The Lord is my Banner
To know the names of God is to know who God is. Each name declared in the Old Testament reveals the very character and nature of God. The Lord reminded me of this recently, of how important it is to know His names and to declare them and make them personal. He took me back to the account of the battle between the Amalekites and the Israelites–where Moses lifted his hands in the battle and the Lord gave the Israelites victory (Exodus 17).
He opened my eyes wider to the passage and showed me it is a place where one of His names is revealed–Jehovah Nissi–meaning The Lord is my Banner (Exodus 17:15). After the battle with the Amalekites, Moses built an altar to the Lord and declared this name, but why did Moses choose this name? What was its significance? Let’s consider a couple of things:
#1. In the battle with the Amalekites, there was some “dirty-dealing” on the part of the Amalekites. Moses’ remembrance: “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.” Deuteronomy 25:17-18 Moses makes it clear that not only did the enemy come from behind, they attacked the weak and helpless first, engaging when the Israelites were “weary and worn out”, but the Lord fought for them and brought them victory.
#2. In regard to the idea of a banner, it signifies allegiance–that for which you are willing to live or to die. The colors, pictures and symbols on a banner represent your country, your king, perhaps your commander, the standards, values, laws and principals by which you live, as well as your heritage and legacy. Basically, in a nutshell, the banner proclaims your identity.
Altogether, perhaps the significance in Moses’ declaration is this: “You are my God–the one who fights for me, the one who gives me victory over my enemies. My allegiance is to you alone, my king, my commander, my protector. You are my legacy. My life and my identity are found in You alone, Jehovah Nissi.”
Today, declare Jehovah Nissi, the one who fights your battles, your protector…the one in whom you find your identity.