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Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord Is My Banner 

Exodus 17.8–16 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 31, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. “Army Sgt. William H. Carney…earned the [medal of] honor for protecting one of the United States’ greatest symbols during the Civil War—the American flag.”

    “On July 18, 1863, the soldiers of Carney’s regiment led the charge on Fort Wagner. During the battle, the unit’s color guard was shot. Carney, who was just a few feet away, saw the dying man stumble, and he scrambled to catch the falling flag.

    “Despite suffering several serious gunshot wounds himself, Carney kept the symbol of the Union held high as he crawled up the hill to the walls of Fort Wagner, urging his fellow troops to follow him. He planted the flag in the sand at the base of the fort and held it upright until his near-lifeless body was rescued.

    “Even then, though, he didn’t give it up. Many witnesses said Carney refused to give the flag to his rescuers, holding onto it tighter until, with assistance, he made it to the Union’s temporary barracks.

    “Carney lost a lot of blood and nearly lost his life, but not once did he allow the flag to touch the ground. Carney was promoted to the rank of sergeant for his actions.

    “For his bravery, Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 23, 1900.”

  2. You know of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. 
  3. How about America’s national anthem? 
    1. It is not about our banner, our flag? 
    2. Listen to me read the lyrics of the first verse of The Star Spangled Banner:

      Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
      What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
      Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
      O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
      And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
      Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
      Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
  4. Banners or flags are very important for a military and a nation. 
    1. It is a rallying point. 
      1. If it falls, the military and the nation fall. 
      2. If it stays up, the military and the nation stay up. 
    2. It shows victory at the end of a battle. 
      1. It shows for whom a military fights. 
      2. Its representative power is great. 
  5. Now let me show you something from the Scriptures about our banner or flag. 


  1. Exodus 17 | Jehovah–Nissi 
    1. Exodus 17.1–7 | The Lord Provided Water for Contentious People 
      1. 17.1–2 | The people demanded water

        1 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?”
        1. Sometimes people read this and think that the Israelites were the world greatest complainers. 
        2. However, work with the public and 
          1. you will learn quickly 
          2. that Israel did not corner the market on complaining. 
        3. Here is the thing: 
          1. They contended with Moses and 
          2. tempted the Lord, 
            1. yet, He still showed them compassion 
            2. giving them water and fighting for them. 
      2. 17.3 | Questioning their rescue

        3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
        1. They wanted deliverance out of Egypt. 
        2. God wanted them out of Egypt. 
          1. Then when it happened, 
          2. they complained about the accommodations along the way. 
      3. 17.4–6 | Use the rod to get water

        4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!” 5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
        1. Moses was at his wits’ end and 
        2. asked the Lord what to do. 
          1. The Lord told him plainly what to do, 
          2. that he was to take his rod 
            1. with which he had struck the Nile River, and 
            2. then strike a certain rock and God would give water. 
      4. 17.7 | Questioning whether the Lord was with them

        7 So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”
        1. Here Moses revealed more of what the people had said, and 
        2. why it was considered tempting the Lord. 
          1. They had seen the plagues. 
          2. They had seen the splitting of the Red Sea. 
          3. They had seen the destruction of the Egyptian army. 
          4. They had seen the bitter waters made sweet. 
          5. They had seen bread from heaven. 
            1. And they they said, 
            2. “Is the LORD among us or not?” 
      5. They continued to complain, nevertheless, 
        1. the Lord continued to bless them. 
        2. Watch what happened next. 
    2. Exodus 17.8–16 | War with Amalek 
      1. 17.8–9 | The rod of God

        8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”
        1. Moses again uses that same rod, 
        2. which he called, “the rod of God.” 
      2. 17.10–11 | Hold the rod up

        10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
        1. Is this because the Israelite army could see the rod? 
          1. In which case, it would be like Francis Scott Key 
          2. as he looked for the Star Spangled banner 
            1. the next morning after intense fighting that night. 
            2. If the flag still stood, the British had not won. 
        2. Or was God working through the rod and with His people? 
      3. 17.12 | Aaron and Hur Help

        12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
        1. See how long you can hold your empty hands up. 
        2. Then imagine holding up a long wooden stick. 
          1. This was like the men helping William Carney. 
          2. This was like the men on Iwo Jima. 
      4. 17.13–14 | Remember this war

        13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
        1. Israel needed to remember what the Lord had done for them. 
        2. They had been forgetting things, just like we do. 
          1. How much of the church’s past do we know? 
          2. How much of American history do we know? 
            1. The Lord wanted this written down. 
            2. It would be history that they could read and 
              1. continued to have faith in their God. 
      5. 17.15–16 | Jehovah-Nissi

        15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The–LORD–Is–My–Banner; 16 for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
        1. Moses also wanted Israel to remember and 
        2. he built an altar that declared: 
          1. Jehovah-Nissi, 
          2. The–LORD–Is–My–Banner! 
            1. The Lord is my flag. 
            2. I hold Him up and I win at the battle of life. 
  2. Psalm 60.4–5, 11–12 | For Those Who Fear the Lord 
    1. Every situation I have shown you, 
      1. was in the midst of war: 
        1. The Civil War hero, 
        2. The Iwo Jima flag raising, and 
        3. America’s national anthem. 
      2. Psalm 60 shows that is why the Lord is our banner. 
        1. It is during those times when we need to know 
        2. that our God is with us. 
    2. 60.4–5 | What we have from the Lord

      4 You have given a banner to those who fear You,
      That it may be displayed because of the truth.
      5 That Your beloved may be delivered,
      Save with Your right hand, and hear me.
    3. Then note what the psalmist said next. 
    4. 60.11–12 | What we can do through God

      11 Give us help from trouble,
      For the help of man is useless.
      12 Through God we will do valiantly,
      For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
  3. The Book of Isaiah 
    1. Isaiah 13.1–3 | Against Babylon

      1 The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

      2 “Lift up a banner on the high mountain,
      Raise your voice to them;
      Wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles.
      3 I have commanded My sanctified ones;
      I have also called My mighty ones for My anger—
      Those who rejoice in My exaltation.”

      – Isaiah 13.1–3
    2. Isaiah 31.8–9 | Against Assyria

      8 “Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man,
      And a sword not of mankind shall devour him.
      But he shall flee from the sword,
      And his young men shall become forced labor.
      9 He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear,
      And his princes shall be afraid of the banner,”
      Says the LORD,
      Whose fire is in Zion
      And whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

      – Isaiah 31.8–9
    3. Jeremiah 51.27–28 also 
    4. Since the Lord is our banner, He came to draw all people to Himself. 
      1. That is what a banner/flag does. 
        1. Remember it is a rallying point. 
        2. However, if the Lord is our banner, 
          1. then we need to know that He is among us. 
          2. Isaiah prophesied of that very thing happening. 
      2. Isaiah 11.10–12 | Messianic

        10 And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
        Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
        For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
        And His resting place shall be glorious.
        11 It shall come to pass in that day
        That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time
        To recover the remnant of His people who are left,
        From Assyria and Egypt,
        From Pathros and Cush,
        From Elam and Shinar,
        From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
        12 He will set up a banner for the nations,
        And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
        And gather together the dispersed of Judah
        From the four corners of the earth.

        – Isaiah 11.10–12 (See also Isaiah 62.10–11.)
    5. As Paul wrote to the Romans, 
      1. He told them to receive one another 
      2. as Christ has received us to the glory of God. 
      3. Paul continued to make His case saying:

        8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, 9a and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:

        12 And again, Isaiah says: (Quoting Isa 11.1, 10–11)

        “There shall be a root of Jesse;
        And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
        In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”

        – Romans 15.8–9a, 12
        1. The Lord is our banner. 
        2. Jesus is Lord. 
        3. Therefore, Jesus is our banner. 
          1. Why fight with Him? 
          2. Whatever you are battling, 
            1. you need the Lord Jesus as your banner. 
            2. He fought the battle and He won and He reigns.