יְהוָה נִסִּי – Jehovah Nissi
As we continue in our mini-series on the names of God, I’d like to recap on the names we have covered thus far. First, we looked at Elohim, the first name of God. Elohim reminds us that God is in all things, through all things, and is the GOD of all things. Then we took a look at El Shaddai, meaning “God Almighty/Almighty God” reminding us of the power of our Lord. Continuing in the series Noah taught us of Adonai, meaning master or owner, through this our God solidified himself as our sovereign ruler. This holy name is a reminder that our God is the be-all end-all authority, and is to be most exalted! Today I will be following up with the name Jehovah Nissi.
Throughout our nations’ history we have had many symbols, banners, and phrases that have spurned on the American spirit toward freedom, independence, and pride in our great nation. Arguable the earliest patriotic cry of our nation was “Give me liberty, or give me death”, this fueled the American people, or colonist during that time, to fight for what they knew had to be done. As we continue in history to the battle of Iwo Jima, during WW2, we recount the story of the United States Marines fighting fearlessly for 5 days in order to take the island. During the heat of battle upon Mount Suribachi, a few brave Marines raised the American flag inciting a roar of cheers and cries from both the men fighting and the men on the battle ships. This caused the moral of the men to be lifted, carrying the Marines to victory. When we remember these stories we find one thing in common, that our banner can inspire us to do miraculous things in the face of undoubting odds. The same miraculous victories happen when we look to Jehovah Nissi, The Lord our Banner.
The name Jehovah Nissi first appears to us in Exodus 17, but before we come to the name let’s look at the context. The people of Israel are fresh out of Egypt at this point, and interestingly enough, they weren’t very happy about it. The Bible states, “Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” Exodus 17:2-3. The Lord answers this complaint through the use of Moses and his staff in order to break a rock, in which God pours water out of providing for their need.
Ironically enough they set up camp in a place named Rephidim, meaning place of rest. While at this place of rest the Amalekites came upon them in battle. Now at this point the people of Israel have no experience with war. Why? Well because they have been slaves for the past 400 years. Nevertheless, Moses commanded the situation wisely as we see in verses 9-13.
“So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 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.” Exodus 17:9-13
We can see that this situation is much like the battle of Iwo Jima, the men were struggling in the fight for victory and they looked upon that mountain and saw their banner held high, causing them to fight harder. Then Lord reveals his new name, Jehovah Nissi.
“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,” Exodus 17:14-15
I believe that just as much as God wanted the people of Israel to remember him as The Lord is My Banner, he wants us to remember the same thing. That in the struggles, and in the battles of life we are to look to him as Jehovah Nissi, and as Moses did we should exalt him high above all things in our life! As we look to Jehovah Nissi in the weak points we will be given strength to continue in the faith, and fight for what is righteous, spurned on by our Glorious God!
But! This is obviously not a task God meant us to take on our own. As Moses had Aaron, and Hur hold up his hands, we are to have our brothers and sisters in Christ motivating us to fight for what is HOLY in the Lords eyes. To help us raise our Lord HIGH above all other things in life, and to encourage us on our journey fighting the GOOD fight!
So to tie this all up, whether you’re on fire in your walk, or you are in the lowest point you have ever been; fighting to crawl your way out. Look to Jehovah Nissi, look to The Lord is My Banner to be your cry for righteousness, and look to your brothers or sisters in Christ to help hold up your hands so you can ultimately exalt the one that is the Lord your God.
Lord, I thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to write this. I pray that you would speak to those that read this, and be the Banner that spurns them on in your ways. Amen.
“Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Oct. 2016. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.
“Rephidim Definition and Meaning – Bible Dictionary.” Bible Study Tools. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.