Do you ever feel like giving up? Are you ever tired of fighting? Maybe it’s because you’re doing it in your own strength. Maybe your eyes aren’t on your banner, your ensign.
The Lord is our banner. He is the One we are to follow into battle. He will fight for us — if we let Him!
This name of God, Jehovah Nissi, is only used one time in the Old Testament. It is a fun story to read. We see it in Exodus 17:15:
And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi
To understand the significance of this name, we have to understand what has happened up to this point.
The Israelites had been in the wilderness, and once again, there was no water. They complain to Moses, and he prays to God. God tells him to strike the rock with the rod, the same rod that he used before Pharaoh and that he held over the Red Sea. He knows that God is with Him, and he obeys.
Water immediately comes out of the rock, and Moses calls the place Massah and Meribah as a rebuke to the Israelites. He says, “And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?”
Immediately after this rebuke of the Israelites’ unbelief, they go to war with the Amalekites. Maybe some of the men fighting had increased faith remembering what the Lord had just done for them — He had given them water out of the rock through Moses’s rod. They were reminded again of the awesome power of God through the use of the rod.
They would need to remember what God could do through them as they immediately go to fight against the Amalekites. Who would win? The stronger Amalekites or the Israelites who had the rod of God?
Moses lets the people know that they could follow Jehovah Nissi into battle. He was their banner. During these time in history, armies fought under a banner or battle flag that identified their tribe or nation. Jehovah-nissi was Moses’ way of saying that the Israelites in the wilderness did not need such a flag. Holding a banner was a signal to God’s people to rally to Him. The Lord was the banner under which they fought, and He gave the victory.
In this story, we have the fun details of how every time Moses’ arms began to fall, they Israelites started to lose the battle; but every time his arms were put up, the Israelites would be winning the battle. Finally, Hur and Aaron came and held up his hands until the Israelites won the battle.
Here we see how Moses depended on God for the victory, but we also see how he had support from Aaron and Hur. We need other believers to be around us so that when our arms begin to slip, they can help hold up our arms. We need to be praying for and upholding our fellow believers when they are going through deep waters and feel like they may fall.
In next week’s lesson, I’ll share thoughts on how Amalek pictured the flesh and some more lessons we can learn from this great name of God. To close this post, I like how David Guzik applied one major lesson we can learn from Exodus 17:
Exodus 17 we see examples of God’s power and man’s effort working together. Moses struck the rock; but only God could bring the water. Joshua fought, Moses prayed, but only God gave the victory over Amalek. In it all, God received the glory. It wasn’t Israel is my banner or Moses is my banner or Joshua is my banner; rather it was Yahweh-Nissi: The-Lord-is-My-Banner.
Is He your Banner?
- Names of God (List of books I used to study for this series)
- Elohim, The Creator God (free printables)
- El Elyon, The God Most High (free printables)
- El-Roi, The God Who Sees (free printables)
- El-Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One (free printables)
- Adonai, The Lord (free printables)
- Jehovah, The Self-Existent One, Part 1
- Jehovah, The Self-Existent One, Part 2 (free printables)
- Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Will Provide, Part 1
- Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Will Provide, Part 2 (free printables)
- Jehovah-Rapha: The Lord Who Heals, Part 1
- Jehovah Rapha: The Lord Who Heals, Part 2
- Jehovah Rapha: The Lord Who Heals, Part 3 (free printables)
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