You may recall a song you sang as a child, ‘I am the Lord’s and He is mine, His Banner over me is Love!’ This study is a result of researching the Bible references to “Banner.’
Existence of the Banner.
Isaiah 13:2, "Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles." Psalm 60:4, "Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth." Every country has a flag. When marching to war or in victory; when exploring and conquering new lands, people have nearly always grouped under a flag or banner. Have you ever made a flag? In Scouting, we made a patrol flag. This patrol flag was carried with us to every activity we were in, whether on hiking trips, camping trips, or to meetings.
Why have banners or flags? Following their flag, a flag to which they have pledged, people gain unity, purpose, enthusiasm.
Significance of the Banner.
2. The Christian's Banner represents God's love. Song of Solomon 2:4, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love." This is the key truth in this study.
You might recall singing this song when you were in Children's' Sunday School, "I am the Lord's and He is mine, His banner over me is love." (This repeats.) "He is the rock of my salvation, His banner over me is love." (This repeats.) "There's one way to peace through the power of the cross, His banner over me is love". (This repeats.) Well, as you can imagine, children can have a lot of fun with this song while learning a powerful truth about God's love.
How have we seen God's love demonstrated in the Bible?
a) How has He shown His love to His nation, Israel? His love was demonstrated to Israel in that, time after time, He patiently (and sometimes sternly) guided them back from rebellion to discipleship.
b) How has He shown His love to men and women today? His love is demonstrated to mankind in His outstretched arms. Isaiah 14:26-27, "This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?" 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." It is against God's will for a person to turn away His outstretched hand and refuse to be saved. It is God's will that all persons accept His gift of eternal and abundant life.
c) Are you standing under the right flag, His banner of love and grace? Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." John 3:17, "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." Matthew 11:28-30, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." John 6:37, "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
But if you are standing under the right flag, God's banner of love and grace; Revelation 20:15, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
d) Just as surely as God's banner of love was guiding, dependable, enduring and protective to Israel, so it is to the Christian today. Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." Psalm 90:1-2, "Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God."
e) Standing under God's banner of love and grace assures us of ultimate victory. Isaiah 25:8, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it."
1 Corinthians 15:54-57, "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Revelation 21:4, "And God shall wipe away all tears form their eyes; and there shall be no more pain: for the former things are passed away."
What does all this mean to those of us who are already standing under God's Banner of love and grace? It assures His response when we have a need. It matters to Him what you are going through today.
He has compassion on us. Matthew 14:14, "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick". He may not always heal all our sicknesses, but He cares for us in the midst of our pain. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
By inviting us to yoke up with Him, He wishes to share, or, help carry, our burden. 1 Peter 5:7, "Casting all your caress upon Him; for He cares for you". When "Jesus wept" at the death of Lazurus (John 11:35), the Jews observing Him said, "Behold how He loved him!" John 11:36. Although these Jews were speaking of Jesus' great compassion for Lazaurs, it is from this verse of Scripture we get the song "Oh how He loves you and me!" Hurting friend, I want to say to you today, "Oh how very much He loves you!"
Whatever problem it is that you have carried in here this morning, won't you "Give it all, give it all give it all to Jesus?" Won't you "Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there?" And won't you "Place your hand in the nail scarred hand?" He'll see you through your hurt, your heartache, your problem. He will be right there beside you. You see, He is that "Friend that sticketh closer than a brother" Proverbs 18:24.
2 Corinthians 12:10, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." To this Paul says, "Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong."
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May God speak to your heart! Bob Conar