The Lord is My Banner

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by cih1355, Nov 12, 2010.

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  1. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    According to Exodus 17:15, Moses built an altar and called it, "The Lord is My Banner." What is meant by "The Lord is My Banner"?
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    The "banner" would be the battle-standard, a pole, perhaps with an eye-catching cloth upon it. The Bronze Serpent was raised on this sort of pole. The altar is built to commemorate the battle, and what this episode reveals about the nature and character of Jehovah.

    The Lord is our "battle-standard" because we look to him. Moses had stood above the fray, and his hands rose and fell (presumably holding the Rod of God), until Aaron and Hur sat Moses, and upheld his arms to keep them up. The dry stick wasn't so impressive, but what it represented to the men fighting in the dells below was glorious. This was God's battle, not theirs. Moses, and his rod were pointing the fighters (in his Mediatorial role) to the Cloud that ever accompanied them.

    So often in those stories in the wilderness, it seems as though the children of Israel are oblivious to the Presence, the Angel of the Lord, until Moses gets them to look, to focus, to see Who it is that is with them, Who has helped them, Who is for them when their enemies attack them.

    The explanation that follows the Name is significant. "A hand on the throne of the Lord!" is either an exclamation of outrage (if the hand is the presumptuous hand of Amalek), or it is an exclamation of his own oath (upon the seat of his power and authority). But in any case, the oath is that of The Lord swears to never step back from this conflict until it is utterly complete, until he has exterminated Amalek to the last man, woman, and child. He so identifies himself with this warfare so as to BE what the flag stands for. "I am the flag, rally to me, and in my strength and by my will I, and you, will overcome our foes--these in particular, Amalek and all he stands for."
  3. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you for the explanation, Bruce. How does this truth apply to our lives today? Is this passage teaching that God can overcome our foes such the temptation to commit a certain sin?
  4. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    We are weak, but he is strong.

    We are a wilderness people. The Promised Land is future. Our Amalek is the world, the flesh, and the devil. The battle is the Lord's, but we fight it in his strength, by faith, looking to our Mediator, keeping our eyes on him. And in his might we prevail. It's a miracle.

    But the focus of the verses is on Moses, the mediator of the Old Covenant, and what he stands for. He is a type of Christ. He's literally pointing to the Christ who is with the people in the Pillar of Cloud. But he's human and has his own sinful limits. But he is strengthened by the others, who all three form a kind of "prophet-priest-king" stand. Israel is victorious ultimately because her mediator is victorious.

    In other words, I find that the passage is more to the purpose of teaching me about God, rather than teaching me about me. But in the process I understand how his victory means I will have victory over all my enemies, because God isn't going to rest until he has obliterated the very memory of his, and our, foes--those who dared to prey on his little ones trudging through this dangerous place. So, while in principle I know that ALL my enemies are defeated, in practice I don't know the manner that God may use (or the amount of time it will take) to beat a certain temptation. The story doesn't descend to that level of detail. Amalek wasn't wiped out that day. The focus is on the nature of the battle, which helps us soldier on each day, facing the temptations of that day.
  5. Rev. Todd Ruddell

    Rev. Todd Ruddell Puritan Board Junior

    I have recently preached on this topic. You may find it helpful. Yahveh Nissi
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