[This post continues a series on Mennonite pastor and writer Melissa Florer-Bixler’s new book, Fire by Night: Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament. If you’re just joining us, see also my introduction to the series and my posts on chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3.]
In chapter 4 of Fire by Night, “God of Memory,” Melissa Florer-Bixler ups that ante from writing about Sodom and Gomorrah to writing about the Amalekites, the nation of whom God commanded the Israelites to “blot out the remembrance . . . from under heaven” (Deut. 25:19).
Due to a nifty arrangement between Herald Press and Christian Century magazine, you can take a sneak peak at the book by reading essentially the entirety of chapter 4 published by Christian Century as “The biblical Amalekites are the Israelites’ enemies—and their kin.” Here’s a taste:
Enemies are real. There are destructive forces of violence that haunt the lives of the vulnerable. We need a God who names evil, who is on the side of the oppressed and forgotten. But this acknowledgment is not meant to be done in the isolation of this or that narrative. Our questions stretch across biblical stories, carried from generation to generation by all of us as we work out our relationship to God and our neighbors. The Bible provides scripts for how to read these relationships. It invites us to position ourselves as characters within the stories, to feel our way into God’s life. That’s what we experience as we wrestle with the Amalekites. And as we involve ourselves in these stories, we are drawn into family history, a family feud.
Now go read the rest of the chapter at Christian Century.
Then buy the book so you can read the rest of the chapters.
Then check back here to follow my chapter-by-chapter interaction with the book.
And let me know your thoughts along the way!