Forgive and Forget?

followFollow Me: Love[1]

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 17:8-16 [2]

While the church quenched their thirst at Rephidim cousin Amalek[3] attacked the most vulnerable members of the church who were “tired and weary; and he [Amalek] did not fear God.”[4] Moses did not forgive them and bless them and turn the other cheek. He retaliated. Joshua and his men overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. The New Testament encourages us to “Make every effort to live in peace with all men.”[5] “Make every effort” suggests our efforts may not be fruitful with some. That might have been the case with Amalek and the church, because God also retaliated.

In response to Amalek’s cowardly act, God declared war on Amalek and instructed Moses to write God’s plan for Amalek on a scroll and read it to Joshua. God told the church, “You shall not forget.” Then God gave them a timeframe. After he gave the church rest from their enemies, and they possessed the land he promised, they must blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.[6]

A sacred doctrine in Christianity is “forgive and forget”, yet we have an example of God refusing to forgive and telling his church “do not forget”. If you think unforgiveness is always filled with bitterness and resentment, you are wrong. God is love. His refusal to “forgive and forget” is filled with justice.

Amalek treated his cousins unjustly when he led his army to attack the weak. God will not forgive and forget BUT keep in mind that God is talking about the nation Amalek became, and he delayed judgment for more than 400 years. God sent King Saul to execute his judgment against the nation of Amalek. Later King David subdued those who escaped Saul. There were still a remnant of Amalekites in the days of King Jehoshaphat.[7] The demise of a nation does not guarantee the individual citizens are doomed to suffer the fate of leaders who do not fear God.

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[1] In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul warns us that the things that happened in the wilderness were recorded as a warning to the church because Moses preached the same gospel about Jesus that was preached after Jesus resurrection. For this reason Israel/Jacob will be called the church in this series.

[2] All Scripture is from the NKJ Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Amalek is the grandson of Esau. Esau is the brother of Jacob. At this point the church consisted of the children of Jacob.

[4] Deuteronomy 25:18

[5] Hebrews 12:14

[6] Exodus 17:14 ; Deuteronomy 25:17-19

[7] Psalm 83, written in 870 B.C. during the reign of King Jehoshaphat.

About Teena Myers

Teena Myers is the Chairman of the Westbank Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
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