The Lord is My Banner

Exodus 17:9-15 (NIV)
9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.
11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.

At Rephidim the Lord gave His people a military victory. The Amalekites were nomads in the desert south of Canaan. They apparently were attempting to dislodge the Israelites from this pleasant oasis and to secure their territory from intrusion. In this crisis Moses called on Joshua to lead the men into battle. In this passage Moses held God’s staff in his hand and as long as his hands and God’s staff were raised, Joshua and the Israelites won the war with the Amalekites. When Moses lowered his hands the enemy was winning. With the assistance of Aaron and Hur Moses’ hands remained uplifted and a great victory was secured. What we need to pay particular attention to is that this battle was all about God. Joshua, Moses, Aaron, Hur, and the Israelite armies were simply vessels God used, but the battle itself was orchestrated by God. The defeat of the Amalekites was something God wanted Joshua and the Israelites to remember. Moses commemorated the victory by building an altar which he named The Lord is My Banner.

What battles are you fighting today?

Is the battle you are in one that the Lord has chosen for you? Scripture is clear in this particular passage that the Lord, in fact, chooses certain battles for us to fight. Does He lead the way in your current battles? Are you fighting in your own strength? Are you struggling to be victorious in the battle? If the Lord is leading the way in your struggle, then you are assured success, but if you are fighting your battle in your own strength, your defeat is imminent.

Where in your life do you need God to go before you so that you may know victory?

Pray that the Lord shows himself as “The Lord is my Banner” in your life.


Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 1:135

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  1. #1 by 4hollyg on March 4, 2011 - 11:21 pm

    Great post! I’ve always had mixed feelings about this story in the Bible. At our congregation, our preacher has been showing us how we can know God will fight for us if we do what He says, and the Israelites was one of the examples.
    I love stories where people were victorious in their battles because they had God on their side.

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