Summary: A Study of God’s Name - Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is my banner
Getting to Know God – Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is my banner
When I was at high school, I was part of an unusual group. I wasn’t a nerd – I mean you couldn’t call this a nerd could you? Okay – no need to answer, I preferred to think of myself as more of an academic, but almost everyone else in the group I hung out with was without a doubt a nerd – except for my best mate, Ian, who wasn’t a nerd – he was just uncoordinated. Now one thing you have to know about my school - I went to a private boys school in Brisbane and they had a very clear and distinct pecking order.
If you wanted to be seen as cool and acceptable, you played rugby – It was really the only sport to play. Soccer was tolerated, but only just (I played soccer) and Aussie Rules – well that wasn’t even considered high enough to be a sport when I went to school. Probably the coolest summer sport was swimming – for those who could swim. We had heaps of boarders from the country at our school – they were rough and tumble guys who excelled at Rugby, but couldn’t swim for peanuts – it was really quite funny to see these big macho guys floundering in the pool. With regard to other summer sports - cricket was okay, rowing was for the meat heads and tennis was for those who couldn’t handle another sport (That’s what everyone thought anyway). If you didn’t play any sport – you were definitely a nerd and as such a social outcast – none of the guys that hung out with Ian and myself played any sport.
In terms of other Extra Curricular activities that were in and out – Music was out (I played the trumpet – only a bit mind you so I was just hanging in there). Computer club was definitely out. Debating was so far out that even John MacEnroe wouldn’t argue with the umpire over that one. Chess Club was out of this world – better make that this out of this universe.
And oh yeh – one last thing, being part of ISCF was out. Both Ian and myself were Christians, though regretably I must admit that Ian was a far more outspoken and active Christian than I was. It wasn’t as though he was a Bible basher at all – far from it, but He wasn’t afraid to stand up for his faith. I can remember going on grade 8 camp and we had only just got the camp site and were finding our bunks when I came across Ian talking about his faith quite comfortably with some of the other guys in our class – these were seriously bad guys, but Ian was having quite a good conversation with them.
Ian copped a heap about being a Christian and often was teased for his faith, but all through our 5 years at high school, he was able to stand up tall and was not worried about what others said or did to him and because of that in the end of the day he gained quite a bit of respect. I often wondered why that was – I mean why he was able to stand tall. He was intelligent and confident in his own abilities, but he wasn’t top of the class – he had to work for every mark he got. He wasn’t a member of the first 15 rugby team, but at the same time, he had an air of security in who he was and what he believed in. I think it was because Ian had a living faith and that he knew that these guys couldn’t really touch him. Because God was his defender and because of this, he could stand up against anything and anyone and come out way in front of the pack..
I’ve found out since, that when people attack your faith or what you believe in, it is always helpful to know who is on your side. That is why as Christians it is important for us to get to know God and in particular to get to know him as Jehovah Nissi.
And tonight I want to spend a bit of time looking into this name of God to see what it can teach us about the God we serve. But first, let’s pray …
We’ve been going through the names of God and this is another one of those compound names. It has 2 parts. The first part is This name Jehovah which was from the Hebrew name YHWH. There are many I mentioned the last time I preached that this was the proper name of God. When we see YHWH it is like our name John – it is his name.