God the Banner

Each day in November, the Everyday Truth blog is looking at a different name for God and providing a family devotional for you to use with your kids. The goal is to keep our hearts focused on giving thanks to God during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

Did you know the Bible tells us that God is our banner? That's kind of a weird name for God, don't you think? What does that even mean?

This is actually one of my favorite names for God, but it's tough for us to understand because  most of us aren't familiar with how armies fought during the time of Moses. When an army would go into war, they would carry the banner (or flag) of whomever they were fighting for. They would follow the banner into war. As long as the banner was flying, the army would know that they're side was still fighting.

A battlefield was a messy, dust-filled place. The soldiers might not be able to see what was going on around them, but because the banner flew high on a pole, they could see it and follow it. If it ever became necessary to retreat, the soldiers would find the banner and follow it, so they would know where to go.

In Exodus 17, we find the account of the Israelites fighting the Amelakites. During this battle, as long as Moses kept his arms raised, the Israelites won. When he lowered his arms, the Israelites lost. God was using Moses' arms as the banner for the Israelite army. When the battle was over, Exodus 17:15 tells us "Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner." He recognized that God was there with them during the fight.

God is our banner, too. No matter how confusing or upsetting a situation gets, God is there leading the way and providing a place to which we can retreat. He covers us with His love and protection. When we don't know which way to go or what to do, all we have to do is look for God because He is there. We may not be able to see Him, but we know that He is there with us and will provide us with strength and wisdom and will show us the way to deal with any situation. He is our banner.

To remind yourself of this, take a piece of paper and draw something on it that will remind you of God. You can use what you have learned about God in the past three weeks to create your banner. Post your banner in your room somewhere, so that when you see it, you'll be reminded of the fact that God goes before you into every situation, and He is waiting for you to run to Him when things get tough.

On your thanksgiving leaves, today, write down situations in which you are thankful that God is your banner. It could be a tough choice you need to make, a tough situation at school or even difficulties with a subject at school.

Pray together, and thank God for being your banner -- for going before you no matter where you go.