Maybe I am weird or maybe I am just like you, but I think there is something beautiful in the fact the Lord is the fighter of battles. Maybe it is because I do not like to get dirty or that if I had to wear camo to something I would probably be sick that day, or maybe it is because I know that I would not survive in the hunger games. Either way, fighter is not the word I would use to describe me.
So, for me, there is beauty in the picture that God paints for us in Exodus 17. Moses is called into action and his people are called to fight. This fight is a beautiful picture of God’s love for his people and their call to follow him at all times, to work together, and to rely fully on the Lord in all time.
Moment of truth….I have tried to fight battles on my own, and I have tried to fight the Lord’s battles without him….it rarely ends well for me.
As you read Exodus 17:1-16, you see God bring Moses and his people into a time of fighting where when they stand under his banner they prevail. Moses was called to lift up a rod in God’s name. When his arms grew tired and the rod fell, the Israelites would begin to lose the battle. In these moments Moses’ friends built a resting place for Moses’ arm, and there he held the rod until the sun went down and Joshua overwhelmed the Amaleks.
As I read the story I saw how God protected his people when they were in his will. When that rod was where it was suppose to be, God’s people where all over that fighting business. And when that arm fell, so did the winning momentum.
I have so been here. I have been waging war on sin or an issue and felt so confident in who the Lord is thinking, “yeah I got this, what!” Yet somewhere in this path spending time with the Lord gets hard or praying stops, or I think for a moment, “I could do this on my own.” And then BAM I am losing the battle!
What struck me as I was reading this passage was that when the holding of the rod got hard Moses had people to come help him. His people built him a resting spot to help hold his arm up. His people knew him well, knew the real battle, and were willing to help. Moses’ people knew having the Lord’s banner over them was so important they needed to do something.
So, in the end Moses names the alter Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is My Banner. What an amazing name. When I think about a banner I go straight to my high school marching band days, and the banner with our name on it that went before us. The banner was there so people would know who we were and who we belonged to.
God’s banner is even more powerful than that school banner. God’s banner goes before and sets the path, God’s banner goes before and fights for us, and God’s banner goes before and conquers.
What a powerful banner we all should stand behind and follow.
Liz, just a girl who spends her days in seminary classes, spends her afternoons interning with First Baptist Dallas Women’s, spends her evenings with her friends laughing and challenging the definition of community to be something much deeper. If you need her you can probably find her watching Dancing with the Stars while on Pinterest, challenging the worldly norm of a 28 year old.