Jehovah Nissi. The Lord is My Banner.
The enemy had attacked. The Israelites were going into battle against their enemy, the Amalekites, and God promised to be with them. But Moses had to do something. He had to hold his staff high above his head to keep the Israelites winning. If his hands went down, the Israelites started losing the battle. Aaron and Hur had to help hold his arms up for the battle. In the end, the Israelites won the battle.
Moses built an altar there. He named it The Lord is my Banner. God had won that battle for the Israelites. There was no question about it. Is it possible that Moses was setting up a reminder of all that God has been and continues to be to them? Did Moses want them to remember who was in control of their lives? Did Moses want them to have hope in the victory God could provide? What I know for sure — Moses wanted them to know that God was the Banner of their faith and hope.
JEHOVAH NISSI (THE LORD MY BANNER)
The Lord My Banner, The Lord My Miracle
Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Jehovah-Nissi occurs only once in Exd 17:15.
Variant spellings: Jehovah Nisi; Jehovahnissi
Strong's Reference: H3071
Jehovah Nissi in the Septuagint: kurios kataphugê mou - the Lord is my refuge
Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Nes (nês), from which Nissiderived, means "banner" in Hebrew. In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel's banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point.
I love this name for God. I love the visual of raising a banner over my life that says — God has won this territory, so Satan, you can move along. I love the thought of a banner flying over my life that says — God is in control here, and I’m done trying to take it back. Or a banner that says — God is present here. My soul soars with joy over the prospect of these pronouncements of faith in my life.
The battle has been won. The enemy has been defeated. And my flag of victory waving in the wind is only that of the Lord’s. I have firmly planted his banner on this hill. This hill that I could’ve given up on. This hill that challenged me to my very core. This hill that proved to be the beginning of a new season.
His banner flies over my life. I look to His banner for encouragement and for hope. It breathes life into me as I take my next steps. As I prepare for the next battle that will inevitably come. I walk into battle flying the only banner that matters. That of the Almighty God.
This blog post is a part of a series called Rediscovering God for the Write31Days challenge to write every day in October. You can find links to all posts in my series here. If you want to know more about the Write31Days challenge, you can find out more at www.write31days.com.