Word For Your Weekend: Jehovah Nissi [Names of God - Part 3]
In Exodus 17, we find Moses telling Joshua to get some men together and prepare to go to war against the army of Amalek. Joshua did what Moses asked, gathered the troops, and went to battle. They fought hard, but the Israelites had a secret...a secret weapon, you might say.
Moses, Aaron, and Hur had climbed to the top of a hill near the battlefield and, as the armies fought, Moses held up the staff of God. Miraculously, as long as Moses held the staff in the air, the Israelites kept the advantage and beat the Amalek army back. But...whenever he dropped his arms to take a break, the Amalekites charged forward.
Do you feel like Moses? Are your arms in the air?
Special-needs parents juggle, rearrange, and struggle to work things out. There are schedules, routines, and lists of medicines to remember. There are IEPs to survive and diagnoses to understand. There are family dynamics to accommodate. As the parent, maybe you feel like you have to keep that staff in the air or it will all fall apart. The war might be lost if you rest your arms.
I love Exodus 17:12-13: “Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.”
As a result of the support of his two friends, Moses was able to know God as Jehovah Nissi in verse 15. Jehovah Nissi means “the Lord is my banner.” A banner comes with VICTORY. Moses experienced the victory of God as a direct result of receiving encouragement and tangible support from his companions.
Sometimes we come to know God as our banner - our victory - through the relationships we find in community. It’s so tempting to isolate ourselves and believe we can do everything on our own...but isn’t it tiring? At the end of the day we find ourselves very weary, and yet there is no one around to hold up our arms.
Let’s embrace community. Reach out to other special-needs parents and find others willing to walk this journey with you. Or if you are searching for community in your area and haven’t found what you are looking for, reach out to us. We would love nothing more than to help you connect and see you experience the victory of God in community.
What are the battlefields in your life currently?
Has there been a time when a friend has been there to encourage you and walk with you through a battle?
Have you ever been the one to “hold up the arms” of others in your community?
Father, thank You for Your victory and for being our banner. Thank you for giving us community and the blessing of walking alongside others on this journey. Help us to reach out and be vulnerable, and allow others to walk with us. Amen.
(c) 2018 by Hannah Kistler