Tag Archives: Amalekites

The Lord is My Banner

In Exodus 17, after the defeat of the Amalekites, Moses builds an altar and named it Yahweh-nissi, which means “the LORD is my banner.” This may seem strange for us to embrace personally, unless we have a good understanding of a banner. When we think banner, we think of something posted at a convention or bazaar.

Think of a banner as the flag taken into battle. To the army, the flag is a great symbol. This shows the side of who you are fighting. This is a symbolization of strength and security. If you are defeated, the flag is taken. Think of capture the flag. The flag is also a place to rally. One would return to the flag, the rally point, after battle. Consider a sporting event, where the individual teams or schools are represented at different rally points. A person knows where to find their teammates when they find their flag. The banner is also lifted high. This is important to the battle against the Amalekites. Remember, as long as Moses raised the banner high, the Israelites were winning. Lifting the flag high was a great symbol against the Amalekites. It showed all that it was in fact the Lord fighting this battle—He was bringing victory for His chosen people.

What can we take away from this? How is the Lord our personal Banner? He is our strength and our security. It is at His altar that we can fall and find comfort in His strength and His security. As well, it is at His altar that we find safety—He is our rally point. We are meant to run to Him. Just as Moses lifted high the banner during the battle, so we lift Jesus high. We lift our hands to Him. We raise our voices to Him. When we think upon these things, it is then that we can embrace Yahweh-nissi. The LORD is my banner.

“Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).” – Exodus 17:15 [NLT]

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When it was time to go to battle against the Amalekites, there was a group of people who were exhausted so they stayed back. I can certainly understand exhaustion. Sometimes I barely can find the energy to swing my legs over the edge and rise in the morning due to my health. This group was “too exhausted to follow David” so they stayed behind.

After the battle, they returned with the spoil. Those who went off to fight did not want to share the spoil with the others who stayed back. They didn’t feel those who failed to show up to fight deserved anything. The only thing they considered acceptable was for them to take their wives and children. No more. But David stepped in. He reminded each of them that God gave them everything.

Some people do more than others. It’s a fact. Some people are equipped to do more. Some people are more gifted in some areas than others. Some people are in better health or have the finances to do things others aren’t able to achieve. Each of us is to do our part as if we were doing it all for the Lord. At the end of the day, we each must remember that everything the Lord has given us. We are blessed to be a blessing. We should never cling to it all like it was all ours – share alike. To God be the glory.

“But David said, ‘You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us.’” – 1 Samuel 30:23 [ESV]

Hand Holder

The fight was on with the Israelites facing the Amalekites. During the battle, Moses was standing up on a hill. The Bible says that if Moses held his arms up, the Israelites were winning the battle; if Moses put down his arms, the battle changed significantly. For Israel to win, Moses needed to keep up his arms.

It’s hard to keep your arms in the air. Before my aches and pains came along, I remember when holding up my arms wasn’t such a big deal. But I remember that if you keep them up, it starts to be too much. It doesn’t matter if you are holding a feather, as time continues that feather will feel like a large rock. Arms get tired.

When the arms of Moses could no longer be held up by Moses’ own strength, we see something very amazing happen. We see Aaron and Hur step up and help. They found a stone for Moses to sit upon and they both stood beside him and helped to hold up his hands. They understood he couldn’t do it alone—that he needed help—and they stepped in and did what they could to get things done. Today if you see someone who is struggling, perhaps you could step in with the stone. Maybe you can help them to complete the task at hand. Aaron, Hur and Moses had the same goal—to see the Israelites to victory. We as Christians have a shared goal—and we can achieve victory together if we each keep our eyes on Jesus and we each step beside one another to lend support and encouragement when arms feel to heavy to keep lifted.

“Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.” – Exodus 17:12 [NLT]

They Went Anyway

If God tells you that something is not going to work, that it is out of His will, there is no way it is going to work in your favor. You cannot force God to change His mind. He doesn’t change His mind. He has a perfect plan for a reason. We don’t have a better plan. We don’t have a plan even close to perfect. I thank God again and again for not taking my plans and making them true. I have realized long ago my plans are disastrous and His ways are perfect and beautiful and amazing.

The people were told that they were not going to enter the Promised Land. They did not believe and trust God so they would stay back. After word was given, they decided they were going to go anyway. The Bible says they were reckless and arrogant and they were. They figured that if they went, God would be with them. He would allow them to be victorious though He said otherwise. Foolishly they thought that by their actions they would force His hand. Reminds me of when the devil tried to get Jesus to jump off the high area so the angels would catch Him. Guess what—it’s not a good idea to test God. His Word stands.

The people got a thrashing. They did not get to enter the area. God’s Word stood. His Word still stands today. If God is telling you not to take a particular path, not to make a certain decision, understand that you won’t force His hand. His will shall be done. Today. Tomorrow. Always.

“But they went anyway; recklessly and arrogantly they climbed to the high hill country. But the Chest of the Covenant and Moses didn’t budge from the camp. The Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in the hill country came out of the hills and attacked and beat them, a rout all the way down to Hormah.”

– Numbers 14:44-45 [MSG]

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Holding Up

When the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, there was something going on at the top of a hill. Moses was holding up his arms with his staff in hand, which caused the Israelites to have an advantage. Whenever his arms went down, the Israelites lost the advantage.

Because a person can only hold their arms up for so long, he ended up getting help. Aaron and Hur got a stone for Moses to sit on and they stood on each side of him to help hold up Moses’ hands. With the teamwork, the Israelites kept the advantage and won the battle.

We are meant to encourage each other, to help each other, to support each other. When there is a common goal among us, we should each be doing our part to see the victory. There are times when we are holding up our arms, and there are other times when we are one of those arm helpers. Everyone has a different role in the Kingdom, but each role is important. Let us do this together—we cannot do it any other way.

“Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.” – Exodus 17:12 [NLT]

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