I’ve noticed something as we keep going along with this series of learning who our God is by means of His names. Turns out that these ‘names’ were more of declarations, like how specific folks in the Bible declared who He was to them at a particular time: Abraham, for example, was spared the ordeal of offering up Isaac on the altar. Because of this, he named the place ‘Jehovah Jireh’, or ‘The Lord Provides’.
Today, we talk about ‘Jehovah Nissi’. This time around, we see in Exodus 17 that Moses had just witnessed his countrymen prevail over the Amalekites.. and it was because of this that Moses called the place, ‘The Lord Is My Banner’…. not ‘The Lord is my Victory’, ‘The Lord helped me to win my battle’, but ‘The Lord Is My Banner’.
People like to add to it to say, ‘The Lord Is My Banner Of Victory’, but I believe it is sufficient to declare He is our Banner – for regardless of the outcome of the battle, it is the Lord’s standard that is raised. I believe, more than a great and glorious victory, we are reminded of the fact that we are under the sovereignty of our Creator, who not only rules over us as a powerful and victorious King, but, more importantly, cares for each and every one of us in the battles we face on a personal level.
I’m not sure why that came into mind, but moving along with it, a win isn’t necessarily a win, especially in war, if the flag is not raised over the area claimed. Until the standard is lifted up, until the banner or the flag is hoisted high, there are no guarantees of victory.
And so to say that the Lord is our Banner – from one perspective, we can treat this as a declaration of victory. Dominance.
If I may, I’d like to go back to Exodus for a moment. If you go through it, you’ll see that God was pretty set on eliminating the Amalekites. Now I won’t go into much detail regarding why that is (because, honestly, I wouldn’t have a right and worthy answer for you) – but I will say that by Moses declaring that the Lord is his Banner, we understand that there is a Victor, and therefore, someone is defeated.
I was going to say there is a victim… Guess it applies. Because Christ made it clear that any victory which was to be won for us would be complete, and it would be without contestation. Beaten and bruised and bloodied as He may have been, Christ took the fall, and in so doing, completely vanquished our enemy – sin, death, flesh (sarx) and the grave.
The Nazarene was dealt death, cast into darkness, and broken by fear.
Hoisted to hang on a cross intended for the humiliation of Rome’s enemies, He was instead raised, His bloody, bruised body a literal Banner of victory, by whose death was death forever defeated, that all who believe would have Life, Love, and Light, absolute superiority and freedom from sin and death… Forever.
We are, therefore, thankful, for not only does our God provide to the point that we may exhort it… But, by victory sealed by His finished work, we proclaim that He is our Banner, the guarantee of our eternal reconciliation with Him.