several weeks, our pastor has taught the names of God that reveal His character,
and what each name means in our relationship with Him. Yesterday we looked at
Jehovah Nissi. A few years ago I did some research on the names of God, and in
my study, this name was exactly what I needed to hear. Some times in our lives
we discover that, in what God has called us to do, we are exhausted and tired.
And then—just like with Moses praying for the Israelites in the heat of battle
with the Amalekites, a miracle happens. Friends like Aaron and Hur come along
side us and lift our weary hands so that we might win. We discover that we are
not alone. Jesus, through their support and prayers, is offered as our “paraclete”—the
great “I AM”, the powerful Holy Spirit, who comes along side to carry us.
as “Yahweh” the great “I AM”, existed before all else. “Jehovah” comes from “havah”, the Hebrew name which means “to exist” or
“to be”. God, as the “I AM” of the universe—the great “Yahweh”, is “Jehovah” who
reveals himself as the God who wishes “to become known”. He is the
all-powerful personal “Jehovah”, who longs
to have a relationship with the people He has created. And in that incredibly powerful relationship, I learn
that I not alone.
“Jehovah”, in conjunction with “Nissi”, is only mentioned once in the Old Testament,
and that is in Exodus 17. “Nissi” is derived from the word “nes”, which means
“banner” in Hebrew. In Exodus 17:15, the
Israelites, having just defeated the Amalekites because of Moses and the support
of his faithful friends, rejoice in their victory. Moses erects an altar
to “Jehovah Nissi”. The word “nes” can be seen by thinking of a flag as a focal point in battle. In Old
Testament history (and throughout
history) opponents in war flew
their own flag on their front lines. This focal point reminded soldiers of
their purpose. When they focused their mind to win, they received encouragement
that their efforts would not be in vain. This is what God, “Jehovah Nissi”, is to us. He is our focal point, our
“banner” on which we can focus our mind―all our thoughts, strength, hope, belief, and life. Isaiah wrote of God as this
“banner”. “You guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind
[both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits
himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You” (Isaiah 26:3, AMP).
In the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old
Testament written for Jews two centuries before Christ) the word “nissi” is
translated as “refuge”. When I focus all
that I am―all
that I believe―all
that I live―all
of my being on His unfailing standard, character, promise, and purpose, then He
is my refuge in whatever comes before me. “He who dwells in the secret place of
the Most High (Elyon),” the
Psalmist writes, “shall remain stable and fixed
under the shadow of the Almighty (Shaddai) [Whose power no foe can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, He is my
refuge and my fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I
[confidently] trust” (Psalm 91:1-2, AMP). He is my “Jehovah Nissi”, the one in
whom I can confidently trust.
God is not only my “banner”, who gives me strength and
purpose; He is also my “refuge” and my fortress in the heat of battle. He is my
strength to stand against all evil. When I put on the whole armor of God
(Ephesians 6:10-17), no weapon can come against me. The enemy is defeated. And
when I am tired, He is the one who carries me because I trust in Him. The verse
following Isaiah 26:3 explains the faith that I can have in the Lord, my “banner”
and my “refuge”, when my mind and whole life is focused on Him. “So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him,
hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the
Rock of Ages]” (Isaiah 26:4, AMP).
As long as Moses raised his arms
in prayer during the rage of battle, the Israelites won. When he was tired, his
faithful friends, Aaron and Hur, supported his arms so that victory would be
secured. If God is the focal point of your life, you know Him as your place of
safety—as the one on whom you can rely. If He isn’t your banner—your focal
point—you are adrift and defeated. Make Him the center of your life. If you are
tired, He sends His servants to help you win against the enemy.
You are not
alone. Yes, He longs to be your “Jehovah Nissi”—the one in whom you can