The Lord is My Banner

 

 

Exodus 17:15 “And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner”

 

True Biblical worship so satisfies our total personality that we don’t have to shop around for man-made substitutes. William Temple made this clear in his masterful definition of worship:

“For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”

Exodus 17:8 states that “Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim”. Moses instructed Joshua to go choose some men and fight Amalek, while he would be standing, with the rod of God, on the top of the hill. Aaron and Hur go up to the top of the hill with Moses. Some time passes and we read from the Scripture that every time Moses lifted up his hands, Israel would prevail and every time his hands fell, the Amalekites prevailed. Moses grew tired. Aaron and Hur stepped in to assist Moses by placing a rock under him to sit and by helping Moses to hold his arms up.

There are so many beautiful things about this narrative! They were in the middle of a battle, but two godly men are willing to assist another. They see how God is moving in the situation and are quick to jump in and aide the need, no questions asked. It is also striking to me how the Israelites prevailed when the assisted Moses with the raising of his arms heavenward; something seemingly so simple, yet they had to trust that it was the very act of faith God desired from them to have the Israelites continue to prevail. It might’ve crossed their minds for a minute that it was ridiculous; but it didn’t matter! Their focus was in being obedient to God, which was, and is for you and I, an act of worship. How beautiful of a picture! Worship takes the entire focus off of us and puts it back where it rightfully belongs- on God. In this instance, God was showing them that the victory in this very literal battle was God’s.

There may be times when you are literally as Moses; arms held upward in praise to God. Sometimes, it is doing what God asks of you, trusting Him for a good attitude in it. Other times, it is a small step of faith forward, trusting in what God has said in the Scriptures and that He will bring victory, we need only be obedient. Maybe you will have godly aides at your side, as Moses did with Aaron and Hur. Even if you don’t have that type of encouragement with you as you move forward with God, remember that most importantly, He is there with you! He will give you strength, peace and encouragement in your heart as you worship Him with your obedience. It might be that you are called by God to go and help someone in their act of obedience, as Aaron and Hur did for Moses. Are you ready for either? Battles will come; it is inevitable. Will we see God as our strength and worship Him? We see Moses build an altar to the Lord; having seen Him as his banner.

Matthew Elroy

Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father & pastor.