The Rest of the Story

For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly. 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. When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget! Deuteronomy 25:16-19

This is a very interesting section of scripture. Another one where digging deeper and tracing back reveals some nuggets about God. Moses has been reviewing the commands and laws the Lord gave to Israel. Just before today’s verses, Moses covers using honest weights and measures in the business transaction. Anyone who does not deal honestly with others is an abomination to the Lord (v.16). The scripture transitions into “Remember what the Amalekites did to you…” What did the Amalekites do to Israel when they came out of Egypt, and why was it in this section of scripture dealing with dishonesty? In Exodus 17:8 Israel led by Joshua fights against Amalek at Rephidim. This is the famous story where Moses hold “the staff of God” up Israel is winning, but as his arms tire and go down the Amalekites start to prevail. So Aaron and Hur help Moses hold up his arms until Joshua overwhelms Amalek. But what did Amalek do that was dishonest? The answer is not in Exodus, but in Deuteronomy 25:18, so Deuteronomy fills out the Exodus story. Amalek started fighting Israel by picking off all the worn out Israelites that lagged behind the rest. This tactic was seen by God as dishonest, and Amalek did so with no fear of God. So now, as the late Paul Harvey used to say, now you have the rest of the story.