Blog Archive

Saturday, July 4, 2009

YHWH Nissi / YHWH My Banner

For July, each post examines an Old Testament name of God.

YHWH Nissi / YHWH My Banner
(pronounced: "yahd hay vahv hay nis-SEE")

And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed... So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword... And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner.
~ Exodus 17:11,13,15 (NKJV)

Our flag is a sacred icon to most citizens of our nation. Whatever is wrong with our country (and there is plenty, which some use as excuse to desecrate the flag), the flag still represents to patriotic citizens all that has ever been and is still good in our country.

Things like our nation being established upon faith in the Creator, standing against evil (such as invading the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe), rendering aid to those we've injured (like helping rebuild parts of Europe we destroyed), showing restraint when using force against those who violate us, showing selfless compassion to third world countries from whom we will gain nothing in return, and granting asylum to the "tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to be free."

(I invite readers to post their own remarks about what remains good and true in the United States. The list is long.)

The red-white-and-blue banner evokes national pride because it represents our identity. We are citizens of the richest, mightiest, and most benevolent world power history has known. When a soldier or anyone else wears or displays a U.S. flag, whether someone loves us or hates us, our identity is clear.

Christians also have a banner which clearly displays our identity. The name YHWH Nissi—"YHWH my Banner"—refers to the same kind of banner (flag, standard, symbol) our flag is. The appearance of this name in Scripture is in the context of a military victory. The Israelites had just fought their first war and been victorious. They had been inspired by the sight of Moses holding up his staff, just as he had done as they crossed the Red Sea. Conquest was not achieved in their own strength, but by the might of their God. At battle's end, the standard raised was an altar of worship to declare YHWH Nissi.

When asked to profile yourself (in just 160 characters on Twitter!), where is your identity first found? When introducing yourself, who do you say you are? When pressed into battle, do you fight with love, and thereby combat evil with good?

When someone looks at you, do you so visibly display God's love that you are almost instantly loved or hated in return?

The banner with which Christians are to identify ourselves is love, for God is love.

I sat down in his shade with great delight,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
[My beloved] brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.
~ Song of Solomon 2:3-4 (NKJV)

Feedback appreciated! Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I very much enjoyed this post. No matter what is wrong with this country, there is always something good to look at. [Which you in particular are quick to bring out.]
    - - Michaelle <3

  2. Michaelle, I suppose you'd know better than just about anyone how much I want to find something good to look at when plenty is wrong. I love you! ~ Mom

    Denise, I hope your Fourth is filled with celebration of all the Freedom that is ours.

  3. Nice post...I love your positive attitude, great inspiration!

    Happy 4th to you! Hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend with loved ones.

  4. *Michelle* it puts a HUGE smile on my face whenever I hear I've been a source of inspiration! Hope your weekend has been blessed as well.


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