"You prepare a table for me win the presence of my enemies;..." Psalm 23:5
YHWH-Nissi( נִסִּי) The LORD my Banner is one of those names i heard early on in my walk with God and felt incredibly guilty that I could never grasp exactly what this name means to me or for me. Guilt is not from God, of course, but being gripped in a religious mindset of "have to and should", it use to be tough to shake off those guilty feelings. This one particular name stuck with me even though I really had no clue of the meaning. I'd hear believers talk about it, pray this name and think, how on earth do they know what a banner means? Why would the LORD my Banner even be a thing? I mean, what did the children of Israel do, run into battle with a big ol banner flag type thing over them? Felt sort of silly, but still, I needed to figure this out.
In Exodus 17:15 — "Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Yahweh our Banner [YHWH-Nissi]." Moses had built the altar as a memorial to the children of Israel of what the LORD had done for them. YHWH was Israel's banner under which they had defeated the Amalekites.
The word "nissi"comes from the Hebrew "nês", which means "banner" or "flee for refuge". "Nês" is also sometimes translated as "standard", a pole with an insignia attached. In battle, opposing nations would fly their own standard at each of their respective front lines to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a point of focus.
As I learned this I started to realize more about this name, a banner, something to focus on the give us hope when we're in a battle. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focus point. Hebrews 12 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Other places this name is use are:
Psalm 60:4 — "You have given a banner [nissi] to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah."
Song of Solomon 2:4 — "He brought me to the banquet hall. His banner [nissi] over me is love." I love this, His banner over us is LOVE.
Isaiah 5:26 — "He will lift up a banner [nissi] to the nations from far, and He will whistle for them from the end of the earth. Behold, they will come speedily and swiftly."
Isaiah 31:9 — "'And he shall pass over to his stronghold for fear, and his rulers shall be afraid of the banner [nes],' says YHWH, whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem."
Isaiah 49:22 — "Thus says Adonai YHWH, 'Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my standard [nes] to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders."
As with many of the covenant names I have shared in this series from Psalm 23, the name the LORD is my Banner does not appear but rather, the idea of God being that for us. In other words, when we read verse 5 and see David reminds himself that the LORD prepares a table in the presence of his enemies, we can see the name playing out. If you're like me and wondered, well what does it mean to have God be my banner, wanting a clear example, then this is that for you. When your enemy is baring down on you, chasing you, our God, the LORD our Banner has prepared a victory banquet- in front of the enemy. His standard has been raised, we only need look at Him, the One who is victorious over us in the battles we face. As we see in Song of Solomon, the Lord's banner is one of love.
In addition, and this is really cool, when Moses makes and alter and calls it YHWH Nissi, it also means "Adonai my Miracle". When the LORD our Banner stands for you, He is YOUR MIRACLE. For those of us seeking a miracle right now, remember HE is our miracle. He is the creator of all miracles and miraculous situations. HE is the one who will bring the miracle you are seeking Him for, do not muddy those waters with doubt, only believe. Our God is fighting for you, He has raised up His standard in the presence of our enemy, He has said "This one is victorious because I AM their Banner, their Miracle."
If you need to know the LORD your Banner, pray to Him as such today. As Him to show you where He is working, where has He worked in the past, and what miracles can you thank our God for, right now. I keep a journal because I know that I know I need a daily reminder of God's goodness and His miracles over me. Reading through the pages of the past serve as a stunning reminder when I forget that God, the LORD is my Banner, my Righteousness, my Provider, my Healer, and my Peace.
Remember, if you know our God, you are automatically in covenant with Him, He cannot and will not break the promise of His names. Not ever. Seek this God of our covenant, the One who never fails, today. Your tomorrow will look vastly different.