Monday, 11 April 2016

Under God’s Banner

Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my banner    (Exodus 17:15)

Here was a new adventure for the Israelites, after years of oppression in Egypt.  They’re out at last – heading towards their Promised Land.  It’s a picture of what the new believer can expect, coming over -

1. Across the Border.  To cross over the Red Sea is like being converted; your past is behind you, and you’re the citizen of a new kingdom – the kingdom of God!  Suddenly there are new situations confronting you every day, new decisions to make, new habits to establish …. and it isn’t always a comfortable experience.  But this is the normal Christian life….

2. In the wilderness.  They’re in south-west Sinai (chapter 17:1,2),  and the grumbling over lack of provisions is only halted when the miracle of water from the rock takes place.  This is a lesson that we ourselves must learn – that the resources to keep us going require daily trust in God!

3. Under attack.  A third ordeal.  The hostile Amalekites were godless desert marauders.  The battle took place – physically - below on the plain, and – spiritually - at the top of Mount Rephidim, where Moses sat, with the rod of divine authority raised as a kind of prayer banner, symbolising the Israelites' dependence upon God for victory.

After the victory he sets up an altar; ‘The Lord is my Banner.’  Yes, it is never money, might, or personality that advances God’s kingdom.  ‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds’ (2 Corinthians 10:4).