“My Name is Jehovah Shammah!” Revelation 21:2, 3; Ezekiel 48:35

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

This is the last of sixteen names of God revealed in the Old Testament. So it is the last Gem in this series!

But why would I preface Ezekiel 38:35 (where this name of God is found) with a passage from Revelation? Because Revelation 21:2 and 3 succinctly identifies the city named THE LORD IS THERE! So here is our featured Scripture, Revelation 21:2 and 3 with Ezekiel 48:35:

     Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down 
     out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her 
     husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Be-
     hold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell 
     with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will 
     be with them, and be their God.” ...and the name of the city 
     from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.

Ezekiel unmistakably idenifies Jerusalem (New Jerusalem, as it is called in Revelation 21:2) as the city named THE LORD IS THERE (Jehovah Shammah). But the passage concerning the city is long – nine chapters! And while the study of the city’s description is profitable, we will concentrate on the city’s name!

From past Gems, we know that the meaning of Jehovah (Y hôvâh or YHWH) is “…the self-existing or eternal One….” (Blue Letter Bible). Shammah, in Hebrew is שָ מָה (pronounced shawm’-maw). Brown-Driver-Brigg’s Hebrew Definitions says it means “…there, thither…from there, thence…then….” Taken together, Jehovah Shammah means “THE LORD IS THERE!

The Jews needed to know this, because God had departed from the temple at Jerusalem some years before (see Ezekiel 10:4; 18; 11:22, 23). The Jews’ heinous sins, you might say, drove the LORD out! (see for example Ezekiel 8:5-18). From the time of Ezekiel, through the ministry of Jesus, to the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD – the temple at Jerusalem was devoid of the shekinah glory of God! The return of God’s glory to Jerusalem has been an encouragement to pious Jews for over two and a half millennia!

Notice I said “The return of God’s glory to Jerusalem…,and not to the temple!

  • God, with His shekinah glory, will return to the temple!
The temple will be rebuilt during the first half of the 
           seven-year Tribulation, and the Jews will be able to 
           once again sacrifice offerings to the LORD (see Daniel 
           9:27; Matthew 24:15-21; II Thessalonians 2:4; Revela-
           tion 11:1, 2).

     ✡    The return of God in His glory to the temple must be at 
           His second coming! (see Matthew 25:31; Revelation 19:
  • He will not return to the temple in Revelation because John in a prophetic vision, is seeing the New Jerusalem, which comes down to earth after the Millennial Kingdom! In Revelation 21:22 John writes, “…I saw no temple in [the New Jerusalem]…for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb [Jesus Christ] are its temple. Worship in eternity is not directed to the God of a holy temple (see I Kings 8:29-53), but to the Holy God Himself! (see I Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 29:2; 96:9). And He will be with His people forever throughout eternity!

THE LORD IS HERE” (Jehovah Shammah) is an amazing reality!

For the Jews, the cry often heard throughout their history was,Where is God? We need Him!Is He Jehovah Shammah?

  • Judges 6:12 and 13 – “And Gideon said to…the Angel of the LORD…‘O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about…?’
  • Psalm 13:1 and 2 – “How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I…[have] sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemies be exalted over me?
  • Psalm 30:7, 8, and 10 – “LORD…You hid Your face, and I was troubled. I cried out to You, O LORD…have mercy on me…be my helper!
  • Psalm 44:23 through 26 – The sons of Korah who wrote this Psalm, ask, “Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise, do not cast us off forever. Why do You hide Your face, and forget our affliction and our repression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our body clings to the ground. Arise for our help, and redeem us for Your mercies’ sake.”
  • Isaiah 63:15 (Lexham English Bible) – “Look from heaven, and see from the lofty residence of Your holiness and glory. Where are Your zeal and strength? Your compassion and mercy to me hold themselves back.

But God was never far from the faithful people in Israel!

  • Psalm 4:3 (Good News Bible) – “Remember that the LORD has chosen the righteous for His own, and He hears me when I call to Him.

Psalm 27:8 – “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, LORD, I will seek.” To seek a person’s face meant to strive to get to know the total person – who he is, how he thinks, how he acts, what he likes and does not like, etc.

  • Isaiah 55:6 and 7 – “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
  • Jeremiah 29:12 through 14 – “…you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord….

The sad and ironic thing that happened is this: God came into the very midst of the Jews…..and He was rejected!

  • John 1:1 and 14 tell us, “…the Word was God…and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us….God the Son, Jesus Christ, incarnate in human flesh, lived in Palestine as a (sinless) human being for 33 years! (see Philippians 2:6-8; I John 4:2, 3).
  • He showed forth the Father in a three-plus year ministry! (see John 14:9; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3).
  • John 1:10 and 11 – “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own [the Jews], and His own did not receive Him.
  • Acts 3:14 – Jesus was so rejected that Peter, in his second sermon, said to the listening Jews,…Pilate…was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer [Barabbas] to be granted to you.” (see Matthew 27:16-26).

So what does Jehovah Shammah (THE LORD IS THERE) mean for us today? Before we get to this…

  • To the Jews of Ezekiel’s day, THE LORD IS THERE was very significant!
They had lost their temple, their city, their way of 
           life when the Romans sacked and burned Jerusalem in 
           AD 70.

     ✡    God was promising them a future time, a future city, 
           a glorified return to a victorious Jewish life!

     ✡    So, in that sense, the LORD was not therenow, but 
           He would be therein the future!
  • But THE LORD IS THERE could mean to some Christians today that “The LORD is there but not here, where I need Him!” So I checked with the seventeen Bible translations available on my e-Sword computer study application, and found three Bible versions translate Ezekiel 48:35 as “The LORD is here”!

So let’s go with this translation: THE LORD IS HERE!

  • Yes, someday in the New Jerusalem, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3).

• But NOW…

      Jesus said,

          ➔    “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 
               (Hebrews 13:5).

          ➔    “I am with you always, even to the end of 
               the age.” (Matthew 28:20).

          ➔    “...I will pray the Father, and He will 
               give you another Helper, that He may abide 
               with you forever, even the Spirit of truth
               ....I will not leave you orphans; I will 
               come to you.” (John 14:16, 18).


Jehovah Shammah

“ My Name is Jehovah Tsidkenu!” Jeremiah 23:5, 6

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

This name, Jehovah Tsidkenu, appears in the Old Testament over a hundred times in various forms, six of those times in Jeremiah. Our featured Scripture is Jeremiah 23:5 and 6:

     “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that I 
     will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King 
     shall reign and prosper, and execute judgement and 
     righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be 
     saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His 
     name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHT-

Jeremiah 33:15 and 16 says almost the same thing. THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS is Jehovah Tsidkenu. In Hebrew, the word Tsidkenu is צֶדֶק (pronounced tseh’-dek) meaning “…justice, rightness, righteousness….” (Brown-Driver-Brigg’s Hebrew Defiinitions). In the Old Testament as well as the New, The LORD (is) our righteousness! In several translations, the phrase is capitalized, as if the prophet wanted to shout it to the world!

Some Bible teachers differentiate between how the Old and New Testaments present the way to gain righteousness (to be right with God). But He says in Malachi 3:6, “…I am the LORD, I do not change.It has been and always will be, …the righteousness…of God [is] by faith…!

  • Why did God in heaven reach out for us? Because we read in Isaiah 64:6, “…we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses [the very best we can do] are like filthy [mentruous] rags [before God]; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.His highest creation is alienated from Him because of sin!
  • We read in Genesis 3:21 that “…for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. This speaks of His righteousness clothed upon them! As it says in Isaiah 61:10:
     I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be 
     joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the gar-
     ments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe 
     of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with 
     ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her 

     ✡    In their innocence, “...they were both naked, 
           the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
           (Genesis 2:25). But when they sinned by diso-
           beying God’s command (see Genesis 2:15-17; 3:
           1-6), “...the eyes of both of them were opened, 
           and they knew that they were naked; and they 
           sewed fig leaves together and made themselves 
           coverings.” (Genesis 3:7). 

     God-provided animal skin coverings for them (the 
           first sacrifice)! That speaks of His righteous-
           ness given when Adam and Eve confessed their sin 
           (sort of! see Genesis 3:12, 13) and turned back 
           to God! So how do we know they were given the 
           LORD’s righteousness, and were saved?     

          God gave them the promise of a Savior in 
               Genesis 3:15 (the LORD speaking to the ser-
               pent – Satan incarnate): “...I will put en-
               mity between you and the woman, and between 
               your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your 
               head, and you shall bruise His heel.Adam 
               and Eve received and believed that promise!  
               That’s faith!     

          ➔    When their first son was born, Eve exclaimed, 
               I have gotten a man from the LORD...”! (Gene-
               sis 4:1). That’s faith! But Cain did not turn 
               out to be a man from the LORD, for he murdered 
               his brother Abel! (see Genesis 4:2-8). So nei-
               ther one of the first two could be the Deliver-
               er who would crush the serpant’s head!     

          ➔    Genesis 4:25 (International Standard Version) – 
               ...Adam had sexual relations with his wife, she 
               gave birth to a son and named him Seth, because 
               ‘God granted me another offspring to replace Abel, 
               since Cain murdered him.’ ” She was saying, “God’s 
               deliverer couldn’t be Cain because he was a bad 
               one! Able is dead....so it must be Seth who will 
               crush the serpent’s head!That’s faith!     

          ➔    Another clue is found in Genesis 3:20 – “And Adam 
               called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the 
               mother of all living.In the midst of death and 
               destruction because of their sin, Adam said of his 
               wife,...she [is] the mother of all living...”!  
               That’s faith! 

    Adam and Eve had faith, and received righteousness!
  • God showed Abraham the stars of the sky, and spoke to him of the sand on the shore of the sea! So shall your descendants be.” He said in Genesis 15:5.
The next verse is very important, Genesis 15:6: “And he 
           [Abraham] believed in the LORD, and He [God]  accounted 
           it to him for righteousness.”

     ✡    So important is this Genesis verse, that Paul, in Romans 
           4:18 through 25, quoted it as part of one of the great-
           est statements about receiving the LORDS righteousness 
           by faith:

              ...contrary to hope, [Abraham] in hope believed, so 
              that he became the father of many nations, according 
              to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 
              And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his 
              own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred 
              years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did 
              not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but 
              was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and 
              being fully convinced that what He had promised He 
              was also able to perform. And therefore “it was ac-
              counted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not 
              written for his sake alone that it was imputed to 
              him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who 
              believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the 
              dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, 
              and was raised because of our justification.  
  • David experienced the freely-given righteousness of God! He testified of this in Psalm 32:1 and 2, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity….
  • A ‘picture’ of God’s gift of righteousness is found in Zechariah 3:1 through 5:
     Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the 
     Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to 
     oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, 
     Satan!” ...Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and 
     was standing before the Angel [who]spoke to those who stood 
     before Him..., “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And 
     to [Joshua]...He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity 
     from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” And...they 
     put a clean turban on his head, and put the clothes on him.

     Even the high priest was dirty standing in his own 

     He, like everyone else, needed the LORD’s cleansing, 
           and to be given the righteousness of God!
  • Some day, perhaps soon, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, David’s descendant, will split the skies, and return to rule the earth!
     ✡    In that day, Israel will be cleansed of sin (see Zech-
           ariah 13:1), receive God’s righteousness (see Romans 
           11:26), and dwell with their King in His kingdom! (see 
           Isaiah 33:14-22; 65:17-25; Zechariah 14:8-11).

     ✡    Christians, according to Revelation 20:6, will reign 
           with their Savior and Lord! (see also Luke 19:15-19).

In the New Testament, the veil is pulled back so we can more clearly see that the salvation of our God is by His gift to us of righteousness, and not by our works!

  • II Corinthians 5:21 – “For He [the Father] made Him [the Son, Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
     ✞    Jesus voluntarily went to the cross where He died 
          bearing our sins! (see I Peter 2:24; 3:18).

     ✞    He totally paid our sin-debt before God! (see Colos-
          sians 2:13, 14).

     ✞    He arose from the grave, a victor over death, sin, 
          hell, and Satan himself! (see II Timothy 1:10; Heb-
          rews 2:14, 15).

     ✞    And He lives forever to receive all who come to Him 
          by faith believing! (see Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37; 
          Revelation 1:18)

     Now all we have to do is believe what He accomplished 
          is for every one of us; and confessing our sins, ask 
          Him to be our Savior! (see II Corinthians 5:14, 15).

     ✞    Paul, quoting Joel 2:32, tells us in Romans 10:13, 
          “For ‘whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall 
          be saved.’
  • Ephesians 2:8, 9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
  • Titus 3:5 – “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit….

His name is Jehovah Tsidkenu, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS !

Are you trying to earn His favor?
Have you received His gift of righteousness?

“ My Name is Jehovah-Raah!”

Psalm 23:1-6

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

It is the best loved Psalm! It is perhaps the best loved Scripture in the whole Bible! Here is Psalm 23:1 through 6:

     The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me 
     to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the 
     still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the 
     paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though 
     I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will 
     fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your 
     staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me 
     in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with 
     oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall 
     follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in 
     the house of the LORD forever.

Jehovah-Raah (the LORD my shepherd). The word ‘is’ appears in several translations in italics, which means it is not in the original manuscript, but was added to make the phrase more understandable. In Hebrew, the word for my shepherd is רָעָה meaning “…to pasture, tend, graze, feed…to shepherd….” It can be applied to animals and to people. (Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions).

This Psalm is the testimony of a sheep, one of many under the Shepherd’s care! What does a good shepherd do for his sheep?

  • Verse 2 – “He makes me to lie down in green pastures….” He picks out the best pastures for the sheep to feed. This means he has to know the territory well! But it says the sheep lies down!
     ✡    This speaks of contentment, that the sheep has found 
           enough to eat to satisfy its hunger.

     ✡    It also speaks of proper provision. In some lush areas 
           of Palestine (Galilee in particular) an aggressive 
           sheep might jump from place to place overeating! But 
           if the shepherd makes the sheep lie down, that sheep 
           will eat only the grass reached from that relaxed po-
  • Verse 2 – “…He leads me beside the still waters.
Sheep are afraid of rushing waters, which could carry 
           them away and they could be drowned.

     ✡    Whether by himself or with other shepherds gathered to 
           refresh the flocks with water, a ditch is dug several 
           inches to a foot wide, and a few feet long.  Rushing 
           waters are then allowed to fill the ditch, and after 
           settling, the waters are still for the sheep to drink! 
  • Verse 3 – “He restores my soul….” A good shepherd will give such provisional care for his flock, every sheep’s whole self will be restored to the full, and ready for the next day’s adventure!
  • Verse 3 – “…He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
     ✡    During planting and growing seasons, fields are strictly 
           off limits!  If the sheep stray into the fields from the 
           narrow paths between them and damage the crops, the shep-
           herd could be held liable, and his reputation (which is 
           very important to a shepherd) would be tarnished!

     ✡    So the shepherd leads his sheep, never driving them from 
           behind, and they follow his distinctive call, never stray-
           ing from the narrow path into the field! And so, for his 
           name’s sake his reputation is protected!
  • Verse 4 – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear now evil; for You are with me…
     ✡    The shepherd might have to lead his flock to the next 
           pasture over a rugged mountian trail as twilight falls.  
           He will continually give his distinctive call or strike 
           his rod on the rocks, making a sound that can be heard 
           at a distance, to let the sheep know he is leading, even 
           if they have lost sight of their shepherd around a rocky 

     ✡    The sheep can then follow with no fear, because they know 
           their shepherd is with them, leading them to their next 
           pasture, and protecting them along the way!
  • Verse 4 – “…Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
     ✡    The rod is a short hardwood club, the rounded head of 
           which is covered with driven nails or pieces of metal. 
           That club is a potent weapon that can be used against 
           the enemy, from snakes to...a lion or a bear...” 
           (I Samuel 17:34). But the rod is also a disciplinary 
           tool for unruly sheep. And the sheep will remember 
           such discipline, and will act accordingly! 

     ✡    The staff is not like the staff we see in western Christ-
           mas scenes (like the picture above), with a big curved 
           head.  The Palistinian staff is about six feet long with 
           a short cut-off branch sticking out about four inches in 
           an upside down ‘V’.   If a sheep or lamb has slipped off 
           the mountain path and is on a ledge below, the shepherd 
           will extend his staff into the sheep’s wool, and twist 
           it, securing the staff in the wool, so the shepherd can 
           pull the animal to safety!
  • Verse 5 – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies….
     ✡    A sheep’s enemies would be anything that might 
           be a danger – snakes, predatory animals, sharp rocks, 
           poisonous plants!The shepherd goes into the table’ (the feeding area) 
           before the sheep to remove any dangerousenemies!
  • Verse 5 – “…You anoint my head with oil….” A container of olive oil is part of a shepherd’s necessary equipment. Any cut, bruise or sore a sheep might acquire is cleaned and then anointed with olive oil for healing!
  • Verse 5 – “…My cup runs over.
     ✡    It could refer to the abundance procured for the 
           flock when they follow a good shepherd!

     ✡    It also can refer to a stone drinking trough by a 
           well. A good shepherd will scoop out water from 
           the well into the trough continually, even over-
           flowing it, until the flock finishes drinking! 
  • Verse 6 – “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…. Even through trouble, enemies, injuries (or whatever might challenge a sheep’s life) that sheep is content to be under its shepherds care!
  • Verse 6 – “…and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” How does this apply to a sheep? In II Samuel 12:1-4 Nathan the prophet told King David a story about a rich man and a poor man. The story was designed to point out to David his terrible sin concerning Bathsheba and Uriah, her husband! But let’s concentrate on verse 3:
     But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb 
     which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together 
     with him and with his children.  It ate of his own food 
     and drank from his own cup, and lay in his bosom; and it 
     was like a daughter to him.

Some people in America treat their dogs or cats like their children. This lamb was a household pet! It was a special pet who enjoyed the blessings of being treated like one of the children!

Notice that I did not start above with verse 1. That’s because if my Shepherd does all for me that a good Palestinian shepherd will do for his sheep, …I shall not want…! And He does…and He does much more than any human shepherd could do!

Jesus, (relating to Psalm 23) says this in John 10:

  • Verse 11 – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
  • Verse 10 (I know it is out of order) – “The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
  • Verses 27 through 30 – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any one snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.

Jesus came to be our good Shepherd ! He is my good Shepherd? Is He yours? Are you under His care? If you are, then also for you

He is Jehovah-Raah!
He is
the LORD [your] shepherd
You shall not want!

“My Name Is Jehovah Sabaoth!”

I Samuel 1:1-3

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Although the name Jehovah Sabaoth is used 245 times in the Old Testament, the first time is found in I Samuel 1:3. Here are the first three (shortened) verses of that chapter:

     Now there was a certain man of Rama-Ephraim, and his name 
     was Elkanah....And he had two wives...Hannah, and...Peninnah
     ...[who] had children, but Hannah had no children.  This man 
     went up...yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of 
     hosts [Jehovah Sabaoth] in Shiloh.

This featured Scripture requires some back-story to better understand what was going on.

  • In Bible times, the LORD’s blessing meant (among other things) being able to have children! Being childless was considered to be under God’s curse!
     ✡    Genesis 30:22-24 – “Then God remembered Rachel, and 
           God...opened her womb. And she conceived and bore 
           a son [Joseph], and said, ‘God has taken away my re-
           proach...’” (see also Luke 1:1:24, 25).

     ✡    Psalm 127:3-5 – “Behold, children are a heritage from 
           the LORD, the fruit of the womb is his reward. Like 
           arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are children of 
           one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full 
           of them; they shall not be ashamed...” (see also Psalm 
           37:25, 26).
  • In I Samuel 1:5, 8 it says that her husband Elkanah …loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb….her husband said to her, ‘…why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” But still “…she wept and did not eat…” (I Samuel 1:7), because…
...she could not present her husband with a son! 

     ✡    ...her rival wife Peninnah ...provoked her severely, 
           to make her miserable, because the LORD has closed 
           her womb.” (I Samuel 1:6).
  • So Hannah went to pray at the tabernacle, then located at Shiloh (about 20 miles north of Jerusalem).
O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction 
     of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maid-
     servant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I 
     will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no 
     razor shall come upon his head.” (I Samuel 1:11, 12 – His 
     long hair signified his dedication to God.)

     ✡    I Samuel 1:13,14 – “...Hannah spoke in her heart; 
           only her lips moved....Therefore Eli [the High 
           Priest] rebuked her, thinking she was drunk.”

     ✡    I Samuel 1:15, 16 – Hannah insisted she was not 
           drunk, but told Eli,...I am a woman of sorrow-
           ful spirit.  I have...poured out my soul before 
           the LORD.  Do not consider you maidservant a wick-
           ed woman, for out of...my complaint and grief have 
           I spoken....”

     ✡    I Samuel 1:17 – Eli then blessed her, “Go in peace, 
           and the God of Israel grant your petition which you 
           have asked of Him.
  • The last part of I Samuel 1:18 has always impressed me:So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.This is what prayer is supposed to do for us! Here is how Paul says it in Philippians 4:6 and 7 (International Standard Version):
     Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let 
     your petitions be made known to God through prayers and re-
     quests, with thanksgiving. Then God's peace, which goes far 
     beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and      
     minds in union with the Messiah Jesus. 

In other words:

     ✞    Tell it to God in prayer!

     ✞    Thank Him for your situation and His answer...before 
          you even get His answer!

     Then God’s peace, which is beyond our understanding,...will guard your hearts and minds in union with 
          the Messiah Jesus.Like Hannah, you can then go your way, and eat, and 
          be no longer sad! You can get back to life joyfully, 
          knowing that God will take care of things!
  • Hannah’s prayer was answered when she conceived and gave birth to Samuel, the first and one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament! By the way, Hannah had five more children after she dedicated Samuel back to the LORD.

But what has all this got to do with Jehovah Sabaoth? Sabaoth in Hebrew is צְבָאָה (pronounced tsab-aw-aw’) and meaning “…that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host…service, go out to war….” (Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions). Here are what the notes in The New Scofield Reference Bible say about the name Jehovah Sabaoth (the LORD of hosts) in I Samuel 1:3:

     ...two ideas are united; Jehovah is LORD of (warrior) hosts.  
     It is the name, therefore, of the LORD in manifestation of 
     power. “The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.” (Psalm 
     24:10), and accordingly in the O.T. this name is revealed 
     in the time of Israel’s need....Jeremiah, the prophet of ap-
     proaching national judgment, uses the name about 80 times
     ....this is the distinctive name of Deity for Israel’s help 
     and comfort in the time of her division and failure....

So why is it used in I Samuel 1:3? Was Israel, at that time, facing division and failure?

  • Samuel served as both the first prophet and the final judge of Israel! His judgeship lasted about 60 years. But we are told in I Samuel 8:1, 4, and 5:
     ...when Samuel was old...he made his sons judges over Israel
     ....Then all the elders of Israel...came to Samuel...and said 
     unto him, “Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy 
     ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
  • God was displeased, because He was their King! And Israel, by their demand, rejected the LORD! (see I Samuel 8:7).
  • So God gave them their desire (see I Samuel 8:9, 19, 20). Saul was their first king, and Saul turned out to be a terrible king! So God rejected him! (see I Samuel 13:13, 14; 15:26). Israel experienced multiple crises under Saul’s reign!

What does Jehovah Sabaoth (the LORD of hosts) mean for us today?

  • As it says in Psalm 46:7 and 11, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.He still is!
  • Are you facing a crisis? Maybe a big crisis? He is still Jehovah Sabaoth!
  • As a matter of fact, the bigger the crisis you are facing, the more Jehovah Sabaoth is present to help!

In light of all this…Do not fear! Do not despair!

The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

“My Name Is Jehovah Shalom!” Judges 6:12, 22-24

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Shalom, Shalom! ” It is still used in Israel (and among observant Jews worldwide) as a greeting and/or a parting blessing – usually said twice, with the emphasis on the first syllable of the word. When I was in Israel, I and two young men in our tour group would go walking around Jerusalem. We had a contest: who of the three of us could get the most return greetings from the locals in the Old Jewish Quarter. I won hands down!

Shalom in Hebrew is שָÑלוֹם, pronounced “shaw-lome’.” According to Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions it can have several related meanings: “…completeness, soundness, wellfare, peace…safety…health, prosperity…quiet, tranquility, contentment…friendship [with God and/or man]….” In combination with Jehovah, it appears only once, hyphenated in several Bible versions as “…Jehovah-Shalom…”; and translated in several others as “…the LORD is Peace….” It was the name Gideon gave to the altar he built. Here is Judges 6:12 and 22 through 24:

     And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him [Gideon], and said 
     to him, “The LORD is with you mighty man of valor!” ...Now 
     Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gid-
     eon said, “Alas, O Lord God!  For I have seen the Angel of 
     the LORD face to face.” Then the LORD said to him, “Peace 
     be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” So Gideon 
     built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The-LORD-
     Shalom [Jehovah-Shalom]. To this day it is still in Ophrah 
     of the Abiezrites. 

…the Angel of the LORD…” is recognized as a theophany of the pre-incarnate Christ (a theophany is God appearing in human form). In many translations, the distinction between an angelic being and the pre-incarnate Christ is shown by the definite article, “the Angel of the LORD…” as opposed to the use of the indefinite article, “an angel…,” (as in I Kings 19:5).

These three verses of the featured Scripture above set the context introducing Jehovah-Shalom, but a lot happened around and between verses 12 and 22!

  • The Israelites, because of disobedience, were oppressed and greatly impoverished by the Midianites, a strong Canaanite nation (see Judges 6:1-6).
  • When God addressed Gideon, saying, “The LORD is with you mighty man of valor!” (verse 12), Gideon protested, “…if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about…” (Judges 6:13).
  • Gideon was then commissioned to “…save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” (Judges 6:14). But he didn’t buy it! O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15).
  • This unlikely hero of Israel several times challenged the LORD to prove He was truly calling him to fight the Midianites:
     ✡    Judges 6:17 and 18 – “If now I have found favor in Your 
           sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with 
           me. Do not depart from here...until I bring... my offer-
           ing and set it before you.The Angel of the LORD honored Gideon’s request and proved He 
     was God by supernatural fire consuming the offering! Then He 
     disappeared! (see Judges 6:19-21).

     ✡    Judges 6:36 and 37 – “If You will save Israel by my hand 
           as you have said — look, I shall put a fleece of wool on 
           the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, 
           and...dry on all the ground, then I shall know....God honored this test also!  The next morning Gideon wrung a 
     bowlful of dew out of the fleece, but the ground was dry! (see 
     Judges 6:38).  But even that wasn’t enough!

     ✡    Judges 6:39 – “Do not be angry with me….Let me test…once 
           more…let it be dry on the fleece, but on all the ground 
           let there be dew.Again, God was patient! The next morning, it was exactly as 
     Gideon had requested!  (see Judges 6:40). 

     ✡    One more test occurred, but this time it was the LORD who 
           set the parameters!          

              Arise, go down against the camp [of the Midianites], 
              for I have delivered it into your hand.  But if you 
              are afraid...go down to the camp with Purah your ser-
              vant, and you shall hear what they say; and afterward 
              your hands will be strengthened to go down against the 
              camp. (Judges 7:9-11). 

     There, Gideon heard one soldier telling another of a dream – a 
     barley cake rolled into the Midianite camp striking a tent and 
     collapsing it!  The listener then interpreted the dream: “This 
     is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man 
     of Israel; for into his hand God has delivered Midian and the 
     whole camp.” (Judges 7:14).

Gideon attacked – with just 300 men chosen by God! (see Judges 7:1-8). But they didn’t even have to fight! The 300 stationed themselves at night around the Midianite camp, and at a given signal, they created a great confusion of noise and fire! And the enemy, in a panic, attacked and killed one another! (see Judges 7:16-25).

God brought peace to Israel…for forty years in the days of Gideon.” (Judges 8:28).

…Jehovah-Shalom…the LORD is Peace….” Remember how it started: Gideon, after the initial calling of the Angel of the LORD, built an altar in honor of this heavenly encounter. And he named the altar, Jehovah-Shalom! Yes, there were challenges, but God brought the needed peace – to Gideon personally, and to Israel nationally! And in the end, Gideon discovered he actually was God’s …mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12).

There is an abundance of Scripture passages concerning peace! Here are just a few. But notice: in each of the following references, there is something we must do in order to experience God’s peace!

  • This is out of order with the following Scriptures as presented in the Bible, but let’s start with Romans 5:1 – “…having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ….
     It is only by trusting Jesus Christ to save us that we can be 
     reconciled to God!  (see Colossians 1:10-22).
  • Proverbs 16:7 – “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be a peace with him.
      We have to make sure our lives are pleasing to God! (see 
      Colossians 1:10).
  • Isaiah 26:3 and 4 (English Standard Version) – “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
      We have to keep our minds focused on God! (see Colossians 
  • Isaiah 32:17 – “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteous-ness, quietness and assurance forever.
     We have to be righteous (right) before God! (see II Corin-
     thians 5:21).      
  • John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
     We have to keep our hearts (minds) untroubled! (see Matthew 
  • John 16:33 – “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
     We have to learn and trust in what God says! (see Colos-
     sians 3:16).
  • Romans 8:6 (Easy-to-Read Version) – “If your thinking is controlled by your sinful self, there is spiritual death. But if your thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace.
     We have to train ourselves to think God’s way! (see Phi-
     lippians 4:8).
  • Philippians 4:6 and 7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
     We have to give our troubles to God in prayer! (see I 
     Thessalonians 5:17).
  • Philippians 4:9 – Paul wrote, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
     We have to follow godly examples! (see I Corinthians 11:1).
  • Hebrews 12:14 (International Standard Version) – “Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
     We have to be holy, separated to God! (see Leviticus 20:7, 8; 
     Romans 12:1, 2).

So live out the holy life to which the Lord has called you…and He will give you peace!

Are you experiencing Jehovah-Shalom?

“My Name Is Jehovah Mekoddishkem!”

Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 20:7, 8

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jehovah Mekoddishkem (variant Jehovah M’kaddesh) – It is a name of God we don’t often encounter, and probably couldn’t pronounce it the right way if we had to speak it aloud! This name of God is found only twice in the Bible, Exodus 31:13 and Leviticus 20:8. We will use both as our featured Scripture:

     Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: “Surely My 
     Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and 
     you throughout your generations, that you may know that 
     I am the LORD who sanctifies you....Sanctify yourselves 
     therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. And 
     you shall keep My statutes and perform them: I am the 
     LORD who sanctifies you.”

I am not a Hebrew scholar, and I had a bit of a struggle trying to find the exact Hebrew word that translates into Mekoddishkem (or M’kaddesh).

  • We know from previous studies that Jehovah (or YaHWeH) means “the self-existing One” or “I AM ”.
  • But Mekoddishkem was harder to pin down. My e-Sword app has an option for King James Version Plus, which ties every Bible word or phrase to its Hebrew or Greek word. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions says the word for “…who sanctifies you…” is קדשÑ (qâ-dash, pronounced kaw-dash’ ) and meaning “…to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate….” Now qâ-dash does not even look much like Mekoddishkem or M’kaddesh! But when I considered the pronunciation, kaw-dash’, that did look a lot like kaddesh in M’kaddesh!

Let’s consider these two Scriptures:

  • Exodus 31:13 has to do with the Sabbath: Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
The Sabbath is one of the two main signs of Jehovah’s 
           covenant with His chosen people, the Israelites!  Why 

      The main reason is Israel brought forth the Savior, 
              Jesus Christ!

     Another reason is God wanted to show what a theoc-
              racy looked like!  A theocracy is a nation, a people 
              governed by God!

     ✡    The other sign was circumcision!  Here is What God told 
           Abraham in Genesis 17:8 through 11:  

             “Also I give to you and your descendants after you 
             the land in which you are a stranger, all the land 
             of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will 
             be their God.” And God said to Abraham: “As for you, 
             you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants 
             after you throughout their generations. This is My 
             covenant which you shall keep...: Every male child 
             among you shall be circumcised...in the flesh of 
             your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the cov-
             enant between Me and you.” The Israelites were to be sanctified (consecrated, dedicat-
           ed, separated, a holy people) unto the LORD! And it wasn’t 
           their choice to be God’s people. God chose them, and sanc-
           tified them unto Himself!
  • But the Israelites (and we) have a part in sanctification, as shown in the second part of our featured Scripture, Leviticus 20:7 and 8:
     “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD 
     your God.  And you shall keep My statutes and perform them: I 
     am the LORD who sanctifies you.”God called the Jews, separating them from the rest of 
           the world, and consecrating them unto Himself.

      It is the same with us!  For Jesus said in John 6:44, 
          “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me 
          draws him....”

     ✡    But the people of Israel whom He called had to agree 
           and respond to His calling and volitionally separate 
           themselves unto their God!

      We also must agree and respond to His calling! As Paul 
          wrote in Romans 6:11, “Likewise you also, reckon your-
          selves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in 
          Christ Jesus our Lord.” (See also Mark 8:34-37; Gala-
          tians 2:20; James 4:4; I John 2:15-17).

So, in this sense, sanctification is in two parts:

  • God calls His people to be separated unto Himself!
  • We respond by separating ourselves unto Him!

This is Jehovah Mekoddishkem!

“My Name Is Jehovah Quanna!” Exodus 34:12-14

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

After the incident of the Israelites worshiping the golden calf while Moses was in the presence of the LORD on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commamdments (see Exodus 32:1-6), several dramatic things happened:

  • God told Moses He planned to totally wipe out the Jews, and make a new nation from Moses descendants! (see Exodus 32:8-10).
  • Moses interceded for the people (see Exodus 32:11-13).
  • So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do His people.” (Exodus 32:14).
  • Moses, when he saw the idolatry Israel had fallen into, smashed the two tables of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written! (see Exodus 32:19).
  • Then he took the calf…burned it in the fire…ground it to powder…scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.” (Exodus 32:20).
  • Moses then ordered the Levites to kill the idolators among their fellow Israelites – and 3,000 died that day! (see Exodus 32:26-28).
  • Moses again went into God’s presence on the mountain, and pleaded for God to forgive His people! (see Exodus 32:30-34).
  • To bolster his own confidence to lead the Israelites (perhaps two to three million strong) to the Promised Land of Canaan, Moses made a bold request: Please, show me Your glory.” (Exodus 33:18).
  • God told Moses to cut two more tablets of stone, meet Him on the mountain, and He would again write on them the Ten Commandments! (see Exodus 34:1-4).

The LORD did show Moses His glory (at least partially): “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me and live….[But] you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 34:20, 23). Part of God revealing Himself to Moses included renewing the covenant with His chosen people, and allowing them to see more of His character! This was especially revealed in God’s name He had announced only once before, in the second of the Ten Commandments! (see also Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9; 6:15 for later references).

Here is Exodus 34:12 through 14:

     Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhab-
     itants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in 
     your midst. But you shall destroy their altars, break their sac-
     red pillars, and cut down their wooden images (for you shall 
     worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is 
     a jealous God)....

…the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.Jealous in Hebrew is קַנָּא (pronounced kan-naw’ ) and meaning “…jealous…” [but only applied to God in the Old Testament, not to man.] (Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew Definitions).

What does it mean that “…the LORD…is a jealous God…?

  • A problem can arise if we take it to mean a popular definition (put forth as an option in Webster’s New World Dictionary): “…resentfully suspicious…[or] resentfully envious….

I can’t find the date that Oprah Winfrey said it, but this is her testimony of when she began to leave traditional Christianity behind, and move toward New Age religion – all over the misunderstanding of one word:

     I took God out of the box because I grew up in the Baptist 
     church and there were rules and belief systems and doctrine. 
     I happened to be sitting in church in my late 20s. I was go-
     ing to this church where this great minister was preaching 
     about how great God was and how omniscient and omnipresent 
     and God is everything. Then he said, “The Lord Thy God is a 
     jealous God.” I was caught up in the rapture of that moment 
     until he said jealous. Something struck me. I was thinking, 
     “God is all. God is omnipresent. God is all and God’s also 
     jealous? God is jealous of me?” Something about that didn’t 
     feel right in my spirit because I believe that God is love 
     and that God is in all things, and so that’s when the search 
     for something more than doctrine started to stir within me.

…and God’s also jealous? God is jealous of me?” It sounds like God is envious because this woman has something God does not have, and He wants it! But…

      ...God is not jealous of her!

      ...God is jealous for her!

And He is jealous for everyone else!

  • He is jealous for those who do not know His Son Jesus Christ as their personal Savior! As God told His prophet to say to the people in Ezekiel 33:11, “As I live…I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die….?

We are told in the New Testament that the only way to be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ!

     John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no 
          one comes to the Father except through Me.Acts 4:12 – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for 
          there is no other name under heaven given among men by 
          which we must be saved.✞    And the way has been made!And He [Jesus] Himself is 
          the propitiation [the means by which our sins are for-
          given] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for 
          the whole world.
  • He is jealous for those to stay faithful once they put their trust in Jesus! Paul shared his greatest desire in Philippians 3:7 through 14 (yes, it is rather long, but I don’t think there is a better description of a purpose to stay faithful!):
     ...what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for 
     Christ. But indeed I also count all things loss for the excel-
     lence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have 
     suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, 
     that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own 
     righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through 
     faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 
     that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the 
     fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, 
     by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  
     Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but 
     I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus 
     has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to 
     have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things 
     which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are 
     ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call 
     of God in Christ Jesus.  

What are the practical steps for a Christian to stay faithful?

  • First and foremost,Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly….” (Colossians 3:16). And to accomplish this, you must dwell richly in the Word!
     ✞    Read your Bible!

      Study the Word regularly!

      Meditate on what you read and study!

      Memorize pertinent Scriptures!

     ✞    Have the Word explained and amplified by quality teachers!
  • Pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thessalonians 5:17, 18).
     This does not mean continual praying, but...

      ...you should be in an attitude of prayer so prayer can 
          often and easily flow!
  • …not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another even more as you see the day of the Lord coming nearer.” (Hebrews 10:25 – International Standard Version).
  • He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (II Corinthians 9:6, 7).
  • Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world.” (Mark 16:15 – Contemporary English Version).

Peter summed it up this way in II Peter 1:5 through 8:

     ...giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue 
     knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perse-
     verence, to perseverence godliness, to godliness brotherly 
     kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things 
     are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruit-
     ful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God is always jealous for you to be totally His!

“My Name Is Jehovah Nissi!” – II Exodus 17:14-16

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

In the last Gem we set the context of when “…Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner [Jehovah Nissi]” (Exodus 17:15). And the context is important, because it concerned the Israelites’ battle against the Amalekites! We examined…

  • …who was Amalek!
  • …what kind of a man he was (bequeathed from his grandfather Esau and to his succeeding gererations)!
  • …why the Amalekites attacked Israel!

Here again is the featured Scripture, Exodus 17:14 through 16:

     Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the 
     book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utter-
     ly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And 
     Moses built an altar and called its name, The–LORD–Is–My–Banner:  
     for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war 
     with Amalek from generation to generation.”

What did Moses mean by naming the altar The–LORD–Is–My–Banner? Paul wrote in I Corinthians 1:22, “For Jews require a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom.The Israelites were big into signs and memorials, to help them remember their history, and to believe the prophets about their future. Moses built an altar, and named it Jehovah Nissi! The altar had both functions, as applied to the Israelites:

  • To remember how God supernaturally aided Israel’s soldiers as they fought the Amalekites!
Moses, with two other men, Aaron and Hur, stood on a hill 
           overlooking the battle.

     ✡    He had the powerful rod of God with him (sometimes refer-
           red to Aaron’s rod).

         ➔    This was his walking staff that turned into a snake! 
              (see Exodus 7:9-12).

         ➔    Moses used this rod as he performed God’s miracles 
              before the Egyptians! (see Exodus 7:19; 8:5; 8:16; 
              9:23; 10:13).

         ➔    He held it out over the Red Sea, and the waters di-
              vided! (see Exodus 14:16).

         ➔    He smote the rock as God directed, and water poured 
              forth! (see Exodus 17:5, 6).

     ✡    When Moses held the rod high, Israel prevailed in the bat-
           tle! When his arms got tired and the rod lowered, Amalek 

     ✡    So Aaron and Hur sat Moses on a large rock, and standing 
           on either side of him, they held up his arms until sunset!  
           And Israel won the battle! (see Exodus 17:12, 13).
  • To believe what God…
...said concerning the Amalekites in Exodus 17:16, “...
           the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek 
           from generation to generation.”

     ✡    ...did for the Israelites – giving them supernatural vic-
           tory when they fought a powerful enemy!...would contine to do in the future for His people!

What is the function of a banner or flag in military conflict? In modern warfare, often fought against an enemy hard to identify, sometimes conducted at a distance (such as in missile or drone strikes), the importance of a battle flag or banner is not as great as it once was. But if we go back in time, say to the American Civil War (from April 1861 to May 1865), we can better understand the meaning of banners and flags in battle. From the website www.thoughtco.com/ flags-importance-in-the-civil-war-1773716:

  • The placement of regimental flags served as visual communication during Civil War battles. Vocal commands and bugle calls could not be heard on the noisy battlefields, so soldiers were trained to follow the flag.
  • …Union and Confederate…Civil War armies…tended to be organized as regiments from particular states. And soldiers tended to feel their first loyalty toward their regiment.
  • The regimental battle flags were always treated with great reverence. At times ceremonies would be held in which the flags were paraded in front of the men.
  • The regimental flags…marked the position of the regiment on the battlefield, which could often be a very confused place. In the noise and smoke of battle, regiments could become scattered.
  • …designated teams of soldiers, known as the color guard, carried them. A typical regimental color guard would consist of two color bearers, one carrying the national flag (the U.S. flag or a Confederate flag) and one carrying the regimental flag. Often two other soldiers were assigned to guard the color bearers.
  • …color bearers [often unarmed] had to face the enemy and never break and run in retreat, or the entire regiment might follow.
  • As the regimental flags were so conspicuous in battle, they were often used as a target for rifle and artillery fire. Of course, the mortality rate of color bearers was high.
  • With the regimental flags generally in the middle of the fighting, there was always the possibility that a flag could be captured. To a Civil War soldier, the loss of a regimental flag was a colossal disgrace. The entire regiment would feel shamed….Conversely, to capture the battle flag of an opponent was considered a great triumph, and captured flags were cherished as trophies.
  • As the Civil War continued, regimental flags often became something of a scrapbook, as the names of battles fought by the regiment would be stitched onto the flags. And as flags became tattered in battle they took on deeper significance.

Now, what does it mean for us today – Jehovah Nissi (The–LORD–Is–My–Banner)?

  • We can take courage and comfort by what His Word tells us concerning our enemy: …the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” (Romans 16:20).
  • God helps us remember the victories He has already given us! As it says in I Corinthians 15:57, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • And the LORD will help us believe His promises as we face today, as well as for tomorrow – promises such as Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

But let’s be more specific. Let’s take each one of the nine things that a regiment flag or banner meant to Civil war soldiers, and apply them to us:

  • In the busyness of life, we can sometimes lose our direction. Jehovah Nissi will communicate with us so we can stay on track!Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ ” (Isaiah 30:21).
  • We can get our loyalties wrong. But The–LORD–Is–My–Banner can remind us what Jesus said in Mark 12:29 through 31:
     “The first of all the commandments is...‘...you shall love the 
     LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all 
     your mind, and with all your strength.’  And the second, like 
     it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There 
     is no other commandment greater than these.”
  • Do we treat our Jehovah Nissi with the reverence and respect He is due?
     ...God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is 
     above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should 
     bow...and...every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is 
     Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11).
  • Life can be confusing. Sometimes we don’t know where we are or where we should be! But Jehovah Nissi has given us this promise in Proverbs 3:5 and 6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
  • Are we color guards for The–LORD–Is–My–Banner? In 1858 George Duffield wrote the words to the hymn, Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. The second line of the first verse admonishes us to “Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
     ✡    If, indeed, The– LORD–Is–My–Banner, are we lifting Him 
           high so others can rally to Him?Are we careful not to let our banner be shot down? 
           Paul admonished Timothy in I Timothy 6:20 (Internation-
           al Standard Version), “Timothy, guard what has been 
           entrusted to you.Let us do the same!
  • Unlike some of the color guards in the Civil War, we have been issued our weapons! In Ephesians 6:10 through 18 is listed the believer’s armor of God. Many commentators only recognize one offensive weapon, but I see two:
     ✡    “...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God...” 
           (Ephesians 6:17).

     ✡    “...praying with all prayer and supplication in the 
           Spirit...” (Ephesians 6:18).

But like the color guards of old, we must be brave and courageous! For the passage concerning the armor of God contains this admonition in verses 10 and 13: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might....that you may be able to withstand in that evil day, and having done all, to stand.
  • We are not to let our Banner, our Jehovah Nissi be captured by the world! The world wants to water down the gospel to unoffensive babble! John wrote in I John 5:4 and 5:
     ...whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is 
     the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is 
     he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus 
     is the Son of God.
  • Jesus warned His followers in John 15:18 and 19:
     “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before 
     it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would 
     love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I 
     chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

And Paul added this warning in II Timothy 3:12: “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.Be a brave and courageous guard of The– LORD…My–Banner! You may be a target of the enemy, but Jesus was there first!

  • In II Timothy 3:5 and 6, Paul warns Timothy concerning those who have “…a form of godliness but denying the power its power….who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts. Unless we are keen to keep our lives Christlike, we can all be led away! And if we are led away by sin, we are giving the enemy our Banner, our Lord – not just ourselves!
  • Jehovah Nissi (The– LORD–Is–My–Banner) “…bore our sins in His own body on the tree…” (I Peter 2:24). But He also bears our victories! And as we look to Him, we can read, as it were, our victories written in His scars!

May The-LORD…My-Banner,
Jehovah Nissi,
always be lifted high!

“My Name Is Jehovah Nissi!” – I Exodus 17:14-16

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Amalek was the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s brother. Amalek’s mother was Timna, concubine of Eliphaz, Esau’s son. This information is from Genesis 36:10 through 12, which lists “…the generations of Esau…” (Genesis 36:1). Why is it important? In the Ten Commandments (recorded in Exodus 20:1 through 17), the first and second commandments are as follows:

     “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make 
     for yourselves any carved image, or any likeness of anything 
     that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or 
     that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down 
     to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God am a jealous
     God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to 
     the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but 
     showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My 
     commandments.” (Exodus 20:3-6).

You have probably heard quoted this homespun wisdom: “Like father, like son!God is saying much the same thing in the second commandment! The son will repeat the father’s sins because he has inherited his father’s genes, mannerisms, and thinking – the way the father perceives (and reacts to) life!

How did Esau perceive (and react to) life?

  • He was the born first, before his twin brother Jacob. In the Old Testament Hebrew society, the firstborn was to receive as his birthright…
...his father’s first and best blessing!...a double portion of the family inheritance – a single 
           portion would be given to the other sons! 

But in Genesis 25:29 through 34 is the account of Esau trading his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew, some bread, and some water! Yes, Esau was hungry! But he surely didn’t value his firstborn birthright! In verse 34 it says, “…he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Later, in Genesis 27, Jacob (whose name means “heel-grabber” (or “one who trips up another by deceit”), fooled his aged blind father Isaac into thinking he was Esau. So Jacob stole the blessing his father would give to the firstborn son! What was the best birthright blessing Isaac could have given to his eldest son? It was passing on the Abrahamic Covenant to him! (see Genesis 12:1-3 where God first announced the covenant to Abram). Here is how he blessed Jacob, thinking he was his elder son Esau:

     “...may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of 
     the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.  Let peoples serve 
     you, and nations bow down to you.  Be master over your breth-
     ren, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you.  Cursed be 
     everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you.” 
     (Genesis 27:27 -29).  

Isaac, knowing Esau was threatening to kill Jacob for stealing their father’s firstborn blessing; and Isaac also recognizing his younger son was God’s choice to carry on the Abrahamic covenant; he sent Jacob away to northern Mesopotamia, charging him in Genesis 28:1 and 2:

     “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan [the 
     heathen nations surrounding them].  Arise, go to Padan Aram, 
     to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father; and take your-
     self a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s 

And Isaac then further blessed Jacob in Genesis 28:3 and 4, quoting the Abrahamic covenant:

     “May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and mul-
     tiply you, that you may be an assembly of peoples; and give 
     you the blessing of Abraham, to you and your descendants 
     with you, that you may inherit the land in which you are a 
     stranger, which God gave to Abraham.”

Another indication that Esau was a worldly-minded man who lacked spiritual acumen, was what he then did:

     ...Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his 
     father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the 
     daughter of Ishmael...to be his wife in addition to the 
     [two Canaanite Hittite] wives he had. (Genesis 28:8, 9).

Saint Paul (quoting what God said in Malachi 1:2 and 3) summed it up this way in Romans 9:13: “As it is written, ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.’

All this to say that when grandson Amalek came along, he carried that same anti-spiritual worldly mind inherited from his grandfather! And he passed it on to his progeny! It should then be of no surprise that the tribe of…Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” (Exodus 17:8). The Israelites had just escaped from Egypt! They were heading towards the Promised Land of Canaan, tired and travel worn, not looking to pick a fight with anyone! Moses later added these details in Deuteronomy 25:17 and 18:

     “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way when you were 
     coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked 
     your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you 
     were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.” 

The battle is described in Exodus 17:9 through 13. For the sake of space, I will just describe the highlights:

  • Moses told Joshua to lead the Israelites men to fight the Amalekites.
  • Moses, taking with him “…the rod of God…” (Exodus 17:9), accompanied by his brother Aaron, and another man named Hur, climbed a nearby hill to observe the battle.
  • When Moses held high the rod, the Israelites got the upper hand! When his arms got tired and drooped, the Amalekites started winning!
  • So Aaron and Hur sat Moses on a rock, and standing on either side of him, held up his arms…until the going down of the sun.” (Exodus 17:12).
  • The Israelites won!

And now, finally, our featured Scripture, Exodus 17:14 through 16:

     Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in 
     the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will 
     utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”  
     And Moses built an altar and called its name, The–LORD–Is–My–
     Banner:  for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD 
     will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

Jehovah Nissi

We will look at how Jehovah Nissi applies to us in the next Gem.