My Lord, my God, My Jehovah NissiExcerpt from my poem, The Names of God
The Master who stands guard over me
He is my protector and fights on my behalf.
He leads me by still waters using His staff.
I lay down in peaceful meadows of lush green.
He directs my paths to avoid trouble foreseen.
Jehovah Nissi translates to “The Lord is my Banner.” The reference comes from Exodus as the children of Israel wandered through the desert. During that time, they encountered many hostile territories which sent out armies to fight them. The Israelites had no organized militia since most of the people were former herders. Their success came from God in the form of a pillar of fire, and a cloud of smoke which traveled with them and protected them day and night. God was their banner of protection.
In Exodus 17, we find the Israelites preparing for battle against the Amalekites. As the battle rages, Joshua looks up to see Moses with hands raised on a nearby hilltop. As Moses tires, he lowers his arms, and the Amalekites begin to win the fight. Aaron and Hur found a stone for Moses to sit upon as they held up his arms. Eventually, the Israelites prevail. Moses built an altar and named it Nissi as a memorial to the event.
Let’s look at what a banner is, so we all have the same understanding:
The noun banner often refers to a long sign that is announcing or advertising something. A banner might declare “Congratulations!” “Free Hot Dogs Here!” or, at a protest, “We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore!” Banners have also gone virtual; it’s hard to avoid seeing at least one annoying advertising banner across the top of any highly-trafficked website. A banner can also be a flag, as in “The Star Spangled Banner,” or a championship banner hanging in a school gym.https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/banner
Banners help us celebrate events, such as a championship. Or they can be used to help us commemorate things like holidays.
Meaning for us today
Identifying God as our banner reminds us to celebrate Him and to remember all the great things He has done for us. His flag over us tells the world that we belong to Him. And like a badge shows who we work for, we are recognized as God representatives in our communities. These emblems of God also help attract others to come and join us as we celebrate our mighty Savior.
But wait, there’s more. God’s banner also offers us His protection during our lifetimes. Just as God protected the Israel people from the Amalekites army, He offers us the same defense from evil. An ancient translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek uses the term “kurios kataphugê mou” – the Lord is my refuge as another way to explain Jehovah Nissi. As we battle throughout our lives, looking up to see God’s insignia over us provides us with a feeling of hopefulness. He is our refuge and our strength.
Verses to Help
We may no longer have a pillar of fire to guide and protect us. Instead, we have the sword of the Bible to help deflect the arrows of our enemies. Here are some verses to help us recall our Jehovah Nissi:
- Exodus 17:15 – And Moses built an altar and named it ‘The LORD is my Banner.
- Psalm 60:4 – You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth.
- Psalm 91:2 – I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
- Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.
- Jeremiah 16:19 – O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, And my refuge in the day of distress.
- Psalm 18:2 – The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
- 1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you
The name Jehovah Nissi shows us how the Lord is our banner. His banner identifies us as belonging to God. The same pennant allows us to celebrate Jesus’ victory over the grave. And, finally, we are offered protection when we are under His banner. The name Nissi provides us another powerful insight into the true nature of our Lord.
Join us next week as we look at the name Jehovah RaphaWe have the sword of the Bible to help deflect the arrows of our enemies. Click To Tweet
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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