.
b. Satan suggested that He use His supernatural powers to feed His own personal need.
c. "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
2. David said, "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you."
3. God's word in your heart is a great defense against the attacks of the enemy.
C. Prayer is another weapon God has given to us to defeat the powers of darkness.
1. We can enlist the power of God.
2. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
3. Daily doses in prayer and the Word will feed your spirit and strengthen it for this battle against the flesh.
4. Paul answered his cry of "Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?" with the words, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."