By Not Known
God has many names for Himself: among them The Great I Am (Ex 3:14); and the King of all kings and Lord of all lords (Rev 19:16). As the Israelites experienced God, they also gave Him names. In Exodus 17, Moses called God Jehovah Nissi (v15).
After an unbelievable miracle in the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites faced another test. The Amalekites attacked those who had fallen behind. So Moses commanded Joshua to choose some men to fight them. At that same time, Moses would stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in his hands. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hands, the Israelites prevailed but whenever Moses lowered his hands, the Amalekites prevailed. Eventually Moses’ hands grew tired but Aaron and Hur took a stone for Moses to sit on and together, they held Moses’ hands up. As a result, the Israelites were victorious. Moses then built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi which means The Lord Is My Banner because hands were lifted up to the Lord (vv8-16).
What can we learn from this story? Firstly, claim the promise of Jehovah Nissi. In the past, troupes carried a banner when they travel. The banner represented the clan to whom they belonged and the power and resources they had when attacked. For the Israelites, Moses’ staff served as a banner. By lifting up his staff, Moses reminded the people of the miraculous acts God has accomplished on their behalf. When faced with difficulties, who is our Banner?
Secondly, recognised the power of prayer. Although action is needed to solve problems, it is even more important to remember to pray. Moses told Joshua to fight but he also supported Joshua in prayers. Do you pray regularly? Do we have friends to pray with? Do we come alongside others in prayer? If not, why not start now?
Thirdly, understand the importance of doing things together. Moses brought Aaron and Hur (v10) and they were able to lift his hands until the Israelites won the battle. We are called to live as a community of faith. Do we have others in our Christian walk?
Fourth, learn the value of keeping records and sharing them. God wanted Joshua to know that it was God who gave them the victory (v14). Do we record our prayers on how God answered them? Will we share those experiences?
God has promised to be our Banner. Yet lest we remain oblivious to this truth: God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. As Christ was lifted up on the cross, He became our Banner. In Christ, we are more than conquerors. May we continue to experience more of God as we move towards Good Friday.