Yahweh-Nissi: The Lord Is My Banner
"Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means 'the LORD is my banner')." (Exodus 17:15 NLT)
Yahweh-Nissi is a name of God I struggled to get a grip on. I could never quite understand the meaning of "the Lord is my banner" or "His banner over me is love" (Song of Songs 2:4). I understand that God is love and that He loves us, but how do these facts tie into the banner?
A couple analogies finally made sense to me; these are only my personal interpretations, but I'll share them with you in case they make sense to you, too. I think first of the flags that some people attach to their car windows when they're headed to a sporting event. These flags bear the name of their team and declare their loyalty toward that team. And I think of the way airplanes will sometimes fly with a banner in tow. Those banners usually tell something about how whoever has paid for them feels or what they want people to know or what is important to them.
To my mind, all this fits with God being our banner and His banner over us being love. He covers us and protects us with his love. Love is how He feels toward us. Love is what's important to him. He is loyal toward love. And love, always, is the team He's on.