Why are there so many names for God? Why is it important that we know what they are and what they mean? Our finite, human brains cannot fully comprehend the majesty and glory of who God is. Yet through the various names of God, He chooses to reveal Himself to us so we can come to understand the many personal characteristics of God. His names reveal His power, authority, and holiness. The better we understand and know the names of God the more personal He becomes to us and as we pray, we can call on His name that corresponds with our need. Finally, because the Bible instructs us to honor, fear, and respect God and to not use His name in vain, we need to know exactly what His names are and what they mean. Today, we look at the name Jehovah.
Today’s Name: Jehovah-Nissi
An encounter with Jehovah-Nissi
Moses encountered Jehovah-Nissi in Rephidim when the Amalekites came to fight Israel:
As Israel lined up to face the Amalekites in battle, they didn’t have a massive army with seasoned commanders. They had only just left Egypt where they had been slaves for 400 years. As they traveled to the Promised Land, they had go through other lands where they were seen as trespassers. This battle was one about survival, hope, and their future. What the fierce-fighting Amalekites didn’t know is that Israel traveled with something no other nation on earth had—a pillar of fire and within that cloud of smoke was the very presence of God. Israel did not fight its battles alone. In fact, many times God fought for them. So no matter how out-matched they appeared to me, it wasn’t Israel that was the underdogs—it was the Amalekites because the God was with them and they fought under His banner.
In this battle, Moses tells Joshua to choose some men who would go out and fight with the Amalekites. Moses, Aaron and Hur goes to the top of a hill and Moses holds up his hand. As long as his hands were up, Israel would prevail. But as Moses arms grew tired, his hands began to fall and Israel would begin to lose the battle. So Aaron and Hur move a stone and Moses sits on it while Aaron and Hur hold Moses’s hand up. They stayed this way until the sun went down.
How is God our Banner today?
When Moses built the altar and called it, “The LORD is my banner,” he was creating a place of remembrance, a celebration of victory, an expression of thanks. He was making a declaration, one that any follower of Jesus can share in today: The LORD is my banner and we are the LORD’s. It was a declaration not just of who God is and what He has done, but of who we are as His people.
Barnabas Piper writes: “God is our banner because we live to celebrate and honor His faithfulness to us, shown in myriad ways, from the rising sun to the risen Christ. God is our banner because we remember all His deeds and His words graciously given to us in scripture. He is our banner because He gives us identity, and our label is “God’s children,” because of the saving work of Jesus. God is our banner because we are his representatives to the world, making Him visible and showing the beauty of His transforming work. God is our banner because all of this is an invitation, a gravitational pull, a summons, a tug to any who would believe but do not yet know what that means or how to do so.” (https://bit.ly/2XJ7lb6)
Jehovah-Nissi, thank you that for giving us an identity in you by making us your children. Thank you for your faithfulness to us and the way you transform us to be more like you. Father, show us who You are as we discover and learn about your many names. Reveal to us why You are worthy of being called the One True, Living God. Teach us to unabashedly love you, respect Your name, and serve only You. Make your character known to us so we can live and walk in your image. Amen.