Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Shepastor: “The Lord is My Banner, My Light and My Salvation”
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; who is then a cause of fear to me? the Lord is the strength of my life; who is a danger to me? 2 When evil-doers, even my haters, came on me to put an end to me, they were broken and put to shame. 3 Even if an army came against me with its tents, my heart would have no fear: if war was made on me, my faith would not be moved. Psalm 27: 1-3, The Bible in Basic English
In ancient times, armies had a team of soldiers that were designated to carry a banner that was held high, that identified who they were, the name of their God and what they stood for. The purpose of the banner was to remind the fighting troops that they were not alone in the battle, but that enforcements were there fighting alongside them. The Lord, Jehovah Nissi would make them victorious. The banner also sent notice to their enemies that they were not going to just break through and pillage and rob and rape and destroy and take over because the soldiers were not fighting on their own - they had a weapon stronger than any nuclear weapon. They had the Lord God Jehovah-Nissi going before them fighting their battle. So then the banner did several things - it encouraged the troops to keep the faith because they were not alone, it reminded them that the Lord Jehovah-Nissi was going before them, fighting the battle and making them victorious, and it reminded their enemies that the army was a force to be reckoned with - that God was with them and he was moving mightily on their behalf. When they focused upon the Lord as their Banner, moving and working on their behalf, it calmed their fears.
In Psalm 27, David lifts up several key points to encourage himself:
(1) The Lord is his light and keeps him safe - who can make him afraid? David says that in the dark times of his life, the Lord lit his path and kept him safe. Sometimes in the dark times of our lives, the discouraging times, the uncertain times, the times when we don’t know which way to turn, the times when it looks like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel- times of darkness - we can become afraid and overwhelmed. Psalm 27 teaches us that even in dark times the Lord, Jehovah-Nissi is our light – The Lord can and will show us the way if we put our trust in Him, lean and depend upon Him and ask Him to show us the way.
(2) The second thing that David lifts up in these two verses is his enemies rose up against him but they stumbled and fell. Many of the Psalms were written as David ran from his mentor, King Saul. On several occasions, Saul sought to take David’s life. To complicate matters, Saul was the father of his best friend Jonathan. But David continued to trust in the Lord. David never sought to retaliate against Saul. On one occasion, David had an opportunity to kill Saul, but he said, “far be it from me to touch the Lord’s anointed.”
(3) David allowed the Lord to handle his enemies. Although it’s not easy, we must allow the Lord- Jehovah Nissi to go before us and fight our battles. There are some enemies that only the Lord God can handle. Some enemies are unseen. The enemy of our souls - satan is ever warring against our mind, against our hopes, against our dreams, against our spirit, seeking to discourage us, to hinder us and ultimately to make us give up. He wants to make us afraid and believe that the Lord has forgotten us, that the Lord doesn’t care about us, that the Lord is insensitive to our needs. But when you remember that the Lord is with you, going before you, making a way for you - the enemy satan will have to fall back. God’s word says, “resist the devil and he will flee from you - draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.”
Today, and always, remember that the Lord, Jehovah Nisi is our banner! The Lord goes before us. The Lord will fight our battles and the Lord will give us victory. The Lord is our light and our salvation. Who should we fear? The Lord is the strength of our lives…who can make us afraid?
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,