Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not. 1 Samuel 15:3.
The Lord sent His servant with another message to Saul. By obedience he might still prove his fidelity to God and his worthiness to walk before Israel. Samuel came to the king and delivered the word of the Lord….
The Amalekites had been the first to make war upon Israel in the wilderness; and for this sin, together with their defiance of God and their debasing idolatry, the Lord, through Moses, had pronounced sentence upon them…. For four hundred years the execution of this sentence had been deferred; but the Amalekites had not turned from their sins. The Lord knew that this wicked people would, if it were possible, blot out His people and His worship from the earth. Now the time had come for the sentence, so long delayed, to be executed.
The forbearance that God has exercised toward the wicked, emboldens men in transgression; but their punishment will be none the less certain and terrible for being long delayed…. While He does not delight in vengeance, He will execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law. He is forced to do this, to preserve the inhabitants of the earth from utter depravity and ruin. In order to save some He must cut off those who become hardened in sin…. And the very fact of His reluctance to execute justice testifies to the enormity of the sins that call forth His judgments and to the severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor.
But while inflicting judgment, God remembered mercy. The Amalekites were to be destroyed, but the Kenites, who dwelt among them, were spared. This people, though not wholly free from idolatry, were worshipers of God and were friendly to Israel. Of this tribe was the brother-in-law of Moses, Hobab, who had accompanied the Israelites in their travels through the wilderness, and by his knowledge of the country had rendered them valuable assistance.
Conflict and Courage p. 155
At times a classmate emails everyone for whom he has an address about a classmate who has died. Since we had a very large class, I go online and look at the old class books from high school days. Before long, I’m looking up other classmates I remember. One such girl was my childhood friend, June. She and I share the same birthday. She is older, however, since she was born in England. We had gone to kindergarten together. By the first grade, she had moved away and I didn’t see her until five years later when I went to live with my mother and her new husband. We became instant friends.
We didn’t have classes together during our junior high days, but in high school we were classmates once again. We were delighted when our Science teacher arranged us alphabetically, so we got to sit together. That was so much fun! Whenever we dared, we would whisper and giggle. We were lab partners and had a great time doing the required experiments together.
When doing our lab experiments, we all were allowed to talk freely, so, of course, June and I always chatted happily and laughed about anything and everything. One day, however, things became a little bit too exciting. While pouring a fairly mild acid into the beaker I was holding, June began laughing at something I had said. She laughed so hard that her hands became unsteady more acid ran down the side of the beaker I was holding than got into it. Immediately, I stuck my hands into the stream of continuously running water that was between our workstations. All seemed to be fine at first, but a little later my hands became yellow and dry and cracked.
How often we “pour” an “acid” upon others, that does far more damage than what June accidentally did to me. How often the damage done through our words may never be undone. “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Prov 18:8 God commands us, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.” Lev 19:16 David sang, “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? . . . He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.” “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” Psa 34:13, 15:1,3
How often we “pour” another type of “acid” upon those around us. Peter speaks of this “acid” as being a busybody, a meddler. He advises, “let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” 1 Peter 4:15 Think of it! Meddling in others’ lives is listed alongside the sins of murder, thievery, and evildoing. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth.” Rom 14:4 No matter how pure our motives might be, when we force our ideas upon others, when we meddle in their lives, we have overstepped our bounds. Indeed, our Heavenly Father does not even do so. He ” is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11 He gently leads us into the way in which we should go, He never forces His will upon us.
James tells us, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father, and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 1:26,3:2-18
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing, knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good, let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12