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Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
Calling on the Name of the Lord: Jehovah Nissi
God's name is very important. His name is holy, pure, and represents His character and love towards us. Yet I often hear prayers end in "amen" without mentioning even the phrase "in His name I pray", or "in name of Jesus I pray", or something similar. The Scripture is full of examples of men calling on the name of God in their prayers. Here are a few examples:
May God bless you all!
Abraham called on the
of the Lord (Genesis 12:8; 13:4).
The Lord proclaimed His own
before Moses (Exodus 33:19; 34:5).
Isreal was warned against profaning the
of the Lord
of the Lord was not to be taken in vain (Exodus 20:7;
The priests of Isreal were to minister in the
of the Lord
of God is called "wonderful" in Isaiah 9:6.
To call on the
of the Lord was to worship Him as God
(Leviticus 18:21; 22:2, 32).
(Deuteronomy 18:5; 21:5).
(Genesis 21:33; 26:25).
Until He returns:
So - what is His Name?
In this series of articles, I want to explore the various names of the Lord. When we pray and call upon His name, it is good to know on whom we are calling. Does that mean that there are many gods? NO! It does mean that He has many names, and that each has been given to us so that we can pray more specifically and use one of the many characteristics that is embodied in our God. Let's examine our ninth name this month:
Yahweh (or Jehovah) Nissi: The Lord Is My Banner
Banners in the Old Testament were rallying points in a battlefield. When you looked back toward the main line of troops, in the heat of battle, and saw the banner still held above the fray, you knew all was well. When an army's banner faltered or fell, the cause was generally lost. At sea, the ships's flag signaled who controlled the ship. Often, if an opposing ship could get the flag down and signal surrender, the battle stopped - the ship was lost. When God is our banner, several forces are at work and are significantly different than an earthly banner.
First, God never has to lower His banner. His banner never falters. God's banner is our rallying point and our means of victory - for He fights for His people (Exodus 17:15). Moses gave the name
in the context of warfare with the Amalekites
against Israel. In the battle, as long as Moses has his hands raised, Israel was winning. Whenever he tired and his hands dropped (likened to God dropping His banner), the Amalekites would start to win. Then Aaron and Hur went to Moses, set him down upon a rock, and held up his hands (one on each side) in such a way as to allow Moses to see the battle and for those in the fight to see Moses' hands raised. Moses' raised hands were like prayers for victory as well as a banner to the people. Since Moses represented God to the people, his raised hands were, in effect, God's banner.
The Jews of Isreal often stood when they prayed, listened to the reading of Scripture, orators, etc. When they prayed, they often lifted their hands. Indeed, we are told to lift holy hands (1 Timothy 2:8), and the Psalmist says, "Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle" (Psalm 28:2). The lifting of hands to offer praises and petitions up to God is an old practice still found in churches today. Another example, when God stopped the plague of hail, Moses said to Pharaoh, ". . . I will spread abroad my hands to the LORD . . ." (Exodus 9:29). Jehoshaphat stood at the temple to pray (2 Chronicles 20:5, 6). The Psalmist says, "I will lift up my hands in thy names" (Psalm 63:4b).
At the end of the battle with the Amalekites, Moses built an altar after Isreal won the fight and called it
. "And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it
Jehovah-nissi" (Exodus 17:15). We assume that Moses was praying and depending on God during the battle, and that God spoke to him (see verse 14 of Exodus 17) which added to our conclusion that Moses was in effect God's surrogate banner during the battle. I believe this is further verified in that, after the battle, Moses erects the altar and calls it "The Lord our Banner."
As God would go forth into battle for Israel like a banner held high, so we also must learn to rally around God our banner. When we are in His will, He always goes before us; He gives us direction; He lights our path; He has provided us the spiritual victory; He fights our battles. Paul tells us: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Although this name of God appears only once in the Bible, we can be sure that God is our banner. We need to look to the example of Exodus 17 and note that when Moses hands were raised, Israel was winning; when not, Israel was losing. Does God have something he is trying to teach us here? As Moses raised hands displayed his dependence upon God, so we need to daily depend on Him for our provisions, our protection, our victories against the world, the flesh, and the Devil.
Of course, only true believers of Christ can claim Him as their banner. If you are not a follower of Christ, you can become one by repenting of your sins and trusting in Him. The Bible says:
Our Lord Jesus, our banner, is our provider, our protector, our guide, and our Lord. He is sovereign over all there is in the universe and in heaven which includes the angels, ourselves, and all else - He is in control. As we all learn to "call on the name of the Lord," let us remember that we serve a Master who loves us, provides for us, and reveals truth to us. He is all powerful, in total control, and he is our Lord, and He is "The Lord our Banner"!!!
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.