The Prophet Speaks

“The Lord is My Banner”
 
By:  Pastor Milton Coats

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One of the many covenant names God revealed Himself to Israel was “Jehovah-Nissi.”  This name means the “Lord is my Banner.”  In other words, the Lord is my flag, sign, ensign and emblem.  The Lord is my rank, my power and my victory. 

In Exodus 17:8-16, Moses and the Israelites were engaged in a battle with Amalek.  Joshua went down into the valley with chosen men and fought while Moses remained on top of the hill.  Moses held the rod of God in his hand.  While he held the rod of God, Israel prevailed.  After holding up the rod of God for an extended period of time, Moses became fatigue.  When he let down his hand from fatigue, the enemy prevailed.  Aaron and Hur sat Moses on a rock, got on each side and steadied his hand until the going down of the sun.  Ultimately, Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people.  Moses then built an altar and called the name of it “Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord is my Banner.” 

During the war of 1812 Frances Scott Key (1779-1843) a well-known Washington lawyer and amateur verse writer watched throughout the night as British fleets bombarded Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor (Sept. 13, 1814).  Key watched firsthand the shelling of his countrymen from a prison-exchange boat.  After a long night of anxiety and uncertainty, daylight dawned and the heavy smoke lifted.  Despite the many lives that were gunned down through the perilous fight, there was a pillar of hope yet standing.  This pillar was our American flag.  Key was so inspired by his encounter that he was compelled to pen the words to the Star-Spangled Banner which was adopted as the National Anthem of the United States of America (March 1931).  In the final stanza, Key scripts, “Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” 

Over 2000 years ago, another banner was reared up.  According to Mark 15:22-26, Jesus was crucified at nine o’ clock in the morning.  On the cross until three in the afternoon, Jesus endured six hours of fierce fighting.  Nails were shot through his hands and feet.  His side was pierced as blood gushed from his very body.  A thorny crown was thrust on his head.  The final three hours were in pitch black darkness.  Jesus was bombarded through the night by the enemy.  Despite the seemingly dreadful situation, when the darkness lifted Jesus, my Banner, was still standing.  Praise God! 

As this country celebrates another birthday I do pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 

But most of all, I pledge my allegiance to the Christian flag and the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands.  One Savior crucified, risen and coming again with life and liberty for all who believe.  The Lord Jesus Christ is truly my Jehovah-Nissi -- “My Banner.”