At first glance this concept seems foreign to us. What does it mean to say the Lord is our Banner? That is not a phrase or idea we are generally familiar with.
But every four years we are given a great example. Do you know that it is considered such an honor to carry the national flag during the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that otherwise rich and famous athletes will actually hire firms to lobby for them for the privilege? In some countries that honor is passed out as political favors. In others it is given to one individual over another because there is such national pride attached.
The flag is a nation's banner. It symbolizes who that nation is. It unifies people under one cause. Why else would they fly it when someone wins an event? Especially an American athlete. In most so-called major Olympic sports, the American participants generally train apart from other of their American teammates. They may be part of a training team, but there is not one unifying American team. These athletes are, for the most part, lone wolves, much of their expenses are paid by sources other than the American government. But when they win a competition at the Olympics, the American flag is waved and the Star Spangled Banner is played. Why?
Because of the banner. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the current political party in power, the banner unites us and invigorates our enthusiasm. It is a symbol of victory we can all rally around.
God presents Himself as that Banner in the Old Testament book of Exodus, chapter 17. It is the story of a battle where the Israelites prevailed as long as Moses had his hands lifted toward God. When his hands came down, the enemy got the advantage. So they sat him down and had two men prop his arms up so they would win.
For us, the cross is our banner. It is our symbol of victory.
Huh?!? How can that be? The death of Jesus on a cross happened 2,000 year ago, how can it be the symbol of victory for me now? Especially when I am still in "battle".
...having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:14b-15)
Little children, you are of God and have defeated and overcome them because He Who lives in you is greater that he who lives in the world (I John 4:4)
Are you still in battle? Don't you know that you are fighting a foe that has already been defeated? Do you regularly "confess" your defeated state, or do you "confess" the victory that is already yours? It does not matter whether you can physically see the victory. That is why it is called faith.
Romans 8:35 asks this question: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Let's close by looking at that question just a bit more closely. And keep in mind that verse 37 says, Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.
Tribulation -- Is there something that is testing your faith? Do you feel stretched to your limit? Whatever it is CANNOT separate you from Jesus. It cannot get a victory over you.
Distress -- Anxiety, mental suffering, exhaustion, acute physical discomfort. Anybody out there that this describes? Guess what, Jehovah Nissi is the VICTORY over that too!
Persecution -- Are you being oppressed or harassed? Yup, that too is covered by the Lord Our Banner.
Famine --In America? Well, maybe. Around the world definitely. But, you ask, couldn't that cause death? And wouldn't death not be a victory? Well, check out If Jesus Is In The Boat.
Nakedness -- OK, if you look at popular culture it would appear that many people are experiencing this one. But, one definition is "exposed to harm".
Sword -- Death. If Jehovah Nissi doesn't mean anything to us, the fact that it means victory over death should give us great comfort. If, that is, we are ready to face death. I have written two blog's recently concerning Karen's grandfathers, Milkshakes, Hearing Loss, and Cows, and Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace. These men were ready to meet Jesus. And in the case of the most recent death, the idea of death did not hold any sway over PawPaw.
Again, keep in mind that Romans 8:37 says, Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. That is Jehovah Nissi.