A banner is a symbol of identification. Unlike flags, ancient banners were usually emblems made of wood or metal that attached to the top of a staff or pole. It contained symbols that represented the ideals of whoever carried it so it aroused devotion to a nation, cause, or leader. A banner was generally a point of gathering for troops before a battle or announcement of victory after a battle was won, and it was carried, raised high before troops as they went out to battle.
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 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."
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 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. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 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."
15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. 16 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." Exodus 17:8-16
This was the first battle that the Israelites faced after leaving Egypt. Kay taught us in a previous chapter that the first time one of the Names of God is used in the Bible is significant. I also learned in my Sunday school class this last week as we prepare to study Genesis, that the first time an event occurs is also significant. Isn't it just awesome the way God planned and organized the details of the Bible? Even in ways that are not at first obvious.
The Amalekites are a symbol of all the forces that oppose God, the spiritual battles that we continually face. Kay focused heavily on the battle we have with our flesh, of choosing to die to self. As we have been studying I have noticed that all of the Names and events where they first occur, point to Jesus in some way. In this case we see Jesus as our Banner. He is the One who was lifted up on the cross to defeat our spiritual enemy.
Notice in verse 14 it says Yahweh will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Then in verse 16 it says Yahweh will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation. Under the Banner of Jesus we have victory over the enemy even though he keeps forming attacks against us. Whether we are going through a physical battle or a spiritual battle, Jehovah-Nissi promises to be at war with our enemies.
Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Psalm 35:1
...His banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:4
"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou