If God is for us, who can be against us?
Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:31
I saw it and wondered what to do. The prudent part of me answered immediately, “It won’t come up again for another three years, ignore it, everyone else does.”
I’m speaking about a reading that comes up just once in the three-year cycle. Here is a portion:
In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Isreal. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. Exodus 17:8,9
If you’re not sure about for whom we should root and why, send me an e-mail.
And Joshua mowed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Exodus 17:10
Am I the only having a hard time cheering the victory?
If you’re having a hard time with your decision, take a look at the verse we don’t hear this morning.
Then the LORD said to Moses: Write this down in a book as something to be remembered, and recite it to Joshua: I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Exodus 17:14
Wow! That is harsh!
For the past few week’s I’ve researched, studied and reflected on this portion of Exodus. The best help I have found is from Bishop Robert Barron who suggests looking at this reading allegorically.
An allegory is a figure of speech that teaches a moral lesson using (in this case “historical”) characters, figures and events.
So, what is the moral lesson of this story?
For me, the lesson has nothing to do our enemies or the memories of the blotted out Amalek. It has nothing to do with war, or even the just use of force.
The lesson is about God and comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. We sang it as our processional hymn last week and will sing it again today as we leave church. It is written at the top of this article.
Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,
I continue to struggle with violent biblical texts.
If you are at the 10:30 liturgy you will not find the psalm in the usual place. Turn to #620.