Esau’s Survivors: God’s Enemy, & Ripe For Full Annihilation
July 22, 2014
It has come to my attention that the false doctrines of Replacement Theology and Fulfillment Theology (which teach that the Church and Christ are the only recipients of God’s remaining promises to Israel) are growing, and that in believing these, people are feeling empowered to speak out against the nation of Israel. But, according to God’s Word, this is not a wise attitude or action. For God, in His promise to Abraham about making him (his decedents) into a great and blessed nation (Gen. 12:2) and giving them the land of the Canaanites (v. 6,7), decreed, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you / who disesteem you / who show you contempt.” (v. 3)
One of those ethnic groups who have despised the Israelites, attacked them, and desired their annihilation, is the Amalekites. These people were a clan of Edomites, and the Edomites came from Esau (Gen. 36:9-12), Jacob’s (Israel’s) twin brother. (25:19-26) Amalek was Esau’s grandson through Eliphaz and Eliphaz’ concubine named Timna. (36:12)
When the Israelites came up from their slavery in Egypt, the Amalekites were the first to attack them. (Ex. 17:8) After the Israelites defeated them in that battle (v. 13), the LORD told Moses to write down the promise that He (the LORD) would (eventually –v. 16) “completely erase the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven.” (v. 14) Moses built an altar to the LORD (v. 15) and declared, “Because a hand was against the throne of the LORD, the LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.” (v. 16) So we can see that the Amalekites, by being hostile toward God’s divine plan regarding the Israelites, made themselves solid enemies of God Himself.
In Num. 24:20, we see that Balaam, the prophet whom Moab and Midian hired to curse the Israelites (Num. 22:4-7), but who, because of God’s command, was only able to bless them (24:10-13), prophesied that Amalek’s end would be utter destruction. (v. 20) Balaam also prophesied, by the LORD, that out of Israel “a Star” / “a Scepter” (v. 17), namely Christ, would conquer Edom / Seir –he who is “His enemy”. (v. 18) Christ, the Ruler who comes out of Jacob (v. 19), is the One who destroys the survivors of Edom / Seir / Amalek, for they are the enemy of Christ Himself. (v. 18,19)
Balaam’s prophecy in Num. 24:17-19 adds support for those who believe that, although Esau, as a nation, has already been blotted out, he has descendants (survivors) who carry with them the same intense hatred toward Israel, and who will therefore be destroyed with burning pitch, unquenchable, by Christ Himself (Num. 24:19 // Isa. 34:8-10), though He actually uses the hand of Israel to do it. (Ezek. 25:12-14) No survivors will be left this time (Ob. 1:18) and so the Israelites, who were once exiles, will possess and govern the mountains of Esau and the land of the Philistines. (v. 19-21) “The house of Jacob will possess its inheritance” (v. 17) and “it will be holy” (same verse), for “the kingdom will be the LORD’s.” (v. 21)
Balaam also prophesied that Israel’s king will be greater than Agag and Israel’s kingdom exalted. (Num. 24:7) Who was Agag? We see that in the prophet Samuel’s day, he was king of the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:32); therefore “Agag” was likely the term used for the top ruler like the term “Pharaoh” was used in Egypt. In the story of Esther we see that Haman, the man who tried to get a decree passed that would annihilate all Jews (Es. 3:8,9), was an Agagite. (v. 1) Verse 10 calls him “the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.”
Because of what God had told Moses after the battle with the Amalekites when they first came out of Egypt (Ex. 17:14-16), Moses reminded the Israelites about that travesty which the Amalekites had done to them (Dt. 25:17,18) and ordered the Israelites to remember to “blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” (v. 19) The Israelites, however, would not or could not do it, for in Samuel’s day, they were still existing.
Had Moses given that annihilation order at the LORD’s command? Yes. We see that years later the LORD gave the same annihilation order to Samuel to give to King Saul: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Sam. 15:2,3) However, did Saul utterly destroy them? No, he did not. Samuel therefore rebuked him angrily, saying, “Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?” (v. 18,19)
Not killing off the Amalekites was an evil act in the eyes of the LORD. It was rebellion and stubbornness against God (1 Sam. 15:23), a sin equal to that of witchcraft and idolatry. (same verse) Then, because Saul had spared “Agag, king of the Amalekites” (v. 32), Samuel sent for Agag and then “hacked Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.” (v. 33)
There are numerous prophecies in God’s Word concerning Esau / Edom / Amalek, but let’s add this one: Mal. 1:1-5: “…the word of the LORD to Israel… I have loved you… I have loved Jacob but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness. Though Edom says, ‘We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins,’ thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever.’ Your eyes will see this and you will say, ‘The LORD be [is] magnified beyond the border of Israel!'”
Have the prophecies about Amalek’s annihilation and Edom’s ruin all come to pass, or are some still future? Either way, those of us who fear the Lord should certainly be very careful about our actions, our words, and our attitudes regarding the nation and the land which God, centuries ago, chose as His inheritance. (Ps. 135:4 // Joel 3:1-3) That land and nation is Israel, and the borders of Israel’s allotted inheritance are so specifically defined by God Himself (Num. 34:1-15 // Ezek. 47:13-23) –which He reminds them He swore to them with uplifted hand (Ezek. 47:14)– that it is blindness to accept Replacement and Fulfillment Theologies. Furthermore, those who ridicule Israel, those who speak and act spitefully toward her, and those who desire her downfall, have made themselves enemies of God (Ps. ch. 83 // Isa. ch. 34 // Joel ch. 3 // Ob. ch. 1), unless they repent.