The names of God #15: Jehovah-nissi
Scripture: Ex 17:15-16
The revelation of this name comes after a battle. It reveals an aspect of the character of God learned on the battlefield.
Israel had fallen into the snare of complaining against God for the nature of the way that they had to follow. They had thirsted and had complained bitterly against God and His servant. As a consequence of their unbelief and complaint, they had been attacked by Amalek. A battle had followed and it was the purpose of God to teach His people lessons on this battlefield they were never to forget.
I THE LORD IS AT WAR WITH HIS ENEMIES.
- Amalek. For Israel this political foe was one of the enemies of God. This historical narrative is a reminder that the enemies of God which His people must face are flesh and blood, often our own kith and kin.
- A war that centres on the throne of God. There is a reference here to the throne of God. The war is ordered from that throne. The enemy dares to raise his hand against it. The enemies of God are by definition, usurpers. Their aim is to overthrow His throne and His rule. Cp Ps 2:1-6.
- Lasting. It is a war that continues through the generations. It will continue until the end. Cp Is 59:16. God’s people are never to forget this war! To this end Moses wrote these things in a book.
II TO KNOW GOD BY NAME IS TO DECLARE A PERSONAL INTEREST IN THIS BATTLE.
- Knowing God. To know God means something. Cp Jn 17:4. It has an effect upon us.
- The effect of knowing God is to become a soldier. We cannot know God without declaring ourselves to be on His side and under His command, in the battle that He fights. Cp Ps 60:4. By sharing His nature we share His holy bias/inclination against His enemies.
III A NAME ASSOCIATED WITH THE ALTAR.
The altar played an important role in the communication this name of God.
- The altar is a reminder of God’s war with sin. The sacrifices offered there are a vivid and terrible reminder of the truth that it is a war to the death and can only result in the destruction by fire of the guilty. Cp Ps 37:20.
- It is an illustration of the triumph of Christ. The message of the altar was one of redemption by substitution. The death of Christ was the secret of His triumph over sin and Satan. Cp Heb 2:14.
- The altar points to the place of enlistment. It is on redemption ground that we enlist under the command of the Lord our banner. Cp Heb 13:13
- Here is the secret to our victory and triumph. The root of the word banner is the verb ‘to flee’. The banner that God’s people march under will be such as to put the enemy to flight. Cp Rev 12:11.