…His banner over me was love. —Song of Songs 2:4b
He is Jehovah-Nissi—The Lord is my banner. What does that mean in my daily life?
Read Exodus 17:1-16.
We first encounter the name of God, Jehovah-Nissi, in the book of Exodus. (Exodus 17:1-16). The people find themselves fighting a great enemy, one that just keeps coming. After the battle with Amalek, Moses builds and altar and calls it Jehovah Nissi —The Lord is my banner. In the Old Testament a banner generally meant a rallying point or standard which drew people together for some common action or for the communication of important information. This usually happened on a high or conspicuous place within the community. There, a signal pole, sometimes with an ensign attached could be raised as a point of focus or object of hope. (notes from The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)
A banner is a wonderful picture of God’s protection and deliverance. His banner over us symbolizes His presence, His power and His provision. God as our banner is a symbol and reminder that we need to depend on God for victory in our battles and not our own strength and effort.
“Even today a banner is a standard that bears the colors by which a military unit is identified and behind which troops rally. The “standard-bearer” carries the colors and marching bands are often led by people carrying a banner that identifies the band, and after which the musicians fall in line. So when Moses names the altar Jehovah-Nissi, The Lord is my Banner, he proclaims as a memorial – “I rally behind Jehovah. It is He to Whom I look. It is He Whom I will follow.” (www.preceptaustin.org)
We’ve talked a little about battles this week already. Many scholars see Amalek as a picture/type representing the enemies that God’s people face —those being the flesh, the world and the devil. (Galatians 5:16, John 16:33, Galatians 6:14, 1 Peter 5:8-10). But like the Israelites, when we face an “enemy” we are not called to fight in our own strength and power. We are to trust and know that the Lord will fight for us. We are to rely upon Him. We are to look to Jesus —our banner —Jehovah Nissi!
It will come about in that day, that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal (banner). —Isaiah 11:10 (the root of Jesse is a reference to Christ)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:37-39
You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. Selah. —Psalm 60:4
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. —Psalm 20:7-8
It’s easy to become discouraged when we look at the world and the daily suffering and discord we see around us. It’s easy to become discouraged and feel defeated in our own lives at times. But I love what Hebrews teaches us. The book of Hebrews begins with the author reminding us of how God speaks to us. Read Hebrews 1:1-3 and note how He spoke in the past and how He speaks now.
In these last days He has spoken to us through His Son! He then goes on to exclaim and expound about the greatness and superiority of Jesus and the fact that one day, Jesus will return and rule and reign over all! (Hebrews 2:5-10) As a matter of fact, the entire book of Hebrews is all about how Jesus is better, superior to anything and everything! He is greater than anything we are tempted to trust in this life. But I really love Hebrews 2:8-9:
At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Did you catch that? At present, we don’t see everything in subjection to Him. It may appear at times as if the world (and perhaps your life) is spinning out of control. But we have this hope as an anchor for our souls…BUT we see Him, namely Jesus! He is our banner. He is the One we are to look to, our point of focus, our object of hope! (Hebrews 6:19).
His banner over me is love! He is my victory, my banner, in the midst of the battles of life.
Spend some time reflecting on the verses from today and on the fact that God is majestic and holy and His banner over you is love. Praise Jesus as your deliverer, Jehovah-Nissi. He is your victory in the midst of the battles of life!
It’s my prayer that through this series we will, “from the rising of the sun to its setting”, focus on and praise our amazing God! We’ll take the Word for the day and think about it, ponder it, pray it and practice it. We’ll allow it to really SOAK into our hearts and lives. And then we’ll SHINE — boast, rave, praise and celebrate God’s presence in our lives, reflecting Jesus to those around us.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com