War technique: raising a banner to signify to whom you belong

I think we have all know what a banner is when it comes to war – it is a flag, that represents the unit, country, army-navy-air command that enters into battle.  That banner, and keeping it in possession is most crucial, flying it at various posts are emotional rallying points for troops identifying grounds gained/lost, and once placed in opposing territory identifies the capture of enemy territory.

How amazing is it to know that the person carrying your banner into war is God Himself.  It seems that God has identified Himself a number of times as the banner carrier during times of war – understanding this, the banner carrier is identified quickly and if emotional battle is to be won, they are shot down first.

In these battles, what does the banner represent – truth or justice?  When God was raising the banner, these were not wars of desolation or of securing victory, these were times when the righteous and their cause might be vindicated, and that the honour of God might be promoted.

Is God raising a banner for the church today? Is it for a war of justice, righteousness, truth or more for resisting and overcoming our enemies?  Is it a rallying point that we might carry the weapons of truth against all injustice, falsehood, error, oppression and wrong and be found on the side  of humanity, benevolence of virtue, temperance, liberty and equality? The bigger picture would maybe include the carrying the standard of principles of our true religion to every territory of the enemy until the whole world shall be subdued to God.

Albertus Aquensis informs us that when Jerusalem was taken in 1099 by the crusaders, about three hundred Saracens got on the roof of a very high building, and earnestly begged for quarter; but could not be induced by any promises of safety to come down, till they had received the banner of Tanered, one of the crusade generals, as a pledge of life. The event showed the faithlessness of these zealots, they put the whole to the sword. But the Saracens surrendering themselves upon the delivering of a standard to them, proves in how strong a light they looked upon the giving a banner, since it induced them to trust it, when they would not trust any promises. Perhaps the delivery of a banner was anciently esteemed in like manner an obligation to protect.

God gives us a banner that it might be displayed, or lifted up as a confident persuasion that we are under the protection of God: because of the truth – the word of promise, which is an assurance of protection. So it is not so much a banner of going before in attack as it is more in the assurance that we step out in His character, we will be under His protection.

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