Daily Thought for: 13th January

JEHOVAH NISSI

Exodus 17. 8-16

This is the third revealed compound name of Jehovah, meaning ‘The Lord is my Banner’. We associate a banner as something under which armies go into battle. This, of course, fits the circumstances of Exodus 17, where Israel has just engaged in their first battle. This battle with Amalek has taken place under the upraised hand of Moses holding the rod of God.

It took place immediately after the provision of water, that which sustains life, from the smitten rock. This smitten Rock is none other than the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 10.4, from whom we have received the ‘water’ of eternal life, John 4. 10. In those days, water was a cause of war, just as perhaps oil can be today. Thus, this provision of water causes the attack by Amalek. This unprovoked attack is typical of the battle we face once we have divine life; ‘the flesh lusteth against the Spirit’, Gal. 5.17. In Exodus 17, Amalek is a formidable foe, and is ‘discomfited’, not wiped out. God declares that war with Amalek would continue from ‘generation to generation’, v. 16. This speaks of a life-long battle the believer faces between two natures. The dangers of ruination by the flesh are seen in Saul, who failed to be ruthless with Agag the king of Amalek, for which he lost the kingdom and eventually lost his life in the presence of an Amalekite, 2 Sam. 1. 13. The descendant of Agag, Haman, tried to wipe out God’s people in the book of Esther.

The incident in Exodus 17 gives great instruction in how to deal with this foe. The typology includes prayer, knowledge of God’s word, the intercession of the Lord Jesus and the ‘rod’ of divine judgement. The New Testament tells us, ‘make not provision for the flesh’ and ‘mortify the deeds of the body’. Both these statements imply judgement against our fleshly nature. Our inspiration again should be the Lord Jesus on the cross, who bore the righteous judgement of God against sin.

We should view this event as the symbol of victory over sin. While we will be engaged in this battle all our lives, Christ has won the victory and one-day He will redeem our bodies, Phil. 3. 21, and God will ‘utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek’. Till then, we rally beneath the banner of the cross.

 

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