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Archive for January, 2013

Lifting Up

Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is my Banner.

The passage is Exodus 17:15.

 Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner.

Another familiar passage. Another familiar name.

I’ve always liked it… it’s regal, victorious, secure.

Yet, I’ve never really understood it.

The context contains a battle and a promise. The battle was against the Amalekites. And the promise was that God would continue to make war against Amalek and “blot out the memory” of it. (Exodus 17:8-16)

This is the battle where Aaron and Hur help hold Moses’ hands up. Because when they’re up, Israel wins. And when they’re not, well…

But Moses didn’t take credit. There’s no “I’ve got the power!” attitude here.

And when battle is done and promise is given he builds and altar and calls us, “The Lord is my Banner.”

Banner.

Also means standard.

Or rallying point.

It’s befitting war language. Victorious war language.

Yet the very first words of the definition when I looked it up were simply, “something lifted up.”

Lifted up.

Isn’t that what Moses was doing during the battle?

Isn’t that where the victory really comes from?

The Lord is my banner.

Of course, from here my mind can go many places. Like the song that says, “we want to see Jesus lifted high, a banner that flies across this land…” and then how a bit later Moses “lifts up” the bronze serpent and how Jesus refers back to that saying, “so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (ref John 3:14)…

My really, where my heart goes (and it brings my mind along) is simply that I want God to be my banner. I want to lift up Jesus. And in that He becomes my standard, my rallying point… And any victory comes through Him!

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So my friend and I are going through the “Names of God” for lectio this time around. And by “this time around” I mean through October. That’s right. There are more than 250 names (and corresponding verses) on the list!

So today is Jehovah Jireh.

The Lord who Provides.

Or so I’ve always read.

And so I’ve always liked.

God provides.

God is provider.

It’s a solid thought…

 

So naturally the verses listed were Genesis 22:12-14.

But the wording comes up in verse 8 as well.

And today I read it in the Complete Jewish Bible.

Which reads a bit different.

Verse 14:

 Avraham called the place Adonai Yir’eh [Adonai will see (to it), Adonai provides] — as it is said to this day, “On the mountain Adonai is seen.”

The Message is similar:

Abraham named that place God-Yireh (God-Sees-to-It). That’s where we get the saying, “On the mountain of God, he sees to it.”

The slight difference in wording really caught my attention.

I looked it up online. And apparently Jireh/Yireh comes from the root ra’ah which does mean “to see, to consider, to look after (etc)”…

The Lord will see to it.

I don’t know… the phrase is somehow more comforting to me than simply reading “will provide.”

I serve a God who “sees to it.”

I can trust the God who sees to it.

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