God My Banner

15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[a] the throne of the Lord,[b] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
Exodus 17:15-16

An event or occurrence happening for the first time can either be an exciting adventure or a fearful one. Like the first day of school, experiencing first love, or going to work on your first day. The Israelites, being freed from Egyptian rule and being wanderers in the desert, faced their first battle against a nation. This was their first war, and they’re against the Amalekites.

The Israelites had, evidently, seen God moved mightly on their behalf just like God sending the ten plagues against Egypt, the parting of the dead sea where Egyptians were drowned, and God’s miraculous provision in the desert. But this was different. This time, the Israelites had to do something. Joshua, Moses’ aid, was instructed to lead the people as they fight. Moses prayed and lifted his hands to God. The Scripture tells as that when his hands are lifted up, the Israelites win but when Moses lowered his hands, the Amalekites win. Then, God gave them victory.

After their victory, Moses made an altar and called it “The Lord is My Banner,” which is “Yahweh Nissi” in Hebrew. On that day, the Israelites proclaimed that God gives them victory, that God is their hope, and they are secured in the Lord.

A banner, or a flag as we commonly know it today, is something that identifies and unifies a particular group or nation. As Filipinos, we identify and rally behind the Philippine flag, same as any nationality. The Israelites’ declaration that the Lord is their banner was a way of identifying themselves as the unified followers of the Lord God. Does this mean we should migrate to Israel to be identified with this? No, but if we are to be identified as God’s followers, we must carry His flag, and we must carry His name and declare who He is in our lives.

Know that today, God is your banner. He is your hope. He is your victory. As the Bible says, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” Abandon the fear of hardship when you choose to live for God. God will give you victory.