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The Amalek & COVID-19 Nexus







One of Israel's ancient enemy, Amalek, was unique. It was an opportunistic enemy; it attacked Israel when it was weary or lacking its usual defenses. Israel confronted Amalek through two strategies: spiritual and natural.  Israel fought Amalek using prayer and physical combat.  This article draws parallels between Amalek's attacks against Israel and Satan's strategy targeting the most vulnerable in society.  The paper argues that there is prophecy and parallel between Haman's genocidal fury, depicted in the Book of Esther, and in what Satan intends to achieve through the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The Book of Esther foreshadows how the current Satan's genocidal fury can end.        





Amalek in Perspective 


God speaks to us about current problems through the enemies of Israel in the Old Testament. God’s people enemies such as the ancient Egyptians, Amalekites, Midianites, Philistines, Assyrians, and Babylonians speak of different challenges humanity, and more pointedly what believer’s face.


Here I focus on one enemy, Amalek. The manner Amalek attacked Israel and the way is defeated carries spiritual truths for the church today.


In the Bible, we find at least three places Amalekites launching an attack against Israel.[1] There is a pattern to their attacks. The way this enemy is routed by God’s people in all these instances carries similarity.





Amalek: The Heartless Opportunistic Enemy


The first enemy Israel encountered after it left Egypt is Amalek. As Israelites were marching through the desert, Amalek attacked them from the back. It attacked the stragglers:


Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.” (Deut. 25: 17-18)


Amalek attacked when Israel when Israel was at its weakest, tires and exhausted. It attacked from the rear. It killed the most vulnerable, the weakest members of Israel. The stragglers are usually the old, the infirm, women, and children.


This is the pattern that persists about Amalek throughout the Bible. Amalek attacks when Israel is defenseless or when Israel is exhausted. This is what we find we meet Amalek in 1 Sam 30. David and his men were away, they have left their camp unguarded. In the three days David and men were away, Amalek attacked their camp. As Amalek found the camp unprotected, they ransacked the camp. They looted and took the women and children captives, and they burned to the ground the camp.


David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.  3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” (1 Sam. 30: 1-4)


Here again we note, how Amalek took advantage of the fact that the strongmen were away. Amalek found the camp without due protection, exposed and vulnerable. David’s camp was without its usual defenses temporarily, and that gave Amalek to attack and ravage the camp. It ravaged the camp. It took captive the most vulnerable – women, children, and the old and infirm. We note here again Amalek is a master of opportunistic attacks. It chooses and attacks the weakest among the group.


Third time we read about Amalek is in the Book of Esther it is the same pattern repeating. When Amalek appears in the Persian empire in the form of the prime-minister Haman, its target is the most vulnerable group in Persia. Haman launched an evil plan to eliminate all Jews from the Persian empire. The Jews as a minority “immigrant” group in Persia, they were defenseless. Haman calculated that nobody will raise to the defense of this minority group if he wants to destroy them because they could worship him. Haman’s plan was all ripe and ready for execution; he had the permission of the Persian king to carry out his genocide mission. But Haman’s plan was nipped in the bud only because God intervened and turned the table against Haman. God intervened and delivered His people because the Jews “fought” the way Moses and David fought Amalek in their days.   





How is Amalek Defeated?


There is a consistent pattern established in the Bible how Amalek is defeated. It is always through spiritual means – prayer, fasting, intercession, or seeking the face of guidance.


In the first instance when Amalek attacked Israel at Rephidim, the victory came through the intercession of Moses.


So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (Ex. 17: 10-13)


The fighting efforts of Joshua and his young men were important in routing Amalekites. But what was their efforts without the backing of intercession by Moses? Moses held the key to victory; his intercession determined the progress and the outcome of the battle against the opportunistic attacker.


David could defeat Amalek only for one reason. First David turned to God in prayer. God spoke to David as an answer to pray; God gave David strategy how to pursue the raiders. Just because David prayed and followed God’s plan, David could overtake the Amalekites and rout them. David did not only recover the captives and the loot taken from his camp; he took far more booty than he lost. God’s fighting forces regrouped and launched a counterattack and won.


Haman, the arch-Amalekite, was defeated through prayer and fasting. The prayer and fasting galvanized by Esther and Mordechai moved the hand of God. God gave grace to Queen Esther before the king Xerxes (Ahasuerus). Haman did not have the knowledge Esther was a Jewess. Only much later, when it was too late, he recognized that he overplayed his hand in scheming in trying to eliminate the Jews from the 127 countries rule by Xerxes. The most defenseless people he thought, they were the most powerful. They had one of their own sitting on a throne next to the absolute king.





The Amalek of Our Days


In the New Testament period, God’s covenant people face spiritual evil forces as their primary enemies. Their battle is targeted towards these spiritual wicked forces. Like ancient Israel our enemies are not humans like the Egyptians, Philistines, Midian, Amalek, Assyria, and Babylon.


For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12)


That means, if we face enemies, they are primarily demonic forces. Even if the problem we encounter is physical in form or natural in manner, behind all is the devil using them as his instruments of attack. The devil’s presence in the world is pervasive.


We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 Jn. 5:19)


Moreover, the devil is a master of disguises. It hides its hands in ways we least suspect.


And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)


Since, Satan is full of crafty wiles, God asks us to be vigilant to the devil’s evil designs. God advises us that we should be wary not to give Satan an opportunity to take advantage of us, because of our ignorance, innocence, or unpreparedness.


In order that Satan should not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Cor. 2:11)


One way we become prepared against the wiles of Satan is by drawing lessons from the Old Testament. Israel’s various ancient enemies are mines of lessons about our enemy Satan who manifests troubles in various shapes. In our case here, what is the meaning of Amalek? What form does it take in our life? How do we counter the evil force of Amalek?


The essence of Amalek is that it is an opportunistic enemy. It loves to attack waiting for the right time our defenses are down (or, away). It attacks we are weary and exhausted. When we are not in good shape strength and health-wise. As society, it attacks us harming the most weak and vulnerable among us. Amalek finds this group of people its easy prey. Its common prey are the old, infirm, poor, and children.  


One Amalekite force the devil mobilizes to kill, steal, and destroy through what we call -- opportunistic infection. There are pathogens which attack people only when their defenses are down temporarily. Such pathogens target also people whose natural bodily defenses are low because of underlying illnesses, poverty, or old age. The most vulnerable among us are susceptible to such an attack. That means the pathogens the devil wields are opportunistic and selective in their manner of attack.


Interestingly, the pathogens are crafty creatures despite what their microscopic size belies. [2] Often, they remain quiescent during normal times, bidding their time to flare up when the body defenses are weak. Moreover, they can also effectively dodge medicine or antibodies through mutation.  In this case, the, God’s order how to deal with Amalek will not sound extreme: “bloat out its memory from the earth.” But such order carries meaning in the way we deal with deadly pathogens. If we get infected, the medical recommendation is that we must complete the therapy until all the pathogens are wiped out of our system. By not completing the regime of treatment, we should not give the pathogen another chance to re-group or to mutate. Half-way measures do not work vis-à-vis Amalek.[3] [4] 






Covid-19: The Haman of the End Times?


That brings us to today and the coronavirus threat the devil have unleashed against all humanity. The plague, COVID-19, has infected more than 300 thousand people and has killed about 15,000 people worldwide in a spate of three months. The devil who is behind the plague has targeted the most vulnerable among us, people with underlying health conditions or who are old.[5]


The existential threat COVI-19 poses to humanity draws some parallels with the existential threat the Jews faced from Haman. As Haman created a great consternation among the Jews back then, so does COVID-19 today among the nations. These are trying times for humanity. Today, the economy and social life are under strain. Many nations are in state of emergency or lockdown mode.  


There is a lesson for all of us the way the Jews dealt with the threat of Haman. Mobilized under the leadership of Mordechai and Queen Esther, the Jews through prayer and fasting neutralized the threat of Haman. Haman lost and he lost badly. On the other hand, the people of God whom he schemed to destroy; they went up fast. Mordechai whom Haman tried to kill, took Haman’s place; he became next to the king in authority. Haman was hanged on the gallows which he has prepared for Mordechai.   


The Esther of the day, a queen seated on the right-hand of the potentate of the earth is the church of Christ (Eph. 2:1-2). The secret in routing the day’s Amalek ultimately lies with the church. The church must enter prayer and fasting mode. That is the Moses-David-Esther way of dealing with the attacks of Amalek. Once the church mobilizes its prayer and fasting forces, then it will dawn on the devil that it has over-played its hand. God will intervene and turn the table against Satan. COVID-19 could be the pit Satan has dug up to bury humanity, but into which itself will go down headfirst (Ps. 7:13-15)


He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows. See, the wicked one is pregnant with evil, conceives trouble, and gives birth to deceit. He digs a pit, even excavates it; then he fell into the hole that he had made.”


That means the devil will suffer the same fate that befell Haman. He will die on the same gallows he has fashioned for humanity. It will lose its power and kingdom. The saints will inherit the earth which so far has been run by evil ones.


We are living in the last days. The darkness we are facing today can be compared to the darkness prophesied in Isaiah 60:1 and Matthew 24:29. Note how the darkness prophesied in Isaiah 60:1 and Matthew 24:29 breaks into a glorious light, the joys of the fullness of the Kingdom of God. But how did transform the darkness into glorious light? Back to the Book of Esther. The darkness Haman created it was removed when the people of God prayed, fasted, when they sought the face of God. The same principle applies to deal with the Amalek existential threat of our time. To assist us in seeking the face of God, we have the promise of God. In the last days, God has promised to pour out the spirit of prayer and grace on His people (Zech. 12). In the Old Testament, the story of Amalek culminates in the Book of Esther. The Book of Esther is a prophecy about the end times.[6]






[1] There is also a possible fourth instance.  This is from the Chabad resource page: “The King of Arad: In the fortieth year of the Jews’ wandering in the desert, Aaron, the high priest, passed on. The protective clouds of glory that surrounded the Jewish camp disappeared, as they were present only in Aaron’s merit. Seeing the exposed encampment (Note: My emphasis), the Canaanite king of Arad launched a savage attack against the Jews. The sages explain that the king of Arad and his army were actually Amalekites who had merely disguised themselves as Canaanitesbefore entering battle (Note: My emphasis). They wanted to confuse the Jews about their attackers’ identity. While the Jews would pray to G‑d for salvation from Canaanites, the Amalekites would be free to do whatever they pleased. The plan backfired. The Jews were victorious and went on to enter the Land of Israel unimpeded by the Amalekites.) (source: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3942715/jewish/Who-Were-Amalek-and-the-Amalekites.htm)



[2] Viruses, despite their bone-minimum structure, they are crafty and deadly. They serve the Satan’s purposes mightily, to kill, to rob, and to destroy. They serve the devil as its invisible legions.  Their craftiness as described here, has allusions to what St. Paul calls the “wily craftiness of the devil.” [https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/23/coronavirus-isnt-alive-thats-why-its-so-hard-kill/]



[3] For example, God gave King Saul the order to extirpate Amalek. King Saul’s incomplete action against Amalek drew the displeasure of God and cost him his kingdom (see 1 Sam. 15). It is thought by many biblical scholars that Haman, who posed serious threat to the existence of Jews in the times of Esther, came from the Amalekites which King Saul failed to destroy.  


[4] Israel dealt with the Amalek threat in two ways, through the spiritual and natural means. Israelites used both prayer and warfare to overcome Amalek. For example, while Joshua was fighting Amalek in the valley, Moses was praying against Amalek from the hill (Num. 25). David first prayed (sought God’s guidance) and then pursued Amalek and defeated through old style combat (1 Sam. 30). Esther and Mordechai used both spiritual and natural means to neutralize the threat of Haman. First, they prayed and fasted and then they moved against Haman and his kin by violent means. The lesson is this: we need people who pray and fast against any sneaky plague, like COVID-19, that Satan unleashes. The natural means consists of use of medical professionals, medicine, and building the body’s defense mechanisms (i.e., antibodies). Both strategies God commends in destroying the modern-day Amalek.  



[5] See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt6oDueqbpE


[6] See my writing, “Esther, Mordechai, and the End Times” on this web site: https://christianwriters.com/blogs/entry/13131-esther-mordecai-and-the-end-times/



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