Summary: This is the 12th sermon in the series "Knowing God".

Series: Knowing God [#12]


Exodus 17:15


I’m going to try not to start this sermon with a rant; but I am going to hit a “touchy” subject for some people. This morning we are going to study the name Jehovah Nissi which means God is my banner. As I began to study for this sermon, I started thinking about the significance of a banner or a flag. I know that there has been a lot of controversy over the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem as our Nation’s flag is being displayed. I have to tell you that I do not appreciate their behavior. When Tharon competed in Rio at the Paralympic Games, I experienced a wide range of emotions within just a couple of minutes. Before Tharon swam his 400 meter Freestyle, I was at the point of puking. While he swam his race, I cheered and screamed. Once the race was over, it was over; and I was just proud. While I did shed a few tears right after his race; the most emotional part of this experience was the medal ceremony. When the US Flag started being raised and our National Anthem started playing, I could hardly breathe. The US flag has meaning to me and at that moment; it was being raised in honor of my son and his team mate.

Exodus 17:8-16 (NIV)

“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands." So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation."

The name Jehovah Nissi tells us…

1. That God is with us in battle.

When Israel faced the Amalekites in battle at Rephidim it wasn’t with a strong, trained, powerful army; it was with people who had been slaves all of their life. They were travelling through the lands of fierce fighting peoples. They travelled with women, children, herds, and all their possessions. The battle was for survival, for hope, and for a future; but they travelled with something else too, something else that no other nation on earth had- A pillar of fire, a cloud of smoke, the very presence of God. Israel did not fight its battles alone. No matter how inexperienced or overmatched they were, they were never the underdogs. They had God as their banner.

The name Jehovah Nissi tells us…

2. That God desires that His children use the gifts and talents that He has given us for His purpose.

Each person had their role in that battle. Joshua’s role was to lead the battle; Moses’ role was to stand on the mountain with his hands up; and Aaron and Hur’s role was to hold Moses’ hands up. Each person’s role was necessary. When Moses’ hands were down, the Israelites began to lose the battle. After a while, Moses was so tired that he couldn’t hold his hands up, so Aaron and Hur did it for him. Scripture tells us that when a person is saved, they are given spiritual gifts and those gifts are to edify the Body of Christ. It is vital that Christians use their spiritual gifts and talents to strengthen the Church.

The name Jehovah Nissi tells us…

3. That God must be celebrated and honored.

Banners are raised to celebrate and honor. They hang from the rafters of arenas honoring champions. They are raised to honor soldiers returning from war. Banners are to remember and commemorate. Banners are labels and signets. They announce names and images which people can recognize from a great distance. They show the location and identity of a business or event so people can navigate to it. Banners are visible. The whole point of a banner is to be seen. Banners are for those who raise them. They are an act of celebration, remembrance, or announcement. Banners are for those who see them. They are an invitation and a gathering place. They summon and call. They attract people that are passing by.

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