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When I was in jr. high, our gym teacher often made us do calisthenics. Besides pushups and sit ups, he made us stand with our arms lifted out straight from our shoulders. We looked like human airplanes spaced on the gym floor. We had to hold the position while our shoulders ached for relief. He kept saying, “Remember, mind over matter. I don’t mind and you don’t matter.”
That experience makes me sympathetic for Moses in Exodus 17. The Amalekites attacked God’s people. Moses stood on a hill with the staff of God. As long as Moses held his arms in the air, the Hebrews prevailed in battle. When his arms slipped, the Amalekites rallied. The battle lasted all day. Hur and Aaron held Moses arms aloft when he could no longer do it.
After the battle, Exodus 17:15-16 says, ‘Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”’ (NIV)
We learn something important about God in the phrase “the LORD is my Banner.” The banner seems to refer to a flag denoting a military unit. God is the defender of his people. He fights for us. As Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.