Love Your Enemy and Destroy Amalek

In 1 Samuel chapter 15 Saul, king of Israel, is instructed by God through Samuel to utterly destroy Amalek and all they have. Verse 3 do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. How do you love your enemy and destroy Amalek?


This seems to contradict the New Testament teaching of Jesus. Matt. 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Israel was operating in its God ordained governmental capacity. Personally, we are to adhere to Jesus’ words in Matt. 5:43. Governments have a different injunction.

The Role of Government

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good.

But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil. 5 Wherefore ye must be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’s sake. 6 For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

The Flesh

Amalek is also representative of the flesh. It was to be completely blotted out. The flesh is the enemy of God’s people. What is flesh? Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Spirit

Fruits of the Spirit are opposite the works of the flesh. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

So, Amalek which is a perfect picture of the flesh needs to be crucified with its affections and lusts. We see this pictured in 1 Samuel 15:33. And Samuel said, as thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. Gilgal is where Israel was circumcised which is symbolic of death to the flesh. Gilgal was also identified with the rolling away of the bondage of sin. It was the proper place for Agag, king of the Amalekites to be executed.

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