Bible Study Outlines

Volume 4, Lesson 13
by C.I. Scofield

Wilderness Experiences, Part III

The Conflict with Amalek (Exodus 17:8-16)

Amalek was the father of the Amalekites, Israel's most persistent enemy. He was a grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:12), who was "born after the flesh" (Galatians 4:22-29). We have the very highest authority (John 3:6) for the statement that "flesh" can only produce "flesh." Amalek therefore is a type of the flesh -- what the believer is by nature. Nothing changes "flesh."

  1. The conflict in the wilderness

    It is important to note that Amalek makes his assault just when Israel is in the full tide of blessing. Fed with the bread from heaven (Exodus 16:14-18; John 6:31-35), and refreshed by water from the rock (Exodus 17:5-7; Joh 4:14; Ephesians 1:13), it was perhaps a time when Israel let down its guard.

  2. The secret of victory
    1. Resistance
      • Exodus 17:9,10 -- "Choose us out men... fight... so Joshua... fought"
    2. Victory through the rod of God
      • Exodus 17:9-12 -- "I will stand... with the rod of God in mine hand... when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed"

      The "rod of God" had first been Moses' shepherd staff, or crook. It was the rod of Psalm 23:4 in its literal sense (Exodus 4:2). In that sense it was the token of his occupation. Cast upon the ground, it became a serpent (Exodus 4:3). Taken up by Jehovah's command it became the rod of God, used to do "signs in the sight of the people" (Exodus 4:30). As such, it became the instrument of divine deliverence (Exodus 7:17,20; 8:5,16). It was even seen as "The finger of God" (Exodus 8:19).

  3. Victory through the Spirit of God
    1. The Law (works) cannot defeat Amalek
      • Romans 7:7-14 -- "Is the law sin? ... When the commandment came, sin [the flesh] revived"
    2. Self-effort cannot defeat Amalek
    3. Victory through the Spirit
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