The Names of God Series | JEHOVAH NISSI (THE LORD MY BANNER)
Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Nes (nês), from which Nissi derived, means "banner" in Hebrew. In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel's banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point. [From BlueLetterBible]
And Moses built an altar and called its name, Jehovah Nissi [The-Lord-Is-My-Banner]; for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
Jehovah Nissi is most commonly translated into "the Lord is my banner". Although through-out the years it has also taken on "the Lord they miracle", "the Lord my refuge" and "the Lord my Exaltation". All which really do speak to how God is our protector, hiding place, and shelter even when there seems to be no hope. He is our Commander and Chief, in Him alone should we place our ultimate trust. By God's grace we have victory over sin, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What was the specific reason though that Moses designated this name for God in the place an time?
Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
How amazing! If you have had a chance to read, 31 Rays of Hope, you know that I am intrigued by the blatant "acts of God" in the Old Testament. Albeit I am learning more and more every day we have those same miracles - we just don't recognize them as such. Though thankfully we do not have to sacrifice animals in atonement for our sins as days of old, as Jesus Christ paid the debt that we could not pay.
May we give thanks for God for His loving-kindness, for never leaving us, whether we are on the mountain tops or low in the valley. For giving us victory over this world. For giving us a way into His to spend eternity with Him and the Savior, if we only believe. May we pray for those who are persecuted for His name sake. May we call upon forgiveness, and may the Spirit abound in us, as we shine our light to everyone we meet. In Jesus name.