As we move into the New Year, we cannot be sure what events will transpire as the pages fall from the calendar. Two perspectives can take as we move into the future. We can proceed with fear and trepidation or with confidence and equanimity. I choose to go forward with confidence and faith.
This confidence and faith finds a foundation in the account in Exodus 17:8-15. The familiar unfolding of the events on that ancient day inspires assurance in God’s providential care. When Moses raised the ‘Rod of God’ high enough to be seen on the battlefield, Israel prevailed. When the Rod was lowered, the enemy prevailed. With the Rod of God held high, Israel won the battle. Here, the Lord becomes known as Jehovah Nissi – “The-Lord-Is-My-Banner”. There are many examples in history of a standard or banner provoking courage and confidence that led to victory.
The image of American Soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima causes goose bumps, tears, and a flood of courage to rise. Our own great National Anthem illustrates the point. “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 thro’ 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 thro’ the night that our flag was still there.” That banner has and still does inspire and give courage to a great nation.
If we can find such motivation in the banner of a country that will someday pass away, how much more ought we to have courage and confidence in the Cross of Christ. It is the Standard, the Banner under which we can move forward in faith. All of the bombs, bullets, bayonets, and marching battalions of all the armies on earth hurled against us in this new year and all the years to come cannot pull down the Cross. It is our banner, our standard: The Lord Is Our Banner. It was raised on Mount Calvary for all to see. It may be seen from sickrooms and prisons, from the country and from the city. It may be seen through sunshine and storms. It can be seen from a position of poverty and of wealth. There is no vantage point on earth where Jehovah Nissi, our Banner, cannot seen. Therefore, let us confidently march into tomorrow “looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith” Hebrews 12:2.
“You (The Lord) have raised the banner to gather those who fear You. Now they can stand up against the enemy.” Psalm 60:4
~ Brother Roy