“Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah” (Psalm 60:4).
It has been the custom for many years to display our “star-spangled banner” on Flag Day in particular. This year, however, it has been remarkable to see the American flag displayed every day, in many places and many ways where it was rarely seen before. The wave of renewed patriotism implied by this phenomenon is due, of course, to the surge of terrorist attacks on the nation by militant Islamic terrorists this past fall in particular.
Our text was written by David, encouraging his own armies to hold high the banner of God’s truth in their battle against the enemies of His people. We today can make a spiritual application of David’s testimony, exhorting one another not only to stand united under our own flag in the war against these modern terrorists, but also to exalt the banner of God’s truth—that is His inspired and inerrant word—against the attacks of those who would undermine and destroy it if they could.
There is also an interesting parallel with the account of the serpents in the wilderness. “The LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent [that is, a brazen image of the serpents that were killing many Israelites], and set it upon a pole . . . that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live” (Numbers 21:8). Here the word “pole” is the same Hebrew word as “banner” in our text.
Thus, the serpent-image, speaking so eloquently of sin judged and destroyed, becomes like a great banner overhead, encouraging the people of God as they battle Satan in their daily lives. As Jesus said: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14,15). HMM