March 2

Deuteronomy 24-27, Psalm 61

In the year 2000, a popular movie starring Russel Crowe was released called the Gladiator. As the story unfolded, the gladiator battle they had orchestrated in the Coliseum re-enacted the battle of Carthage. Russel Crowe, being a former Roman army general, realized the only way to survive was to fight as a unit, organized and with his leadership. Most followed, but there were a number of fighters who decided to fly solo. They removed themselves from the group in the arena with sword in hand. When the opposition group was released into the arena, they were the first to be picked off, and easily at that. So many Christians mistakenly believe that they don't need other Christians and can face the world on their own without the support and fellowship of other believers. Amalek represents a type of the flesh, those that refuse to strengthen themselves within a fellowship are usually the first to fall victim to their fleshly desires.

We read in Deuteronomy 25:17-19, "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget." As their history unfolded, when Saul was king, Samuel came to him with orders to fulfill this command from the Lord to utterly destroy the Amalekites. We read of what Samuel said to King Saul when he chose to fail to do so in 1 Samuel 15:26, "You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you." As we see the Jewish people celebrating Purim this week, this celebration, from the Book of Esther around 600 years after the events of King Saul is the result of the Jewish people prevailing over the attempt by Haman, a descendant of Amalek, to wipe out the Jewish people. Disobedience may not have immediate consequences, but it eventually will hurt us.

In the book of Hebrews, we read in 10:24-25, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Meeting together at church, in home groups, as we serve together in ministries all assist us to strengthen ourselves in our fight against the flesh, along with the attacks of the world and Satan. We are told in Romans 8:13, "Mortifying the deeds of the flesh, that you may live." Like Amalek, we must not play around with the things of the flesh. We have never been told to compromise or reform our old sinful ways. Instead Paul says in Romans 6:11, "Reckon yourself dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." We can not overcome the flesh in our own strength, we need the Holy Spirit. There are also no ceasefires, the attacks are relentless, so we need to stay prepared for the fight daily being rooted in His Word, in prayer, and in fellowship. The flesh is strong with its desires, but we have God, who is so much stronger.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster