One day, God will utterly blot out the memory of sin, but until that day, we are in a battle. It is a battle we can’t win without God, without prayer, and without help from our brothers and sisters in Christ.
There are many firsts in this small section of Exodus:
The first time we meet Joshua.
The first time we encounter the Amalekites.
The first time the Israelites are attacked.
The first time God tells Moses to write down something.
In the middle of all this, Moses calls God by a new name, My Banner.
A banner, standard, or ensign was a piece of cloth put on a pole and set up somewhere high like on a mountain, so all could see it. It may be a warning, but most often it was a rallying point for the army to assemble against invaders.
Moses had just been that for the Israelites as he lifted up the staff of God high on top of a mountain while the army led by Joshua fought off the Amalekites. Moses wasn’t just lifting up a “banner,” but was praying while the army fought. Moses’ battle of prayer was tiring and he needed help from Aaron and Hur to continue. They held up his arms (and the staff) so Moses could continue praying and the Israelites could prevail.
Once the battle was over, God told Moses two things about the Amalekites. One was that the Lord would war against them from generation to generation and the other was that one day, HE would utterly blot out the memory of them from under heaven.
I think this name of God is here to remind us that we also war against something from generation to generation, and that thing is sin. One day, God will utterly blot out the memory of sin, but until that day, we are in a battle. It is a battle we can’t win without God, without prayer, and without help from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must continuously rally to OUR BANNER, lift up HIS name, and PRAY. There may be times that prayer becomes hard and those are the times we must ask our fellow believers to help us hold on and hold up the banner.
However, remember, Joshua and the army were fighting. Unlike God’s routing of the Egyptians with no help from the Israelites, God used the army of Israel to rout the Amalekites. The army didn’t just rally to the banner and hold a pep rally; they planned the battle and then went out to fight it. Prayer is definitely the first and foremost part of the battle, but we have to listen for our marching orders in our fight against sin and move out against it.
“My Banner. The next time I find myself faced with temptation to sin or realize I’m in a battle with habitual sin, remind me to run to you. Remind me that you’ve already won this battle and given me the strength to fight against it. Help me to be vulnerable enough to ask for friends like Aaron and Hur to hold me up and hold me accountable. YOU ARE MY BANNER!”