Psalm of Praise: Psalms 86:15
You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
In the Old Testament God is referred to as Yahweh, also pronounced Jehovah, and translated in English as ‘Lord’. There are seven occasions where Jehovah is used with a suffix which describes a different aspect of the nature of God.
Today we are going to look at Jehovah Nissi: The Lord Our Banner.
Bible Reading: Exodus 17:8,10-13,15
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on one side, one on the other,
so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the swordMoses built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is my Banner.
At the battle of Bosworth the armies under Richard III fought against the armies under Henry Tudor. Each had a banner or a standard, raised as a sign of their authority, and under which their armies fought. Richard III’s banner included a white boar while Henry Tudor’s included a red dragon. Richard III effectively lost the battle when the army under the authority of Lord Stanley chose to fight under the banner of Henry Tudor rather than Richard III.
As Joshua led the armies of Israel against the Amalekites they fought under the authority of God who was, for them, ‘The Lord our Banner’. This is symbolised by Moses raising his hands in what was an attitude of prayer to Almighty God. The battle was won when Moses’ hands we raised.
For us, Moses’ lifting up his hands is a symbol of intercessory prayer. There are many situations around us today, at home and abroad, that feel like a battleground and about which Christians are called to intercede before God, fighting under his banner and his authority.
I wonder what concerns are on your heart today. Will you set aside some time to intercede for them on a regular basis?
As the battle against the Amalekites continued, Moses got weary holding up his hands in prayer. To overcome this he relied on the help of his brother Aaron and another man called Hur.
Interceding for a situation can become wearisome, especially if the battle is long. Who are there people you know, relatives or friends, who share your concerns. Can you ask them to join with you and, together, share the burden of intercessory prayer?
O Lord, My Banner, I lift before you today the concerns that are on my heart… Amen
Before the throne of God above