The Mystery of Havilah

Published on:

28 July 2014

havilah

There is no way this topic could be treated without going in-depth into the root and the very major characters of the people that constituted the tribes that were involved in the struggle of Havilah. Havilah was one of the old tribe that evolved after the beginning of the creation of man. Although God Almighty is behind the existence of every soul on the surface of earth but since creation, the civilization of mankind has been revolving around this mysterious piece of land. Even in our time and through out ages of mankind, this piece of land will always be a major relevant issue in the existence of mankind and political history of the world. Havilah had outlived many generations and it is still on the ground-breaking history in the making.

ISHMAEL

The first character we shall consider in this study is Ishmael. Ishmael was a natural first born of Abram. He was not a product of adultery. Hagar his mother was a hand maid of Sarai and she did not betray her mistress. She did not involve herself in adultery with Abram the husband of her mistress. She did not abuse the advantage of being the handmaid of Sarah. Ishmael was not a bastard. Far from the facts that cannot be substantiated from the scripture that some peddled about Ishmael, concerning his legitimacy in the family of Abram, he was born under the arrangement of man.

In an attempt to provide a short term solution to the problem of delay of having offspring blessing in the marriage of Abram and Sarai to be the heir of Abram, Sarai talked her husband into having Hagar, her handmaid, to bear a child for her. It was an arrangement that received a full consent of both Abram and Sarai but was completely outside the promise of God unto Abram.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had and Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. So she said to Abram, “The Lord had kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant, perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. (Genesis 16:1-4)

 Abram considered the option in his human wisdom and perhaps he said to himself in the narrow thought of man;

“I am getting old.”
“It had ceased to be with Serai the natural way of a woman that can reproduce.
“If the child is not forth coming from my wife, perhaps God intended to bless me with an heir that will come from offspring of Hagar.”

And he consented to the suggestions of Serah. He went into Hagar and she conceived. An important lesson in this is that, if a man is in a covenant relationship with God, he should not depend on his wisdom and intellect to take an important decision about his life without a prayerful consultation with God about the decision. Let us consider the mutual agreement of Serai and Abram. Many of us will think that this arrangement was outrageous. At this time in the history of the life of the couple, the culture of their environment permitted this type of conscientious arrangement. The same arrangement also took place in the family of Jacob, through which the twelve tribes of Israel were all sprung out.

After she became pregnant, her relationship with her mistress became sour. She no longer considered herself as a servant of Serai but as a rival marrying the same husband. Perhaps her mistress sent her an errand and she refused and said, “I cannot do it because I am pregnant. Perhaps she said, “If you know what is it to be pregnant, you wouldn’t sent me such an errand!” Serai became despised and in turn, she began to mistreat Hagar. Hagar ran away. She thought it was right for her to run away from her problems until she encountered the angel of God by a spring beside the road to Shur. The angel advised her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel began to prophesy upon her and the child in her.

“I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”
“You are now with child and you will have a son.”
“You shall name him Ishmael for the Lord has heard of your misery.”
“He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility towards all his brothers.” (Genesis16:10-12)

The scripture did not record it that she came back to make peace with her mistress but it was obvious that she did as the angel of the Lord bid her and she bore her first child, Ishmael unto Abram.

The name of Ishmael means “God hears.” Although Ishmael may be described as a son of a bond woman it was not his choice and he can not be blamed for the error of his parents. Ishmael was a result of the exclusive short term solution of Abram’s wisdom, which was outside the covenanted relationship with God, which led to a long-term problem to his future generation. Ishmael was the evidence of the impatience of Abram and also a revelation of lack of total trust in the Lord at the time of his need. Ishmael was a victim of jealousy between two women who were living amicably in their mistress-servant relationship before, but were torn apart and behaved towards each other as enemy when despise and pride of Hagar triggered off detestable jealousy in the mind of Sarai.

Prophecy of the angel of the God upon Ishmael manifested in his life. Ismael was not living in hostility with his brothers because of the fact that he was a victim of jealousy between two women, his natural fiercely aggressive behaviors towards others that rightly described him as an untamable desert onager (wild donkey) which was the manifestation of the prophecy of the angel upon him brought him so many enemies. When Ishmael was about 14 years old his half brother, Isaac, was born. (Gen. 17:24-25, 21:5) At the passage of time later when Isaac was weaned, Abraham held a great feast. Serah caught Ishmael mocking and the scoffing was offensive to Serah, and she demanded an immediate expulsion of Hagar and her son, Ishmael from the camp of Abraham. “Get rid of that slave woman of her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” (Genesis 21:10) Although this demand distressed Abraham so much, but God comforted him and asked him to yield to the demand of Serah. In the following day, Hagar and Ishmael were sent packing unceremoniously with some food and a skin of water and they began to wander in the desert of Beersheba.

An important thing to note about the life of Hagar and her son Ishmael is that at every crucial point in their lives, God always show up. When Hagar was pregnant and she had misunderstanding with her mistress and ran away, God show up through an angel to comfort her and advice her about the right steps to take. She recognized this divine help from above and she gave a name to the Lord, “You are the God who sees me.” (Gen. 16:13) Again when she was sent packing with her son Ishmael and they were greatly thirsty under the intensive sun of the desert, God heard the cry of Ishmael. God again spoke through an angel from heaven, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Immediately God open her eyes (meaning that the eyes of her understanding were enlightened). She was led to the place of their comfort where she found a well and their thirst were quenched. On the two occasions she encountered divine intervention that affirmed the fact that she was not alone was a pointer that God was interested in their lives. The fact that Hagar was a bond woman did not affect the fact that Ishmael was an offspring of Abraham and was greatly blessed according to the covenant of blessing upon the seeds of Abraham. It is important to note in the way that God intervened during the needs of Hagar that God is God of the free as well as God of the bond. When the righteous call upon the name of the Lord, whether free or bond, salvation will come. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

From the early age of Ishmael, Hagar faced the ordeal of raising her son alone. There was not much a woman could do to raise a son in that primitive age to adulthood. There was no father figure that Ishmael can emulate and as a result he lacked the sense of spiritual direction that his father should have offered him. Notwithstanding, he has personal responsibility to live peacefully and righteously before Almighty God. His responsibilities included listening to righteous directions of his mother who had been endowed with grace to receive divine favor from Almighty God on the two crucial moments of her life, but Ishmael’s ways of life and behaviors pointed to the fact that he followed the negative ways of hostility towards his brothers. Nothing was wrong in being a son of an Egyptian bond woman; the only thing that was wrong in his life was the fact that he put himself in the perpetual bondage of sinful recklessness with his brothers and people around him.

This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham. These are the name of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the first born of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam. Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Hetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. His descendants settle in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers. Genesis 25:12-18 (NIV)

In terms of blessing, God blessed the descendants of Ishmael, like his brother Isaac, he had twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps from Havilah to Shur, but their characters and behaviors were fiercely aggressive and they lived in hostility towards all their brothers.

ISAAC

“Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and unto thy seed after thee.” (Genesis 17:5-7)

God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that shall be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her. Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety? And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Serah will bear to you by this time next year. When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. (Genesis 17:15-22)

In the first verse of Chapter 17 of the book of Genesis God opened His conversation with Abram with an introduction and a strong warning, “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless.” This statement is pregnant with meaning. It can be interpreted as, “I observed some element of lack of faith in your recent decision that led to the birth of Ishmael, I am Almighty God that can do all things, be firm in your faith in me with no record of spiritual error forthwith. Your life should demonstrate that you totally put your trust in me.” In Hebrew 11:6 the scripture confirmed this line of thought and emphasized, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who come to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Two things happened to Abraham family in this passage that totally transformed their lives. Firstly, his name Abram and his wife’s name Sarai, were changed to Abraham and Serah respectively. The change of their names was not an idea of Abraham; it was a necessary spiritual step for the godly family to be blessed. The name change preceded His covenant with Abraham. The name they were bearing before was given unto them from the abundance of the wisdom of their idolatry parents. God had to break them from their idolatry of the past in order to graft them into His righteousness of the present. It is a normal practice for a man to change his name to a new name, but at the end of the legal document that effects the name change, there is always a legal qualification, “all former documents remain valid.” When a man changes his name, the whole world may recognize the change, but it does not affect his spiritual identity and his spiritual destiny before God, because all former identities (both physical and spiritual) still remain valid. When the Lord changes the name of a person, his spiritual identity and his spiritual destiny is out rightly altered. It does not matter whether the people of the world recognize this change or not. Certainly the new name gave Abraham and Serah a brand new spiritual identity before Almighty God.

Secondly, with this new name heaven recognized the Abraham as the family of God on Earth, and He established His covenant with Abraham from that day onward. He also named Isaac the next person in the lineage of Abraham He will establish His everlasting covenant.

There was no much that needed to be known about the birth of Isaac other than the fact that he came to the life of Abraham and Serah at a time when it was naturally unforeseeable because both of them were very old. The birth of Isaac was the evidence of the faithfulness of God to the covenanted relationship He had with His servants. When God declared His love in prophecy towards His people, it always comes to pass. “Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?” (Lamentations 3:37) God decreed a son of Promise unto Abraham, and he said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” (Genesis 18:10) And it came to pass!

One may wonder why God said, Ishmael, the first son of Abram was not the child of the promise. This issue leads us to another deep revelation of the word of God. I want you to know that covenant of God always complements the existing covenant He had made. A new covenant does not destroy the existing covenant. Instead, it strengthens it the more and makes it a better covenant. Jesus Christ said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17) The covenant of love between Abraham and Sarah was the institution of marriage. God honored the institution because He instituted it at the beginning between Adam and Eve and even in our time God is the unseen witness to every covenant of marriage. The covenant of marriage was the reason of the togetherness relationship between Abraham and Serah, the existence of the relationship was the reason why Hagar could become the handmaid of Serah in the camp of Abraham. The beneficiary of the blessing of the covenant between God and Abraham cannot be any other person outside the covenant of marriage between Abraham and Sarah. By the virtue of spiritual principle, God does not allow the vineyard of the righteous to be consumed by the heathens. Although Ishmael came forth from the arranged relationship between Abram and Hagar with the consent of Sarai, the child was not a product of an existing covenanted relationship of marriage between Abraham and Serah. Above all, Abram had Ishmael before his spiritual birth in Genesis Chapter 17 that led to his covenant relationship with God. Spiritual change had taken place in the life of Abraham and his destiny had been changed. The new Spirit filled Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac, the spirit filled child of Promise.

See the Table below to learn more about Ishmael and Isaac, children of Abraham

WHO WERE THE AMALEKITES?

There is no way we can go forward in this study without first of all solve complicated understanding of who constituted the Amalekites. The scripture clearly stated that the twelve descendants of Ishmael who were the grand sons of Abraham and his second generation settled in the area from Havilah to Shur (Genesis 25:18) Esau and Jacob were the children of Isaac as well as the grand sons of Abraham. They were also in the line of second generation of Abraham. The name of one of the grandsons of Esau was Amalek. Amalek the son of Eliphaz was in the line of 4th generation of Abraham. The children of Amalek will possibly be the 5th generation of Abraham. The scripture did not state categorically where the grandson of Esau, Amalek settled. Another interesting issue about the grand son of Esau was the fact that he also was in the lineage of Abraham. Both the twelve children of Ishmael and the grand son of Esau were generation of Abraham.

See the Table below to learn more about the generation of Amalekites.

His {Ishmael} descendants settle in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward

Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers. Genesis 25: 18 (NIV)
Esau’s son Eliphaz also had a concubine named Timna, who bore him Amalek. (Genesis 36:12 (NIV)
Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur to the east of Egypt (I Samuel 15:7 NIV)
The children of Ishmael, the second generation of Abraham had settled in Havilah from the beginning. His (Ishmael) descendants settle in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers. Genesis 25: 18 (NIV) Even if we do not know the origin of the Amalekites that attacked Israelites in Exodus 17, we certainly know that the Amalekites that King Saul attacked were dwelling in the area of Havilah to Shur to the east of Egypt. Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur to the east of Egypt (I Samuel 15:7 NIV) If the grandson of Esau constituted the Amalekites they were still the descendant of Abraham. Which ever way we look at this special people, whether as the children of Ishmael or one of the generations of the grandson of Esau, or the combination of the two, there was only one Amalekites recorded in the scripture and they were the descendants of Abraham.

THE WAR BETWEEN AMALEKITES AND THE ISRAELITES

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the tope 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. When Moses’ hand 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. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar and called it ‘The Lord is my Banner.’ Exodus 17:8-15

The Amalekites staged a pre-emptive attack against the defenseless Israelites when as a nation were still young and weak. They did not possess skilled warriors and their military organization was non-existence. As civilians they all left Egypt and began their forty years journey in the wilderness. They were bunch of civilians handling swords and other weapons of war to defend their sovereignty as a nation. Spiritually God was their war commander and the reason for their numerous victories in battle.

Amalekites were either the generation of Ishmael the natural first born of Abram or generation of Amalek the grand son of Esau, or combination of the two as we have earlier stated. The Israelites were also the generation of Abraham. What they all have in common was the blood of the blessed Abraham was running in the veins of the two generations. The history was still fresh in the mind of the tribes of Ishmael that the tribes of his younger brother, Isaac who they felt took the rightful position of their father to become the heir of Abraham their great-grand father were at their mercy. Opportunity presented itself for the Amalekites who felt rejected in the family of Abraham to have their revenge before the nation of Israel settled down in their land and became strong and mighty militarily.

The battle was a unique one – it goes beyond a demonstration of skillful usage of weapon and physical ability. The Amalekites came to battle with Israelites with the confidence in their strength and the weapons of war they possessed. But the Israelites faced the battle with the confidence of the Lord as the captain of their battle. Specifically Moses told Joshua, “Choose men to go out to fight the Amalekites tomorrow, I will stand up on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” It sounded ridiculous but this was the war plan of the Israelites at this time. It revealed the natural vulnerability of Israelites at the battlefront and at the same time it clearly explained the awesome confidence the people of God have in the Lord who was the unseen Captain of their battle.

The rod in the hand of Moses was the instrument of judgment of God upon the Egyptians. All the series of devastating judgment upon them came through the shepherd rod of Moses. The rod was the instrument of office of Moses. It swallowed the snakes of the magicians of Pharaoh, it paved the way for the children of God in the Red Sea to deliver them from the finest horse of Egyptians. The rod was the instrument of provision of water for the Israelites in the desert of Rephidim. Exodus 7:19-20; 8:5-6; 9:22-23; 10:21-22

When one considers the versatility of the all-purpose rod of Moses one may be tempted to wonder and ask, “How can a dry stick in the hand of Moses be controlling the work of nature?” There were two effective forces at work simultaneously here – the spiritual and the physical. Apparently, before every miracle, God would command Moses to raise up his staff. When the staff is raised, miracle manifested. There is something important that the word of God is pointing us to here. At every situational problem in our lives when we raise our hands up towards heaven in our heart-felt fellowship with God, we are raising a spiritual standard against our enemies. “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19b) In a wholesome gesture that clearly express our mind to God, we are telling Him that we surrender every thing to Him that He may have His own ways. We are causing the spiritual to superimpose physical to reveal the glory of God in our lives. When we sincerely do this we are communicating unto the Lord that, He alone can turn the mess of our lives to message and problems of our lives to prosperity for His glory. We are reaching out for the fullness of His presence. We are telling him to cause the little treasure in our hand to function for His glory.

The battle was spiritual in nature and it was only battle mentioned in the Bible whereby the Aaron the High Priest of God and Hur his co-worker had to raise Moses hands up as a spiritual banner of victory for a considerable time until the Amalekites were defeated.

Why was this battle different from others? The reason for the difference was the fact that the battle was between the opposing army of the blessed children of Abraham. The Amalekites were naturally stronger than the Israelites in battle. There was no way the Israelites could defeat the Amalekites with the physical strength alone. When Moses lifted his hands up for the Israelites, he raised the spiritual banner of her birthright as the choice of God, and upon whom the covenant of God is rested. The spiritual help from above blended with the little physical strength of the Israelites to produce effective force devastating enough to crush the natural physical strength of the Amalekites.

WHY DID IT SEEM THAT GOD TOOK SIDE?

  1. In the first place, God is a righteous and just God. To think that He was taking side in favor of one against the other was not correct. Instead one need to consider critically about the attributes of God and compare those attributes with the way God moves among mankind. Two among His attributes are: (1) God is God of righteous justice. Nobody is untouchable before Almighty God. (2) God is also a merciful God. Whatever may be nature of our inadequacies or in any way we have disappointed Him in our ways of live, there is a window of His mercy always open to anyone who wants to make peace with God. Whenever a sinner makes peace with God, implicitly the sinner is saying:

“Lord, I am wrong in my thought and in my actions. You are right in all the awesome laws and precepts you have laid down for me that I failed to follow. I am now abandoning my selfish and sinful ways to follow your righteous ways, please help me!”

Obviously in the reconciliatory words of a peace making, you will notice that it is the sinner that is taking side with God. God then exercises His sovereignty as Almighty God over every creation to implement His attribute of mercy as He forgives the erring one. In the same manner He exercises a righteous judgment against unrepentant soul. The Amalekites and the Israelites alike are all sinners. But it was on record that regardless of the unfaithfulness of Israelites they always come back to God to seek His face in repentance. But it was not so with the Amalekites. The Amalekites attacked Israelites the apple of the eyes of God, the peculiar people and the chosen generation when they were defenseless and weak thereby the Amalekites turned themselves into instrument of destruction in the hands of enemy, which of course, the Devil.

  1. In faithfulness of God concerning his words He exercised one of the clauses of His promises to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you …” (Genesis 12:3) The Amalekites came out to destroy the natural branch, and God decreed the destruction of the enemy of His people. If the judgment of God upon the Amalekites was so devastating, God did not bring it upon them; they brought destruction upon themselves as the result of their hostility and wickedness towards their brethren. What they reap was the fruit of the evil deed they inflicted upon others. For this reason, God commanded Moses to document the imminent destruction of the Amalekites so that the generation of Israelites will not forget their unfinished job when they were settled in their lands. “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” (Exodus 17:14)
  1. God had a covenant of peace with the Israelites to protect and preserve the remnant of the Israelites and to ensure that they dwell in peace in their inheritance. “I will grant peace in the land and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beast from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.” (Leviticus 26:6) As long as the hostile Amalekites existed, the Israelites will be operating in fear, and this was not the will of God for His people.
  1. The Law of pruning. I remember when I was growing up. One day my father and I were in his cocoa plantation. He told me that he would cut one of the kola plants scattered in the cocoa plantation. I asked him why? I even pleaded for the poor kola plants, that this plant was huge and full of leaves and grew better than the cocoa plant around it. In my observation and further in our conversation, my father said it was truly that the kola plants were very huge but they did not bear fruit, and at the same time, they were so overwhelming over other cocoa plants that they did not allow them to grow well and so that they could bear fruit. Pruning is a management tool in the hand of a farmer whereby the farmer weighs the economic value of the plant on a scale of choice before uprooting a certain plant to create room for the preserved plants. Pruning was the reason why the farmer would choose to uproot the weed in order to preserve the wheat, corn or yam and other choice plants in the farm.The essence of pruning in the farm is cut off the hostile plant or branch that is hindering the growth of the other plants so as to enhance the growth of the preserved plants. For instance mistletoe, {afomọ} a parasitic shrub that does not posses its own root but attaches itself to the branch of its hosts by modified roots called haustoria and begin to grow on the plant draining all the nutrients that the plant supplied to the branch and at the same time becomes a burden to the branch and hinders it to grow properly. When the farmer discovers the parasitic shrub, he will cut the branch upon which the shrub grew so that the remaining branches may grow well. Jesus Christ told the disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from be you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burn.” (John 15:5) The branches that are cut away are the ones that did not abide by the righteousness He demanded of His people and thereby constituting problems for others.

The entire world is like a vineyard of God and human race like His choice plant and the Heavenly Father as the gardener. Every decision of the Heavenly Father is, first of all, according to His words, in faithfulness to His righteous justice and in the best interest for mankind even though man may find it difficult to agree with the reasons that surrounded His decision. The Ancient of Day does not need a debate or any democratic voting process before His righteous decisions are implemented. God had foreseen the religious crisis that will engulf the earth thousands of years ahead of time and the chains of problems and discomfort that it would bring to humanity. He decided to slate the hostile and harmful generation in the region for destruction in order to nip the crisis in the bud. That was the reason why God did not take the hostility of the Amalekites for granted. That was why He decisively judged their wicked acts.

LAUNCHING ISRAEL IN TO THEIR INHERITANCE

This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys. (I Samuel 15:2-3)

The initial error of Abraham that resulted in the birth of Ishmael increased the struggles of his children in the region and also increased the number of enemies the Israelites had to deal with. The generation of Ishmael, the Amalekites now dwelling in Havilah had earlier launched a pre-emptive attacked against the Israelites. The powerful enemies of Israelites in the region have to be subdued and the commandment that the Amalekites be eliminated was an implied strategically intention of God to break the back bone of their enemies in the region. When a nation defeated the other nation in battle, the land of the vanquished nation becomes an extended property of the conqueror nation. That was the unrevealed underline intentions of God in His commandment to Saul that every living thing in Amalek be destroyed without sparing any thing. God wanted to destroy the enemies of Israel before He launched them into their blessing.

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and onyx stone. (Genesis 2:10-12)

The Amalekites dwelt in the land of Havilah, a land rich in rare gold, bdellium and onyx. The wicked nation sat on exceeding treasures but they were warring with other neighboring nations in order to dispossess those nations of their wealth. The blessing of God that was locked-in in His mind was put on hold pending the time the coast of Israel that were filled with enemies will be cleared. The Amalekites did not know about these mineral resources, and God did not reveal the wealth of the land to them because He reserved it for the generation of covenant.

If ye be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land.” (Isaiah 1:19) Saul was willing to be the king of the blessed and prosperous people of God. It was his desire that Israel would step into the inheritance that God had earmarked for them from the beginning of creation but he did not know that total obedience to the commandment of God was his launching pad to that prosperity. He did not know the intentions of God, and the Sovereign God does not need to disclose his intention of his blessing to His beloved children – perhaps it was designed to be a pleasant surprise for the Israelites when they eventually discovered the treasures.

The law of entrance in to the inheritance of the Israelites was revealed unto Moses and Joshua as follow, “For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do – to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him –… Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea shall be your territory.” (Deuteronomy 11: 22-24) “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.” (Joshua 1:3) Note that this law was revealed to Moses and Joshua the leaders that God appointed over Israel at different times. When God sent King Saul, another leader of Israel to evade Amalekites and utterly destroy them, impliedly He was telling them to occupy their enemy’s land. Better still, He was launching them to the hidden treasures that the Amalekites sat on since the inception of their existence in Havilah that was not revealed to them. Conversely there was a clause in the law of entrance in to the inheritance that God did not reveal to Moses and Joshua because the aspect of the clause was to be taken care of by obedience. “If the sole of the foot of the defeated enemies shall tread upon your inheritance, the inheritance shall be reverted to them.” That was the reason why God specifically instructed the King Saul to utterly destroy every living thing in Amalekite. To confirm this converse principle, please consider the following scripture passage.

At that time Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures – the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory – all that was found among his reassures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?” So Hezekiah said, “They came to me from a far country, from Babylon.” And he said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall take away some of you sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” Isaiah 39:1-7

King Hezekiah in good faith led the envoys from Babylon to tour the treasured archive of Israel; the enemy took possession of the treasure in the spiritual realm when they completed the tour because the sole of their feet had trodden upon the treasured site. The king did not know the spiritual consequence of what he ignorantly did until the word came from the Lord through Prophet Isaiah to reveal the spiritual consequence. Years later as the prophet had prophesied, Babylonians took Israel as captive and all the treasure archive of Israelites were all taken to Babylon. The same way King Saul ignorantly caused the treasure of Havilah that God had launched His people into be reverted to the king of Amalekites as a result of the King Saul’s disobedience. Whether king Agat was killed later or not, it did not matter again, the die had been cast, both the natural tendency of hostility of the nation and all the treasures, the rare gold, bdellium and onyx of Havilah have now been reverted back to Agat the king of Amalekite in the spiritual realm through the disobedience of Saul. Another word for crude oil is ‘black gold.’ That was why it is not surprising today, that Israel is the only nation that does not possess crude oil in the region.

The king of any nation is the head and nucleus of whatever the nation represented and he is the human center of operation of the strength of the country. If God had adjudged Amalekite as a hostile nation, bringing Agat the Amalekite king to Jerusalem is interpreted in the spiritual realm as sowing the nucleus of trouble and hostility into the heart of the peaceful city of David which is today the center of controversies and political chaos in the Middle East, and the headache to the entire world.

Several times when we read this passage of the Bible we wonder why God was so aggrieved as to dethrone King Saul immediately after his disobedience. Or Perhaps, do we think God just had King Saul replaced with David because of the slight error of disobedience. Our argument may be, after all he went to battle with Amalekites, he won the battle, the only thing he failed to do was that he brought Agat the king of Amalekites and few animal to Jerusalem for burnt offering. As far as the commandment of God is concerned, partial obedience is tantamount to absolute disobedience. God is pleased with our obedience much more than anything we think we can offer unto Him in terms of our offering or our services for the Lord.

CONSEQUENCE OF DISOBEDIENCE

At the passage of time, Haman the Agagites an Amalekite descent, who occupied a high office in the empire of King Ahauerus planned to destroy all the Jews in captivity in all the 127 provinces of Babylon under the king. He persuaded the king to issue a decree to kill ‘certain’ people who did not observe and obey the laws of the king in a smooth evil scheme to deal with Mordecai and the community of the Jews in Babylonian provinces. He succeeded in obtaining the decree from the King. It was declared in the letter sent out to king’s provinces, “to destroy to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteeth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil for them for a prey.” (Esther 3:13) An importance lesson to learn, if you fail to destroy everything that represent “Amalekites” in your life, any opportunity available to the “Amalekite,” they will employ it to destroy you.

The evil plan of Haman the Agagite got to Esther the queen. Queen Esther now fully intimated with the impending precarious and dangerous position of the Jews in the empire of the king, she requested that all the Jews in Shushan should wait in the Lord for a 3-day of fasting and prayer after which she will go to the inner court of the king which was against the law of Persia and Medes. She thereby staked her life for the deliverance of the Jews.

“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor during three days, night or day; I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him. (Esther 4:13-17)

Haman knew King Ahaseurus and employed his connection to obtain decree to exterminate all the Jews in Babylon. But Mordecai, Esther and the entire community of Jews in Shushan knew King of kings, the God Almighty. They have divine connections with the Heavenly King. They asked for His hands of deliverance through prayer and fasting. And God came to their rescue and the battle was turned against Haman the Agagites and all his evil cohorts.

 —–ooo0ooo—–

Perhaps you think the Amalikites would give up and never attack the Israelites, Satan never relent its effort to stage his three way attack, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” (John 10:10) In the days of David, the Amalekites struck again and they had their day of victory in their preemptive raid against Israelites. They invaded Ziklag, a city of Judah, and took some of the Israelites captive including the two wives of David, Ahinoam and Abigail, and his children and burn down all their dwelling places. The Israelites reaped the consequences of Saul’s failure to utterly destroy the Amalekites. (I Samuel 15) David was not around when the enemy struck. David was not at fault because he was running from one place to the other for his soul, away from Saul who had vowed to kill him at all cost.

However, he applied the following uncommon principles of the wisdom of God to solve the Ziglag problems. He did not pretend that all is well when there was a fire on the mountain, he wept bitterly. He did not bottle up his emotions, but at the same time, he did not build a tent in the valley of his life. Building a tent in and residing in the valley of your life will inhibit you from moving to the region of victory. He did not live in sorrowful memorial. David did not allow his anger to rule over his sense of reasoning. He did not make a harsh and unreasonable decision nor did he allow this disaster to ruin his spiritual relationship with God. In an unpleasant situation like this, one may be tempted to blame God and ask, “Why did you allow this to happen?” Instead, he did what the average man would not think of doing. He encouraged himself in the Lord. Perhaps he was praising God for the catalogues of good things He has done in his life. Perhaps he ascertained that whatever might have been the case, God was in control. Perhaps you are wondering whether this is not the right time to praise God. One of the sure indications of maturity in a Christian life is when he can look beyond his unpleasant situation and endeavor to praise God the more in the valley of his life.

Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” I Samuel 30:7-8

Let us reflect in the wisdom of David. In the fiercer battle of his life, God gave him victory when victory seemed to be impossible. He also knew that nothing happened without the knowledge of God and nothing is hidden from Him. He did not blame God for not being vigilant enough as to prevent the Amalekites from over-running the camp of the Israelites. Do you always ask Jesus Christ what he has to say about your situation before you take a harsh and rash decision?

One of the principles to apply when one is encountering an unpleasant situation is to ensure that your sorrow and anguish do not affect your relationship with God. If you are angry with God in your sorrow you are blocking the avenue to your comfort, consolation and help, as a result you will not be able to pray to Him to rescue in your affliction. It is when you have a relationship with God that you can bring your petition before Him and ask for His divine intervention in your situation.

The next step in the victory principle is to ask God what He has to say about your problem. David commanded the priest to bring forth the ephod. He enquired of the Lord whether to purse the enemies. Invariably, he was asking God what He has to say about the situation. The same way it is expected of Christians to seek the face of God in their distresses. God did not leave David in darkness in his dark hour. God directed him to purse the enemies and He also assured him that he would overtaken them and recovered all they have taken away.

The next principle is to trust God in His word and with faith follow His instructions obediently. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrew 11:6) With diligence in faith and wholehearted trust in the Lord David immediately acted on the instruction of God and commanded his men to put on the armor of war and purse the enemies

THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF HAVILAH AND AMALEKITE

The Amalekite were human beings as we have stated above also they were symbolic. Figuratively, Amalekites are the evil spiritual agents warring against the well being of mankind. They are not flesh and blood. The enemies of Israel are not the Arab world, and the enemies of the Arabs are not the Israelites. The enemies of the children of Abraham are principalities and powers. They are rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) They are the people that had permitted Satan to manipulate and distort their minds to perpetrate evil to others. Amalekites are like ‘the dog in the manger’ who does not eat the hay but will not permit the animals that considered hay as their favorite staple food to consume it. The Amalekites are those who sat upon your treasures and wealth but did not know nor aware of those treasures, and did not know the preciousness of the treasures, yet they did not want you to get near what is rightly belong to you.

Havilah is also symbolic. Havilah is your concealed treasure that God had reserved for you. Havilah is that breakthrough you about to reach. Havilah is the thoughtful blessing of God that he had earmarked for you. That is why He declared in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end.” Your enemies sat on this concealed treasures yet they did not know of the blessing of God in it. In order to be launched into your inheritance, you have to destroy the Amalekites that sat on your Havilah. First of all you have to identify all the Amalekites that stand between you and your Havilah. If it is pride or arrogant, or ego – pride goes before destruction, (Prov. 16:18) you have to unseat the Amalekite of pride on your Havilah. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10) If it is anger – anger leads the sane person to take an insane and violent decision, unseat the Amalekite of anger on your Havilah. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9) If it is stubbornness endeavor to yield to righteous flexibility in order to unseat the Amalekite. If it is doubtfulness, you need to believe in the truth that the scripture revealed to you. Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” (II Chronicle 20:20b) If disobedience is the Amalekite, the scripture warned, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22b) “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 1:19-20)

The way God declared destruction against the Amalekites in the Old Testament the same way the New Testament revelation declared war against spiritual Amalekites.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

The scripture in the New Testament recommended the whole armor of God as the weapon that can defeat and destroy the spiritual Amalekites and it comprises of:

  1. Your stand in obedience of God
  2. Loins fasten about with the belt truth
  3. Breastplate of righteousness
  4. Shoe ready for the gospel of peace
  5. Shield of faith
  6. Helmet of salvation
  7. Sword of the Spirit – the word of God

In this list there is no place for conventional weapons like bombs and missiles. There was no jacket of bomb and guerilla warfare mentioned. No Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) that can level every thing in its one and a half miles radius mentioned in list and nuclear and biological proliferation are conspicuously absent in the list. All these are weapons of physical warfare and you cannot use weapons of physical warfare to fight spiritual warfare. The righteous children of God should go back to the spiritual war room to consider the logistic of God. The security code for safe and secured environment is ‘10-4.’ Whenever you hear ‘ten-four’ on the walkie-talkie of a security company in United States of America, it means ‘all is peaceful, safe and secure.’ Likewise the spiritual ‘ten-four’ stated, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” (II Corinthians 10:4) And ‘ten-five’ revealed the effective result of spiritual weapon if it is righteously applied and it says, “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:5) If physical weapon of war had failed in the past to defeat and destroy the spiritual Amalekites, try the whole armor of God which is spiritual weapon, you will surely obtain an effective result.

TOUCHING ON THE REALITIES OF THE MIDDLE EAST

This is not a religious problem – it is a problem of spiritual blindness that had stricken the children of Abraham because they failed to go back to their beginning and begin to address. If peace will ever come to the Middle East it cannot be achieved through the proliferation of nuclear weapon, terrorism and war. It is not possible to acquire peace with terror or with weapon of war. War and the development of weapons of war is the evidence of insanity in the mind of the genius of our generation. There are other good things that man can do with the logistics of his mind instead of using it to destroy the heads of the clans of generations yet unborn at the battle field. The world had witnessed the horrendous horror of wars, both the valiant and vanquish lose at battle field and they became guinea pig of the wicked ideas of the senseless leaders who send them in arms ways. The children of the terrorist leaders will not wear the jacket of bomb and go the market place in Tel-Aviv to detonate themselves, yet these wicked leaders brainwashed the innocent youth that it is good for them to die for their country. When the innocent youth die in the senseless massacre, the terrorist leader will claim responsibility for the youthful irresponsibility. The children of the high powered political figures do not always go to the West Bank to face the bullet; the system they have created always provides a safety net within the military for their children. When their bombs and missiles kill and maim in Palestine, their political leaders will come on the television to say that they are defending themselves in order to justify their reason to strike to the entire world.

Even if the scripture prophesied upon Ishmael as brazen wild mountain donkey, and his character and the characters of his generation reflected the same, in the way the descendants up to the time the scripture, the same scripture provided a clue on how to settle with God. Jabez called upon God that he does not want to bring sorrow to people, God heard his prayers, He blessed him and enlarge his coast. Even if the scripture portrayed Israelites as stiff-necked generation and the traces of their stiff-neckedness made them rejected the Messiah the Savior. It is time for them to accept the fact that they did not live in righteousness and obedience as God has commanded them. Nehemiah’s prayer was an evidence of mercy of God. If the two opposing generation of Abraham cried unto God of Heaven, God of their father Abraham will answer them. But one fact they must get ready to deal with was that, God has sworn an oath to protect the remnant of the righteous generation of Abraham. This, is not negotiable. He will do according to His sworn oath. It is a consolation to the righteous that they will inherit the earth, and it is also damnation unto the unrighteous because their destruction has been decreed.

If the world will ever taste peace at all, the great-great-grandchildren of the two opposing Abraham children should go back to their root, they should seek the Almighty God of Abraham and righteously follow His directives, not the self-styled Judaism religion of Israel that is now tainted with politics and violence, and not the self-styled Islamic religion of the Arab world that depicts the mixture of politics and terror.

                ISHMAEL                    ISAAC
Natural first born of Abram Spiritual first born of Abraham
The meaning of Ishmael is “God hears my misery” Gen. 16:11 The meaning of Isaac is “God has brought me laughter” Gen. 21:6
Born legitimately under the arrangement of man so that he might become the heir of Abram. The arrangement was successful but was faulty because the hand of God was not in it. Born legitimately under the divine relationship of marriage between husband and wife and also through the divine manifestation of the Lord’s prophecy.
Ishmael was the evidence of the impatience of Abram and also a revelation of brief dominance of flesh over the spirit filled heart that lead to a costly mistake. Isaac was the brilliant evidence of faithfulness of God that when He declares His intentions in prophecies in the realm of the spirit, He bring it to pass in the realm of the physical
Ishmael was blessed with material wealth and greatly multiplied. He had twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps Isaac was blessed with both material and spiritual blessing. One of his two sons, Jacob had twelve children that became the twelve tribes of Israel.
All the prophecy of God concerning his life manifested, and was fiercely aggressive and he and his descendants lived in hostility with their brethren. All the prophecy of spiritual blessing concerning his life manifested and God was always in a covenant relationship with the descendants of Isaac the child of Promise
The problem of the generation of Ishmael is the hostile life they lived with their peaceful neighbors. They were not in covenant with God The problem of the generation of Isaac is their spiritual inconsistencies in disobedience and idolatry. They had covenant with God but they trivialized the relationship.
It is presumed that the present day generations of Ishmael are the Arabian world. It is obvious that the present day generations of Isaac are the Israelites.
Generation                                         ABRAHAM
   1st Ishmael                                                Isaac
   2nd Nebiaoth
Kedar
Adbeel
Mibsam
Mishma
Dumah
Massa
Hadad
Tema
Hetur
Naphish
Kedema
Gen 25:13-15
                                Esau  Jacob
   3rd Not analyzed Eliphaz Reuel Jeush
Jalam
Korah
Reuben
Simeon
Levi
Judah
Issachar
Zebulun
Gad
Asher
Josheph
Benjamin
Dan
Naphtali
   4th Teman
Omar
Zepho
Kenaz
Korah
Gatam
Amalek
Gen 36:11-12
Nahath
Zerah
Shammah
Mizzah
Not analyzed Not analyzed
   5th the possible generation of Amalek is 5th

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