Our experiences with God help us to know Him better, and then we can respond in appropriate worship. For example, Moses and the children of Israel experienced divine deliverance in battle against their foes as Moses’ hands were raised to God for help. Afterwards in worship of God “Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD Is My Banner (Jehovahnissi), saying, ‘A hand upon the throne of the LORD!’” (Exodus 17:15-16). A banner, flag, signal or ensign indicates to others who you represent or shows to whom you belong. It is a sign placed over a tribe, clan, or army marking their identity and affiliation (Numbers 2:34). Moses, knowing that this was God’s battle, demonstrated his relationship with and dependence on God by reaching out to heaven’s throne with outstretched hands.
When God is our banner, we look to Him for divine assistance and enablement to enter and win the battles into which He leads us. When you enter into spiritual warfare, what do you do with your hands? Do you purposefully reach out to heaven’s throne to grasp on to God because He is your banner? Or do your hands grasp on to other banners of less importance and power? Take courage, fellow soldier, and look to Christ your commander and high priest:
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Moses physically drew nearer to God’s throne by reaching out his hands. Although his arm’s reach was just a few feet closer in space, apparently it is much closer in spirit. Have you ever tried talking aloud to God with outstretched hands? May I encourage you to do so like you would hold a banner over your head with a sign that read, “God, I am yours and you are mine” This is the attitude expressed by the Psalmist in Psalm 60:4-5: “You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us!”
All of Psalm 20 is an example of reaching out to God as our banner with a plea for God’s help to fly our banners of His honor:
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
May he grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
O LORD, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.
What is written on your banner?
With Prayer, Mark
© November, 2012 Scripture quoted: ESV – Emphasis added
Verses for our meditation: God is our Banner
Exodus 17:10-16, So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD Is My Banner (Jehovahnissi), saying, “A hand upon the throne of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
Numbers 1:52, The people of Israel shall pitch their tents by their companies, each man in his own camp and each man by his own standard.
Numbers 2:34, Thus did the people of Israel. According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so they camped by their standards, and so they set out, each one in his clan, according to his fathers’ house.
Song of Solomon 2:1-4, I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women. As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Isaiah 11:10-13, In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples–of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
Isaiah 62:10-12, Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples. Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.” And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.