I love learning the different names of God. What I find interesting is that on one point, some atheists or agnostics have it right; if there is a God as we describe, He must be beyond human reckoning. This is a good, fundamental philosophical idea; but, it misses one of the wonderful aspects of God; the revelation of Himself.
If God so chooses, and He has, He can reveal important aspects of Himself to us, in ways that we can understand and comprehend. Of course His greatest revelation to us was in His Son; Jesus Christ. He also has revealed Himself through creation, and through scripture.
One of the ways He does this, is by the various inspired names that He has given, and had recorded in scripture for all of us. BTW, a great resource and reference for the Names of God is Titles of the Triune God, by Stevenson.
Today, I wanted to introduce you to, or remind you, dear reader, of one of His names; Jehovah-nissi, which means The LORD my Banner.
It is found given as a place-name in Exodus 17:
Exodus 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
We have to remember that even though this is the single instance of the name given in the form of a name, it tells us something about God that is further backed up elsewhere in scripture. This title of God, this aspect, is associated with the warfare of His people.
Enemies assail us all; whether they be physical or spiritual. We are instructed, by Paul, to put on the whole armor of God; how great it is to know that when we put on that armor, that isn’t the end of His help. He is also the very standard, or banner under which we fight. It is He that gives victory, and it is in His name that victory is taken.
Notice too, that while all praise is due God, He still expects us to actually “get our hands dirty” so to speak. If it is a spiritual battle we face, we are to be strong, do “our” part, and also rest in the assurance of His victory, if it is a physical battle, the same thing, legal, emotional, etc… The Israelites actually fought Amalek, they didn’t sit back and complain that God wasn’t doing all the work; He told them what to do; they followed His orders, and emerged victorious.
If God is guiding us into a situation, and He puts us in it, sends us, then we are in the same position as the Israelites. If we do indeed emerge in the moment triumphant (which can even seem like a defeat in the eyes of the rest of humanity), we too should proclaim that The LORD is my Banner. When the Israelites won, they praised God, as we should do in all things. No matter what fight we come to in our lives, we must acknowledge that without God there is no hope of an ultimately good outcome.
It’s not going to be easy, and Jesus has assured us that we will be persecuted in this life, with ultimate victory “over there,” when we are finally and completely changed, and we will dwell with our Banner forever.
Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. (This is referring to Jesus Christ, for those who don’t realize it.)
Never forget that no matter what your facing, or what the outcome, God Himself, Christ Himself, is our Banner; be of good courage… Psalm 60:4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.