Then Came Amalek

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:16-18,22,23).


God gave His people [Israel] food and water [during their wandering in the wilderness]–water from the smitten rock, which is the gift of eternal life through the smitten Savior and poured out as living water through the Holy Spirit. But no sooner had God given the waters of salvation, the enemy came in!

Amalek represents the flesh, which always seeks to prevent believers from entering into the land of God’s promise. The flesh resists the Holy Spirit [Who is] impacting all facets of your being and redeeming your humanity to make you His temple. The flesh fights the Holy Spirit’s every attempt to lead you into spiritual maturity. “Standing across your pathway from the very outset of your Christian life is Amalek!”

God gave the Israelites victory over the attacking Amalek–but only as Moses kept his hands and the rod of God raised. Victory over the flesh is never won, it is always given. Victory comes from walking by faith in the Spirit and assuming the victory that He has already won.

“To walk in the Spirit is not a reward–it is the means! It is to enjoy the saving Life of Christ!”

[“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” -Rom. 5:10.]

Amalek descended from Esau–the man who despised His birthright, the very promise of God to redeem man and restore him to dependence on God through Christ. “Why did God hate Esau? Because God can do absolutely nothing with a man who will not admit that he needs anything from God.” But God could do great things through Jacob, as sneaky and deceitful as he was, because Jacob wanted everything he could get from God. God doesn’t love you for what your flesh can make of yourself–He loves you for what Christ will make of you.

God says to forget what He forgets–our sins and iniquities. Christ is your righteousness. [“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” -1 Cor. 1:30,31.] Do not let Satan accuse you when the blood of Christ cleanses you. But God says to remember Amalek–know your enemy. For if you compromise with the flesh and make an unholy alliance with that which is opposed to God (and will perish in eternity), then you have forgotten. God says we must remember our enemy!

[“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts – Rom. 13:14.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us – Rom. 8:37.]


“Then Came Amalek!” (summarized) is from a chapter in The Saving Life of Christ, by W. Ian Thomas (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1961). This article is from Christian Book Summaries, Volume 2, Number 28 at Summarized by David and Renee Sanford.

Other Scriptural allusions in this article: 1 Cor. 10:4; Exodus 13:21,22; Exodus 17:8-16; Rom. 7:18; Gal. 5:16; Rom. 5:10; Gen 25:30-34; Malachi 1:2,3. Bracketed words and Scripture added.

Major Ian Thomas is the founder of Capernwray Missionary Fellowship of Torchbearers, an international Christian missionary organization engaged in evangelism and Bible teaching. His audio teaching is also available at

For further study on this topic see Grace Notes: Jekyll or Hyde?, Well Adjusted Flesh, and Maladjusted Flesh. and the article under “Clarifications” at

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