Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, Fraserburgh.
Photography courtesy of Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner;

Exodus 17:15 (NASB)

This particular name of God resonates with my lifetime love of history and ancient military campaigns; banners (standards, flags, ensigns etc) were a common sight on historical battlefields. They identified the location of regiments and prominant nobles or royalty, to rally the army in the battle ahead. In Britain when the Royal Standard flies at Buckingham Palace (or any other Royal residence) we know that the King is in residence there. And this was the case for the Israelites on the plain of Rephidim; when they saw Moses holding the “Staff of God” aloft in prayer over the battlefield they knew that God was with them against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16).

Banners are effective in battle along as they are held high; historically when a regimental banner is lost it is a cause of great shame and demoralises the troops significantly. In our Biblical story, when Moses’ arms grew tired and the “Staff of God” was lowered the battle swung in the favour of the Amalekites; but when Aaron and Hur lifted Moses’ arms up again, and the “Staff of God,” the Israelites were encouraged again and were victorious.

You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah. Psalm 60:4

The God of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness continued to be God, flying His banner over His chosen people. He did so especially in the life and sevice of King David, who himself was God’s banner over the nation (Matthew Henry). David’s Royal Banner would continue to fly over God’s people after his death through his descendants, particularly the Messiah.

10. Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious. 12. And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:10,12

Dear Reader, Christ is our Banner, lifted for us at Calvary. In and through Him we have victory over sin, death and Hell. We must daily fix our eyes on Him, marching forward against our enemy. As I come to a close let me offer the sound advice of the Bible scholar Alexander MacLaren: “1. realise for Whom you fight. 2. Remember Whose commands you follow. 3. Recognise by Whose power you conquer!


10 thoughts on “Jehovah Nissi – The lord Is My Banner

  1. Sometimes in the heat or mundaness of battle, it’s easy to forget under whose banner we fight. Indeed Christ Jesus is our banner. His sign? The sign of Jonah. Victory over death. The defeat of sin’s reign. Our freedom and liberation from the realm of darkness into God’s kingdom of light. Let us “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Eph. 6:1) until He returns. Thank you for this post, brother Alan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And Jesus is our King, our Mighty Warrior. We use to sing a children’s song with the lyrics His banner over me is love. Lift it high in the sky. Let the whole world see, the King has his residence here. The final verses were peace and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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