Week Nine, Day Five
Ancient armies carried standards or banners that served as marks of identification and as symbols that embodied the ideals of a people. A banner, like a flag, was something that could be seen from afar, serving as a rallying point for troops before a battle. Though banners were first used in Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia, the Israelites carried them on their march through the desert. When you pray to Yahweh Nissi, you are praying to the God who is powerful enough to overcome any foe.
Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation." (Exodus 17:15-16)
PROMISES ASSOCIATED WITH GOD'S NAME
In the spring of 2002, in the midst of a Holy Week wracked by violence, came this reminder from the leaders of the historic churches in the Holy Land: "Our own land has experienced a great deal of bloodshed and violence, especially in these past months. But to what avail? . . . the way of Jesus is quite different. The triumph he achieved that first Holy Week and Easter did not arise from human strength but rather from the strength that comes from God. . . . The Cross should remind us that it is in this sign we conquer."1
Indeed, "the way of Jesus is quite different." His cross must become more than a pretty piece of jewelry or an adornment for the walls of our homes. It must become a banner around which we rally and by which we live. In his cross we have the power to conquer.
Promises in Scripture
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people. . . .He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel. (Isaiah 11:10-12)
But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. (Psalm 60:4)
For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. . . .Then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where,O death, is your victory?
Where,O death, is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:52, 54-57)
Continued Prayer and Praise
Ask for God's help in the midst of difficulty. (Psalm 20)
Let the cross of Christ be the banner under which you live. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.