The names of God found in the Bible is God revealing Himself via situations occurring in the life of an individual or a nation of people. Today we will study the name Nissi the nation of Israel gave to Jehovah when found in a difficult and trying situation.
Jehovah Nissi means the “LORD my Banner.” Traditionally when one see a banner, is it a visible declaration of authority. The banner is a symbol of whom you represent and to whom you are committed. For example Betsy Ross designed and made the first flag of United States and the leaders of that day displayed the flag as their symbol of commitment to United States of America. Today, the U.S. flag is raised at many businesses, all of our armed forces and many display the U.S. flag at their homes, especially on July 4th. This custom originated from Exodus chapter 17.
The children of Israel had been rescued from cruel bondage from the Egyptians. They are now in the wilderness camped at Rephidim. In verse 8 we read that the Amalekites learned they were nearby and came out against them in war (the Amalekites are descendants from Esau). The Israelites are worn out and tired from their journey with no water! They were now terrified and began to doubt God’s goodness. They had forgotten how God had delivered them from the Egyptians and brought them through the Red Sea. Fortunately Moses didn’t forget the goodness of God! In verse 9 Moses instructed Joshua to gather together men to fight against Amalek and that he (Moses) would position himself on the top of the hill (mountain) with the staff of God in his hand as they fought in the valley. What faith Moses demonstrated! This is the same staff that God sanctified and had Moses use when confronting Pharaoh in Egypt.
The battle in the valley began! As long as Moses kept the staff in his hand raised high, the children of Israel prevailed. When Moses lowered his arms the Amalekites prevailed. The staff raised high was Jehovah Nissi’s banner of authority prevailing against the Amalekites.
Jehovah Nissi used the natural (a staff) to perform the supernatural and brought about victory to the Israelites in the battle against the Amalekites. What was key here? Moses posture holding the staff of God. The men of Israel fighting with the Amalekites had nothing to do with their own strength, education, money, or status, rather it was all depended upon what Moses did in the mountain raising the staff of God in the air. When Moses’ arms became tired, Hur and Aaron supported him. Hur on one side holding his arm up and Aaron on the other side holding his arm up to keep the “Banner of the LORD raised high” as their sign of authority and commitment.
Amalek represents the forces of evil. As we read in Exodus 17, the Israelites were being attacked by the forces of evil, but God instructed Moses to use the Banner of the LORD for their defense, in this case the “staff of God.” We too are often attacked by Amalek (forces of evil), which we call spiritual warfare, but we can prepare for battle like Moses by calling upon “the LORD Our Banner” who is JESUS! What forces of evil are attacking you and your family – financial struggles, employment issues, marital problems, rebellious children, additions, etc., no matter the evil that comes our way we can call upon JESUS for help in the time of need. Psalm 46:1 states that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. We will go through difficult times but God promises to be our strength and help when we call upon the precious name of JESUS.
After Moses and the children of Israel won the battle, God instructed Moses to write a record of what occurred as a memorial. Moses then built an Altar and gave it the name Jehovah Nissi, which means “the LORD is my banner.”
When God brings us through difficult times, we too need to record it as a memorial in a journal and raise our hands in praise to “the LORD our Banner.”
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