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Jehovah Our Banner

Psalm 20:5 (ESV) … “May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!”

The word for “banner” here is one which occurs only in this psalm and in Song of Solomon 5:10, where it is translated “the chiefest”: “My beloved is … the chiefest among ten thousand.” It really means: “The standard bearer among ten thousand.”

This psalm in its prophetic dimension has to do with the Messiah going forth to battle against His foes. Historically, this was the banner that the leaders were to lift up as they prepared the nation for war. The people were to rally around the Standard Bearer, the Chiefest among ten thousand, the living Lord Himself That’s how to pursue the battle aright.

Now the psalm changes. The Psalmist shows how the king, impressed by this challenge and awed by a fresh sense of responsibility, turns to God in prayer.[1]

David had done more than worship God; he had also sought the Lord’s will concerning strategy for the battle (see 1 Sam. 23). The people and David had prayed that God would bless those plans, for petitions and plans must go together. The central verse in the psalm is verse 5, a confident affirmation of victory before the battle even started. Raising the banners and waving them was a sign of victory, and “Jehovah our banner” was one of God’s special names (see Ex. 17:15–16).[2]

Jehovah God is our banner of victory both in and over this world. That banner is Christ Jesus our Lord. Raised high upon Calvary’s mount on that horrible day, Jesus finished the fight for our salvation. So let us shout our praise unto the Son of God who has won the fight for us.

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring Psalms 1–88: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 1, Ps 20:5). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (2004). Be worshipful (1st ed., p. 85). Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries.


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