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Amalekites Guilty of Identity Theft
We are studying the lives of King Saul and David, contrasting the character qualities of the two men. In the personal life of a Christian believer, Saul represents a non-overcomer Christian and David represents an overcomer. In the last issue, we saw that David and his 600 men had been ordered by his heathen protector, Achish, to depart from the scene of the coming battle with King Saul and to return to their families in the distant city of Ziklag.
Upon his arrival, David found the city burned and all its inhabitants missing, including David’s two wives. With the help of an abandoned Egyptian slave, David and his army caught up with the Amalekite marauders. Under cover of darkness, David and 400 men attacked and recovered all their people and goods, as well as some additional booty.
Upon return to Ziklag, some of the 400 warriors with David insisted that none of the 200 men who stayed behind from the battle be given any of the spoils except to get their wives and children back. We concluded last month seeing David’s loving yet firm statement to them that all the booty would be shared by all. The reason, David explained, was because it was God’s doing, not the mighty work of their own hands, which gave them the victory over the Amalekites. David now announces this decision.
1 Samuel 30:24 For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.
25 And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.
David knew the history of his nation and he knew the Word of God. Yahweh had given instructions in Numbers 31:27 on dividing booty. There was also the precedent of Joshua ordering the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh to share the spoils of war with their brethren who had remained behind while the troops from these tribes had crossed over Jordan to help the other tribes.
Joshua 22:8 And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.
Aside from the lesson on the sovereignty of God which we expounded last month, there is another application we can draw from this passage. It is applicable in every age. It is the analogy that Paul made in 1 Corinthians 12 of the church to a human body. God has set every member of the body in his or her own place. The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor does the ear say to the foot, I don’t need you, and so forth. The body is one, but it consists of many members, each doing their specific tasks for the benefit of the whole body.
In a more precise parallel to David and his men, we can see that there are certain Christians who have been called to the front lines—evangelists and missionaries, preachers and teachers, apostles and prophets, etc. But the ministry of those who stay behind is just as important. For in the normal course of events, how effective could these front line personnel be without the prayer support and the financial support of the rest of the body?
I think we are going to be somewhat surprised when we look around in the kingdom of heaven some day in our glorified bodies, and we discover –“why there’s sister so-and-so; or there’s brother so-and-so; would you look at that? She is a top administrator in this sector of the kingdom. Why, back in 2004 you would have never guessed…”
And at about that time, Jesus suddenly appears and leans over and whispers in your ear: “Yes, no one knew but Father and Me how this woman was praying mightily for you, especially that time when you were facing that great trial in your ministry concerning.... And she wasn’t wealthy, you know. Her small, regular contributions to your ministry were a great sacrifice for her. It manifested her heart. Her reward is great now, here in the kingdom.”
Yes, I imagine we will have many surprises like that. Let us return to our text. What is David going to do now with all the other spoils he recovered from the Amalekites?
1 Samuel 30:26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of Yahweh;
We could be cynical by describing David’s actions as merely back-slapping, glad-handing politics. Or we could see it in a more positive light by describing David’s sharing as wisdom in action. Was there something blameworthy in David’s actions here? I think not. Had he kept all the spoils for his own personal bank account; I think that would have been questionable at the least.
David is well aware that Saul could very well be killed in the battle with the Philistines, and so he is wisely preparing the hearts and minds of those who will have a say in who the next leader of Israel is. And remember, in all his wanderings trying to avoid Saul and his men, David undoubtedly found it necessary to hand out quite a few I.O.U.’s.
He was not always able to earn his keep by offering protection services for farmers and ranchers. Sometimes, he and his men must have subsisted on handouts from the good people of Judah. This is his opportunity to pay them back and demonstrate his integrity and good will towards them. If this looks like he’s gearing up for an election campaign, so be it.
His conscience is clean towards the Father. Consequently, the following passage now lists a number of the specific groups who benefited from David’s largesse. Notice that many of these were not mentioned in the stories of David’s wanderings. Therefore, his wanderings must have been much more extended, both geographically and time-wise, than the brief narratives indicate. After all, the Bible is nothing if not the condensed version of history.
27 To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,
28 And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,
29 And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites,
30 And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach,
31 And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt.
Up to this point, we have looked at the story of Ziklag primarily on a literal, historical level. We have drawn out a few applications for our day, but there is always more to be mined from the Word of God, if our Father will only pull back the veil of our understanding.
Let us now look at the types and shadows in the Ziklag story and consider how it might apply in our day on a corporate level. We recall that the Amalekites were descendants of Amalek, a grandson of Esau. Esau’s nickname was Edom. So the Amalekites are Edomites. Does Edom exist today? The Jewish Encyclopedia states that Edom is found in modern Jewry. Would it not be accurate to say then that modern Amalekites would be found among the Jewish people today?
As David pursued the Amalekites, he found an Egyptian slave in the field. In Bible typology, Egypt symbolizes both the world and slavery. The field also represents the world (Matt. 13.) So we have a double witness of both the world and slavery. The world is dying of famine and thirst…for the Word of God.
David is a type of Christ. He is the bread of life. David gave the Egyptian bread. Christ feeds and nourishes the world. He sends forth the water of the Holy Spirit. Verse 12 says that when the Egyptian had eaten and drunk the water that his spirit revived. It is a picture of resurrection to spirit life for a world enslaved to sin and dying.
This Egyptian young man had been enslaved to Amalek. How cruel Amalek had been! After all, they had numerous beasts of burden upon which they could have brought this slave along with them, and they had plenty of food to spare. But this is Amalek, a sanguinary people.
This has been the pattern of Amalek’s behavior throughout history. Economically and culturally, Amalekites suck the blood and life from this part of the world and from that part of the world, from this nation and from that nation, and then they move on and discard it. Just as in the story, the Egyptian is left to die. But, God be praised, God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, the greater David, to give life to the world. Thus David gives life to this Egyptian, and although it is not stated in the text, it would seem only logical that this Egyptian became part of David’s following from that time forward.
In verse 18 it says that David rescued his two wives. Hmmm….let’s see, is Jesus Christ the same God that married Israel on Mt. Sinai? Yes, He is. In other words, the nation of Israel became the wife of Christ. Later, when the kingdom was split after the death of Solomon, how many wives did Christ have? Two. [See FMS #2, God Gets Married!—Then Divorces, FMS #3, God’s Divorce—Phase Two, and FMS #4, God’s Remarriage.] You see, the story about how Amalek stole the two wives of David is actually a prophecy about how over the centuries, Amalek has stolen the two wives of Christ, which are Israel and Judah.
They have stolen Israel and Judah in several ways. First, it’s a case of identity theft. With the ubiquity and great proliferation of credit cards these days and of ordering merchandise online, we are beginning to hear a lot about so-called “identity theft.” This outrageous new form of thievery is where some clever criminal manages to obtain your credit card number and some other information. With it, he uses your identity to run up huge bills on your credit card, or maybe he buys a car in your name, or I’ve even heard of identity thieves obtaining home mortgages using some one else’s identity. It has become a serious problem in our high tech society.
But there has been an identity theft on a global scale going on for centuries. In the past 60 years, the thieves have reached a new high point of chutzpah— as the Amalekites would say—chutzpah means “the brazen or outrageous nerve,” of somebody to do or say something or other, or “the audaciousness” of someone. Here’s an example I heard: chutzpah is when somebody spits in your face and then offers you his handkerchief to wipe it off.
As far as national identity theft is concerned, the Amalekites reached a new high point of chutzpah when they named their new territory “Israel” in 1948. Up until that time, they had only claimed to be Judah, but in 1948 they began to claim the name of Israel also. They have committed identity theft.
Whereas previously, they have tried to pass themselves off as Judah, they are now posing as all of Israel. They have stolen the names, the identities, of Israel and Judah. In other words, they have stolen the two wives of Christ, Israel and Judah. But David, i.e., Christ is going to rescue them. When?
We cannot pin it down exactly, but to the extent that we understand the sequence of events in these last several chapters, it seems to follow this chronology. Saul goes to the witch of Endor and hears the alleged spirit of Samuel prophesy that he and his sons will die on the next day.
Meanwhile, David and his men had been with the Philistines as they encamped at Aphek near Jezreel. They were then dismissed and so the next morning they left and headed south. They hiked for over two days to get back to Ziklag. But the question remains: was the morning that they left Achish the same day that the battle ensued and Saul died? We cannot be certain.
But let us say there is one more day before the battle where Saul dies. In either event, he would be dead before David and his men even arrive back at Ziklag. David and his men mourn. The men are ready to stone David. Then, they begin pursuit of the Amalekites. They find the starving Egyptian and who tells them that he had been abandoned after the sack of Ziklag and this is the third day now that he had been starving and thirsting.
Then it is perhaps another day at least, or perhaps two or three, before David and his men catch up to the Amalekites, reconnoiter the situation, rest a bit, then strike at twilight. So Saul has probably been dead for several days—perhaps as many as six or seven days, before David rescues his two wives.
In the antitype of the story, this means that the Saul church, the church under Pentecost, dies before the names of Israel and Judah are recovered from modern Amalek. However, there is another factor to consider which we have not yet encountered in our study. After the death of Saul, one of his surviving sons, Ishbosheth, is installed on the throne over the northern tribes while David is installed as king in Hebron over the tribe of Judah only.
It does not appear therefore that it will be a sudden recovery of all that was lost, but rather a gradual one. This suggestion is given added weight since just a bit ahead in the story the Scriptures tell us that the house of David grew stronger and stronger while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. It was a gradual process.
A second manner in which the Amalekites have stolen, hijacked and kidnapped the wives of Christ is by the amalgamation and mixture of Judaism and Christianity. It is spiritual adultery. Christianity has been adulterated by the admixture of the heathen religion of Judaism.
Do not fall for the fallacy that Judaism is simply the true religion of Old Testament Israel. It was not. Judaism was itself an amalgamation of some elements of the true Israelite religion, watered down by oral traditions, and mixed with a heavy dose of religious garbage picked up from Babylon by the Judahites during their captivity there.
It was that hybrid religion which Jesus railed against as the “traditions of the elders,” the traditions of men which made the Word of God of no effect. If the Word of God had no effect when mixed with the traditions of men, then we could say that it was incapable of producing spiritual life.
This is exactly what has happened to Christianity, especially in the past 100 years. There is now a hybrid religion known today as Judeo-Christianity. Just notice how many “church folk” refer to our supposed “Judeo-Christian” heritage. Nonsense! Judaism is anti-Christian. Yet this oxymoronic hybrid religion is what passes for Christianity today. And what is a chief characteristic of hybrid seeds, for example? They cannot reproduce.
Hence, from a spiritual perspective, JudeoChristianity is incapable of producing true and (ever-) lasting spiritual life. Thus, in this manner also, the wives of Christ have been metaphorically stolen from Him—because He possesses immortality, but His wives do not. His wives are in captivity to Amalek and condemned to death. What is worse is that during the period of their kidnapping, the wives have been sterilized by Amalek by means of Judeo-Christianity.
They are barren and unfruitful, incapable of bringing forth the manchild. Christ is the original and single Manchild, but there is a Manchild Company which is being born of the overcomers, and they, the body of Christ, with Jesus Christ as head of the body, will rescue Israel and Judah from Amalek. It is this overcomer company that is referred to in Isaiah 62, where it refers to the sons of God marrying a virgin.
Isaiah 62:5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
You see, the virgin is the wife who has been sterilized and yes, spiritually raped by Amalek. But Christ will miraculously restore the wombs of these wives, all of Israel and Judah, so that they will be restored to spiritual virginity. Then they will be able to conceive to the holy seed and they will bring forth the manchild, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Our full and complete “born again” experience will only be finished when we are resurrected to immortality of body, soul and spirit. Praise the Lord for His marvelous Plan!