Thursday, January 19, 2012

Names of God Study: Jehovah-nissi

It's time for another post in the Names of God series. We have done a little study on the names Elohim, El Elyon, El Roi, El ShaddaiEl OlamAdoniaJehovahJehovah-jireh, and Jehovah-rapha.  Today we will look at Jehovah-nissi and discover what this name of God reveals to us about His character.

We are introduced to this name of God in the book of Exodus. I am going to post the entire passage because this event in Scripture is so very powerful and incredibly relevant for us as believers today. It holds the key to a truth that we all must know if we are going to live in the victory that is our in Christ.

Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 
So Moses said to Joshua,
“Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek.
Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill
with the staff of God in my hand.” 
Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek;
and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 
So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed,
and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 
But Moses’ hands were heavy.
Then 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 one on the other.
Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 
So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek
and his people with the edge of the sword.
Then the LORD said to Moses,
Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua,
that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 
Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner; 
and he said, “The LORD has sworn;
the LORD will have war against Amalek
from generation to generation.”
Exodus 17:8-16

Did you see the name of God?
Jehovah-nissi means the LORD is My Banner.

So what is a banner? What exactly does this name of God tell us about His character? What does it mean to have the LORD as your banner? It might help to see a picture...

Those men are raising the banner of the United States of America. When our soldiers go into battle this banner goes before them. They have this banner to remind them what they are living, loving, and fighting for. Notice also that one could not keep the banner up alone... his brothers helped him.

But Moses’ hands were heavy.
Then 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 one on the other.

This banner is the banner of my earthly nation. I am a citizen of the USA while on this earth. I pledge allegiance to this flag and to this country, but this is not my eternal home. I have a citizenship in a kingdom that has supremacy over my allegiance to this United States.

For our citizenship is in heaven,
from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 
who will transform the body of our humble state
into conformity with the body of His glory,
by the exertion of the power that He has
even to subject all things to Himself.
Therefore, my beloved brethren
whom I long to see, my joy and crown,
in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
Philippians 3:20-4:1

In this kingdom I am to stand firm and the banner I am to be raising is my God. I am to go into the battles of life with Jehovah-nissi before me to remind me what I am living, loving, and fighting for. I am to keep my eyes on Christ and keep Him lifted up before me. 

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.
 John 12:32

Why do we need a banner? 
Every kingdom on this earth has an enemy. The kingdom of God and those who are citizens of it are not excluded from this fact. So exactly who or what is the enemy?

Do not love the world nor the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 
For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes
and the boastful pride of life,
is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1 John 2:15-16

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.
Your adversary, the devil,
prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

Did you discover the enemy?
Now scroll back up and read Exodus 17:8-16 again and this time replace Amalek with flesh.

Our own flesh, the world system, and the devil himself are your enemies if you are a citizen of the kingdom of God... and they are your enemy if you are not, because they are doing all they can to keep you from crossing the border into the promised land.

So now that you have met the enemy, how do you fight?

So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed,
and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 

Israel was winning the battle as long as Moses had his staff lifted up. As long as the Lord was lifted up they had victory. As long as they were being led by God and were focused on Him they were successful in their battle... but when Moses became weary and his hands became heavy and his staff fell then the enemy prevailed. Oh precious one, it is no different with us and our enemy.

 But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
for these are in opposition to one another,
so that you may not do the things that you please...
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified the flesh
with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:16-17, 24

since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,
let us also lay aside every encumbrance
and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 
fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Now I don't know about you... but my flesh is pretty tough, and the pull of the world and all it's glitz and glam and shiny new stuff is pretty catchy to my eyes and well that Satan is pretty darn sneaky and quite persistent... so I get tired in this fight. What am I to do when I get tired? What am I to do when I see a fellow believer is getting tired?

 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
Isaiah 35:3

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak
and the knees that are feeble, 
and make straight paths for your feet,
so that the limb which is lame
may not be put out of joint,
but rather be healed.
Hebrews 12:12-13

God created this amazing thing called the church. Not the building... the body. He said the gates of hell would not be able to prevail against His church. It is here that we find strength, encouragement, hope, help, fellow soldiers... It is here where we find those who gather around us and help us raise that banner. We need each other. We have a real battle, against a very real enemy, and our enemies are strong but...

 You are from God, little children,
and have overcome them;
because greater is He who is in you
than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

My friend... before a soldier goes into battle, they make sure their armor is on and they have all their weapons ready... then they are prepared to fight and they are prepared to defend and help others...

Remember to go into each day with your Jehovah-nissi!  


  1. Thank you for sharing, Mrs. Nicole. God bless you.
    I am facing and struggling my habitual sin. I pray to God that He will give me victory over the sin that is fighting against me.

    1. keep pressing forward with your eyes on Christ!