God Is Our Banner
"And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi." Exodus 17:15
Jehovah-nissi. The self-sustaining, ever existing God is the banner over His children. Do we realize what that means?
In ancient times banners announced the coming of an important person. In times of battle the banner announced the identity of the combatants, who they belonged to and who they fought for.
In the Revolutionary War, dawn's first light revealed a battered and torn star spangled banner still fluttering over Fort McHenry. The onlookers saw and knew the outnumbered still prevailed against the mighty power of the oppressor.
During the Civil War major advances into battle were accompanied by the flag under which the soldiers would fight. Additionally they carried the flags of their regiments to indicate who they were and where they were from.
In World War II units continued the tradition of carrying the country's flag and their unit flag. It not only identified who was fighting, but their leader (think Patton's Third Army Tank Corps). Depending on the reputation of the leader and unit, the appearance of those flags would put fear into the hearts of the opposing forces.
When God revealed Himself to Moses and the children of Israel as "Jehovah-nissi" they were facing the fierce army of the Amalekites. It was the first recorded time when they were facing an army instead of fleeing (Pharaoh). Prior to this impending battle, God had answered their grumbling and complaining and lack of faith with the miraculous provision of food and water. Now He would show them victory in the first real physical battle of their lives. No longer were they slaves fleeing a harsh master. They could now fight and win because of Him who they served.
So it is with us as we stand under the banner of Jesus.
"He has brought me to His banquet hall, And His banner over me is love." Song of Solomon 2:4
Nothing can withstand the power of God's love, not even death itself. Under His banner we march from victory (though the battle may be bloody) to victory and glory unto glory.
Abba Father, thank you for unfurling the banner of Your Name over us. The children of Israel never lost a battle when they sought You first and marched forward at Your direction. Neither will we. We are Yours and the fierce power of Your reputation lifts us to victory over the enemies in our lives. You go before us and come behind us to protect our weak sides. Oh, Father, give us vision to see You in the midst of our trials. You give strength, You give rest, You give nourishment, You give power, You give protection, You give direction. You alone give the victory. Thank You.
"But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard." Isaiah 52:12