Jehovah Nissi (the Lord our banner)

in exodus 17:8-13 the children of Israel find themselves on the battlefield. it is crucial to note that up to this point God had literally walked before them all the way from Egypt to their current location Rephidim, and they had never had to labour for their progress. now as they ready the troops, Moses decides to stick to the tried and tested method, trusting God to fight on their behalf. and so as this battle pans out, God once again triumphs on behalf of his nation as he singlehandedly wins the battle.

there comes a time in our walk of faith where we think we are ready to face life on our own. the countless victories that we have seen God win for us and through us begin to mislead us into thinking that we have learnt the art of warfare. at this point our acquired sense of independence takes over and we end up drifting into a world where we are unstoppable warriors, which is not what God has intended for us.

the battle at Rephidim reminds us that since this is the enemy’s realm he can defeat us. the devil is the ruler of this world, and he can do whatever he wants in it. for he comes for nothing else but to steal, kill and to destroy (John 10:10). and so waging war against the enemy on our own can never be a wise move.

as we walk into battle it is our armour that stands between us and the enemy, just as a banner would be carried at the front of the line. in the letter to the Ephesians 6:11-17 Paul teaches us to put on fully the armour of God, that we may withstand the evil day. God illustrates here how he not only protects us as our shield and helmet, but how he also severs the enemy before us with his word. for the battle is not ours, but it is the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 19:15). and I know that some of us may claim that “I had to physically fight that war” or that “I worked very hard to overcome the enemy”, but always remember this: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength  (Philippians 4:13).

so as Moses held the rod of God up over the battle at the top of the hill and Israel prevailed, God was reminding his people that he goes before them in every battle to give them victory, and that he is Jehovah Nissi (the Lord our banner).


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