What Does Exodus 17:15 Mean?

Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner;

Exodus 17:15(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

It is not so much faith that is important but the One in Whom you place your trust. Some people trust in chariots and some in world leaders. Some trust in themselves, their finances, their family ties or their talents. Some trust in their education, their personality, their artistic abilities or performing lots of good works.. but what is important is trusting Jehovah-Nissi, (the Lord our banner) for He has promised to fight for us, when our enemies come in like a flood.

What is necessary for life and living, and for death and dying, is our hope in God. The strength that is needed for today and the blessed hope we have in the world to come is a heart that trusts in Christ, and relies on His sufficient grace and mighty strength. Every person we know and each security in which we place our trust, will one day let us down - including reliance on our own strength and abilities. What is needed is a willingness to admit our need and have a dependent trust on God, to supply all we need according to His riches in glory.

In Exodus, the Lord revealed Himself to Israel as Jehovah-Nissi, (the Lord our banner). The people of God had just escaped from Egypt. They were no fighting army. They had no experience of defeating a fierce enemy. But they had been brought out of slavery by God, Who provided food for their bodies and led them in the wilderness by pillars of fire and smoke. The menacing army they faced carried a victorious standard at the head of battalions of fierce, fighting men, which was meant to intimidate their opponents.

It was as they journeyed through the wilderness that the Amalekites came and fought against Israel at Rephidim, and Moses said to Joshua, "Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek, and tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand". "Trust in God to deliver you, was Moses' instruction. 

While Moses held up the Staff of God, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed, so Aaron and Hur held up the tired arms of Moses until the Amalak's army was defeated. On that day, God revealed Himself as Jehovah-Nissi, (the Lord our banner), "and Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner".

As Israel's armies fought Amalek, on the field of conflict in the physical realm.. so Moses battled the adversary in a parallel sphere, through spiritual warfare. As the Israelites fought their physical enemy with sword and spear, so Moses battled a spiritual enemy in the heavenly realm - through prayer and intercession. Moses defied the satanic realm as he held the Standard of God in his hand. What faith was demonstrated by Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua and the entire army of God. They trusted Him to fight for them, and He did not disappoint.

As Israel raised weapons of war against their bitter foe, so Moses lifted high the Rod of the LORD against the principalities and powers in heavenly places. The earthly foe could only be overcome in the spiritual realm. Victory or defeat of Joshua's army would be determined by the effective prayer of Israel's faithful watchman.. for the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much - the effective prayer of a REDEEMED man.

Just as soldiers raise their battle standards high, proclaiming allegiance to king and country, so Moses lifted up His Banner to the Lord. Moses raised up the Rod of God to proclaim Whose they were, Who was their true Champion and in Whom they trusted. The Lord God was their Defence and Defender, and so they fought under the authority, direction and power of God, Who from that day on, became to Israel, Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord Is My Banner.

The arms of Moses grew weary and the legs of this prayer-warrior weakened as he travailed in intercession for those in his care. Spiritual warfare is intense, and the arm of flesh fails when we face the enemy's onslaught in our own strength. But Aaron and Hur joined forces with Moses as together they raised high the standard of God, and the armies of Israel continued to battle the Amalekites with swords and spears. The weary arms of Moses were held aloft until sunset, against spiritual wickedness in high places, for only as he interceded for Israel was Joshua's victory secure.

It was as Moses prayed for the people of Israel that the enemy was overcome. Although he grew weary and rested his exhausted body on a Stone, Moses kept the rod of the Lord lifted up in prayer, so that we finally read: Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

We too fight under the same standard, for Christ is our Banner. Jesus is our Jehovah-Nissi. His is the Standard under which we stand and the Commander Whom we obey. We too, lift high the name of Jesus, for He is our Rod and our Staff. We too rest our weary soul in Him for His is the Rock of our salvation - and He is our Strong Tower, to Whom we flee for safety. The Lord is our Banner - the Lord is MY Banner.

Like the armies of Israel under the leadership of Joshua, we are not to rely on our own strength, for Christ's strength is sufficient for all the difficulties and dangers we may face. He is the One upon Whom we are to cast our heavy burdens and rest our weary souls for Jesus won every spiritual battle we will face, when He proclaimed from the cross - It is finished.

My Prayer

Thank You, Father, for the spiritual lessons I can learn from the faithful saints like Moses and Joshua, Aaron and Hur. May I recognise that in everything, Jesus is all I need, and that under Your banner I can face the future in full assurance and peace. I pray that my prayers and intercessions will be underpinned by Jesus, the Rock of my Salvation, the Hope of the whole earth and the Standard with Whom I am identified. With every passing day, I pray that I may trust in Him, stand against the enemy in prayer and intercession, and be upheld in truth, through Jesus Christ, my God and Saviour, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

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