Jehovah Nissi - The Lord Our Banner
Topic: Victory Scripture: Exodus 17:8–:16
Jehovah Nissi- The Lord My Banner
In His testimony Gary said a very powerfulthing. After he had lost his wife due to a divorce, his job due to the bp oil spill, his daughter due to drowning, and even his house, he realized the only way that He was to have victorywas to leave everything at the cross. Because he did, he experienced God as Jehovah Nissi.
Jehovah Nissi- The Lord is My Banner
Bannershave been important throughout history, they show whom you representand to whomyou’re committed.
For example, when you see the American flag, you know that it stands for the freedomwhich we all benefit from.
- redsymbolizes hardiness(toughness) andvalor(courage)
- whitesymbolizes purityand innocence (goodness)
- bluerepresents vigilance(watchfulness),perseveranceand justice.
The flag you’re committed to is only valid if there is a victoryaccompanied with that flag.
The US flagwas still flyingafter the British attackon Baltimorein 1814. This is where we get our national anthem “The Stars Bangled Banner.” This implies if the British had wonthat battle then a British flagwould be flying instead.
Banners are associated with victories.
The American Flag is a banneras it tells of our past victories.
The flag stands as a bannerrepresenting something greaterthan ourselves. It stands for the men and womenwho have sacrificedtheir lives throughout history so that others could experience freedom. But it also stands for the victoriesthat this nation has had.
God gave Gary the victory. Alcoholdid not take him, depressiondid not take him, losing a childdid not rob him of his faith, instead he learned to trustin God. God gave him the victory!
There is a story in the biblewhich talks about another man’s struggle. His name is Moses. Like Gary he too was surrounded from all sidesby an enemy that was set out to destroy him. Moses found God to be his banneror Jehovah Nissi.
Before we read our text for today, I would like to give a brief backstory. God haddeliveredthe Israelitesfrom the hand of the Egyptians by showing many great signsand wonders. At this point in time the Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians, they were forced to do hard workunder the supervision of brutal task masters.
At first Pharaoh had refusedto let the people go as God had commanded so God sent ten plaguesupon the Egyptians with the tenth plague being the killing of every firstborn son inEgypt. This is the plague that brought Pharaoh into submissionto God’s will, and he finally let God’s people go.
Besides the plagues, God had also parted the Red Seaso that they could cross on dry ground, gave them bread from heaven, turnedbitter water sweetand has given them water from a rock.
The manin charge of leading this great multitudeof people is none other than Moses. Moses was a kind of like a middle man. The people complained to him and he took the request to God. Alreadythey have wearied Moseswith their complaining as Moses ask the Lord
4“What shall I do with this people?
To add to his problems, Moses and the Israelites are being attacked by Amalek.
8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.
The Amalekites were descendants of Esauwho hated Jacobbecause of the birthrightand blessing. Jacob and Esau were twin brothers born to Isaac and Rebekah. Being that Esaucame out first, he was entitledto the birthright and the double blessing which was allocated for the older son. However, Jacob deceiveshis brother Esau by getting him to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew. Jacob also tricks his fatherinto giving him the blessing that was supposed to be for his brother Esau. Over 300 years passby and the family feud continues.
It says that Amalek cameand fought with Israel at Rephidim.
Rephidim- rest or resting place. It was a place that was between Sinai and Egypt.
Sinai was where the children of Israel were going while Egypt was where they had come from.
So they are in a place called Rephidim (rest),a place between where they were goingand where they came from. It was where they were attackedby the Amalekites.
In Deuteronomywe get a clearer picture of how the Amalekites attacked the children of Israel.
17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, 18 how he attacked you on the way when you were faintand weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God.
It says that Israel’s enemycame against them when they were faint and weary.
That is just like the enemyof our soul. He will come against you when you are most vulnerable, when you are weak, and feel like giving up. Our adversary the devil is cowardly in his attacks. Because he knows he cannot defeat youwhen the Lord is your strength.
9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fightwith Amalek.
This was a clear commandthat Moses had given to Joshua. He was to go out and fight. He was to engage in combatwith his enemy and the enemy of Israel.
Often, we forget our responsibilitywhen it comes to experiencing victory. Truly we believethat God can win our battlesand that our victory has already been accomplished through the cross of Jesus Christ.
- But is it possible that we are not experiencing the victory in our lives because we have not gone out to fight?
If the Americans had not foughtagainst the British, we would all be speaking with a funnyaccent.
If Gary had not fought against the temptationto give up after losing everything no telling where he would be today.
- Is it possible that you have not experienced the victory over alcohol, because you keep buying it from the store?
- Is it possible that you have not experienced a breakthrough in your finances because you have not been a good steward over what God has given you?
- Is it possible that your marriage is still struggling because you can’t control your tongue?
- Is it possible that you are still addicted to pornography because you continue to go to those sites?
Yet we go to God, wanting Him to fix all our problemswhen we have not taken up the armor, which He has provided us to fight.
When Jesusperformed his first miracleby turning water into wine he told the servants to fillthe large containers with water and bring some to the master of the banquet. When he tasted it, he said it was the best wine of the day. But they had to fill the containers.
When Jesus healed the 10 lepersHe tells them “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” They were not to show themselves to the priest until they had been made whole. But because they believed, they went according to the word of Jesusand they were healed.
Story after storyin the bible proves that God is wanting us to do our part. When we have done all that we can to do, then that is when God reveals himselfin a more powerful way.
Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
It is our duty to do all that we can on our end, so that Godcan show up in a bigger wayto ensure that He gets the glory.
Back to our main story today in Exodus 17
Joshua and his menwere to do all that they couldby going out and fight. Moses, Aaronand Huralso had big responsibilities.
9Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
This was that same staffthat Moses held out against pharaohand God turned it into a snake. This was the same staff that Moses lifted upto execute the judgement of Godupon the Egyptians. This is the same staff that Moses held up to part the Red Sea. Now he was to hold up this staff to defeat the Amalekites.
This was not a magic staff; however, it was a symbolic piece of God’s power. By itself the staff was just a stickand had no power, but in the hands of Moses accompanied with faithit was an instrumentof God’s glory.
His staff served as a reminder of all the victoriesthat God had worked for the Israelites. It was like a bannerthat declared the awesomeness of God.
Raising his staff was symbolic gesturewhich spokenot only to Mosesand Joshuabut to all the soldierswho went down to fight the battle. Surely, they remembered how Moses lifted his staff and the sea parted, and when all of Israel crossed over he lifted it again and the waters overcame the Egyptianswho were pursuing the Israelites.
If God could do it then, He can do it again. If Moses held up that staff the victory would be his.
10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Again, this reveals to us the importance of doing all that we canto stand. When Moses failedto do what he was supposedto do, the Amalekites prevailed. But as he didwhat he was supposed to do Israel prevailed.
12 But Moses' hands grew weary,
Moses as great of a leaderas he was, got wearyfrom doing what he was supposed to be doing.
Perhaps some of you can relate. You feel like you have been fighting a battle for a long timeand consequently you have wearied from the battle. Maybe you find it difficult to be doing what God has called you todo or to live the wayHe has called you to live.
Watch what happens next:
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. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
God had providedMoses with Aaron and Hurwho helped him in his time of weakness. We can trust in God-Jehovah- Nissi the Lord my banner, my victory, because He is committed to mysuccesson the battle field. He is my banner and will not allow me to fail.
He provides Moses with two guyswho could uphold his hands even as he became weary. This reveals to us the importanceof getting plugged into a local churchfamily. Because there will be a time when you need an Aaron and a Hur (plug in names from audience)to uphold your hands as you face your battles.
You cannot fail with God on your side. The only way you fail is if you give up!
Joshua overwhelmed Amalekwith the sword because a man of God refused to give in.
It's is amazing how many people were involvedin this victory.
14 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.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner, 16 saying, “A hand upon the throne of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
(KJV) 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah Nissi
Which means the Lord is my banner! It is to Jehovah Nissithat I first pledge my allegianceto.
It is for His kingdomand to His glorywhich I vow my life to. Knowing that He will do to myenemiesand to everything that arises against me, what he did to the Amalekites. That is, He will blot outthe very memory from under heaven.
In the end God wins! It is a predetermined outcome.
One final thought, I have this clip of an empty crosswith linen waving on it.
This linen is the victory flag.
Because death and the grave tried to contain Jesus, but they could not. The empty cross illustrates that satan lossand that Jesus is victorious.
This linen is the banner that says “It is finished.”
Every victory for every battle is found in the cross of Jesus Christ. Look to the Cross!
He Is Jehovah Nissi, The Lord My Banner