Our Jehovah Nissi (Exodus 17:8-16) by Rev. Sharon Wooten
Our Jehovah Nissi
The Battle Scene:
- The Children of Israel have just been restored with water. Another miracle on their behalf. They are on their journey. Not expecting any trouble. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
Who were the Amlekites?
- Descendants of Esau. Amalek was the illegitimate son of Elifaz — the oldest son of Esau — and Elifaz’s concubine, Timna. (Gen. 36:12)
- Rabbinic literature describes the Amalekites as full of intense and everlasting hatred for the Jews. Like other nations, they were apparently aware of the miracles God performed on behalf of the Jewish people prior to the Jews’ departure from Egypt. While other nations were fearful of God and hesitated to harm his “chosen people,” the Amalekites neither feared God nor steered clear of the Jews. Instead, they rushed headlong into battle with them.
- How did the Amalekites attack? 1 Samuel 15:2 (Samuel speaking to King Saul) 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.
- God says to Moses Deuteronomy 25:17-19 17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, 18 how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you weretired and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.”
- Amalekites ambush the rear: the weaker, older people who are lagging behind.
- Moses instructs Joshua to gather an army to fight. Joshua was ready to serve and fight.
- Verse 9 “Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”
- Verse 11 “And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.”
- Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms when he got tired. Sometimes we need to be willing to get help for the purposes of God. Sometimes we will lose the battle simply because we are not willing to look tired in front of people that could help. We need some Aarons and Hurs in our churches today. The focus was not that Moses was tired; the focus was that God wanted to bring victory for the children of Israel.
- Joshua defeated the Amalekites but they were not destroyed. God told Moses that He would have them destroyed. Exodus 17: 14 14 Then the Lordsaid 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.”
- God commanded that Saul destroy the Amalekites completely (1 Samuel 15). As long as the Amalekites existed, there could be no peace for Israel, because, in the words of Rabbi Ken Spiro at Aish.com, Amalek’s “pathological hatred of the Jews” was so immense. But Saul spared the King Agag. Samuel the prophet told King Saul that because He disobeyed the Lord that he would lose his throne. Then Samuel killed King Agag (1 Samuel 15:33).
- We see that some Amalekites escaped because in 1 Chronicles 4:43 it tells that when King Hezekiah was king of Judah, that “… they defeated the rest of the Amalekites who had escaped.”
- In the book of Esther, Haman who plotted to have all the Jews annihilated was described as a descendant from King Agag, (An Amalekite). Esther 3:1 “After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, …”
- There have been some things in our lives that have constantly been in resistance to the will and purposes of God in our lives.When we least expect it, it ambushes our weak places. We have been defeating it with the help of the Lord but it has come time for these things to not just be defeated but to be destroyed once and for all. Stop just defeating an immediate attack when God wants you to destroy it once and for all. If you don’t, that thing is just waiting to attack the next generation and the next and the next. Enough is enough!
Moses’ Revelation of God:
- In the midst of the battle Moses has a revelation of God! Amen! Don’t waste your battle! Get a revelation of who God is in your life! He is your victory!
- Moses built and altar. Place of worship, place of sacrifice and a place of remembrance and commitment. God wants us to rebuild altars in this season. Worship Him, lay yourself again on the altar as a living sacrifice. Remember all that He has done for you. Recall His goodness. He has been faithful. Recommit yourself to Him. He is standing with open arms to receive you again!
- 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 havewar with Amalek from generation to generation.”
- In building an alter to the Lord, Moses was recognizing that it was God who brought the victory of the Amalekites that day and would continue to war against them. God will keep His promises! God will do what He says He will do!
- Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is My Banner. – A banner was a polelike standard beneath which armies or communities rallied. When lifted up it called the people together for battle, for meeting, or for instructions.
- Moses raising his rod over the battle was like a banner for the people. But ultimately Moses is realizing there would have been no victory that day if it had not been for God. He is the ultimate Banner.
- Let God be your Banner today! He wants to help you win the victory. He’s not in the habit of losing. Song by Elevation Worship called “Rattle” says to God, “Since when has “impossible” ever stopped You!” I love it!