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Annihilate the Amalekites

The wrath God exhibits in the Old Testament is true to his merciful and just character.

From the editor:

One of the chief hang-ups people have with God is the wrath he pours out in the Old Testament. How can a loving God call for the slaying of an entire people group—including women and children? Horrified and even embarrassed, we often try to make excuses for it. "Surely it's mere hyperbole," we say, trembling as we look up from our Bibles. In this sermon Mike Woodruff does not shy away from asking the hard questions, even knocking down a few of our safer theories about the issue at hand. He pushes us to read through the Old Testament and on into the New Testament. He also helps us see hints of grace in the midst of the startling wrath. If ever you were looking for a sermon to help teach you how to handle this troubling topic, this is the one!

Introduction

There comes a time in most everyone's life when they realize that they just are not as good as they thought they were. They are not as fast or as strong as they imagined, not as smart or as popular or whatever. For people who coast through high school, reality sets in during their first year at college. For some who coast through college, reality sets in during their first year of grad school.

When I was ten I played in my first tennis tournament. To say I expected to win is not half of it. Nike was still only a figment of Phil Knight's imagination, but I fully expected him to sign me to a contract on the spot. I lost 6–0 in the first round.

For some of you, this message will have that kind of shock value. In order to understand how much God loves us, and how amazing his grace is, and how unbelievably good the Good News is, we have to understand how much trouble we are in—how fallen and rebellious we are. It is not pretty. The descent is steep. ...

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Mike Woodruff is senior pastor of Christ Church Lake Forest in Lake Forest, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

In order to understand how much God loves us, and how amazing his grace is, and how unbelievably good the Good News is, we have to understand how much trouble we are in—how fallen and rebellious we are.

I. God commands that the Amalekites be destroyed.

II. God commands the Amalekites' destruction for three reasons.

III. People attempt to explain God's actions towards the Amalekites in four ways.

IV. God is just, and we will all face his judgment for sin.

Conclusion

The first application of this is obedience—and thankfulness for the grace of God extended to us through the death of his son.