Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 79

From Handbook to God’s Promises


Finding Your Place
Read Song of Songs 2:4

We have become so accustomed to instantaneous communications media—the internet, smartphones, global positioning systems (GPS), and so on—that it is hard to conceive of communication before the digital era. In the biblical era, however, banners—flag-like identifiers carried on poles or standards—were used to identify, designate, and communicate between people groups.

Biblical banners, while originating in countries like Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, found their way into Israel’s culture after the exodus from Egypt. The primary Hebrew word used for “banner” in the Old Testament is found prominently in the book of Numbers. There, Moses faced the task of transforming a disorganized mass of humanity into the semblance of a nation. Immediately, he began to get the people organized.

Israel’s 12 tribes organized into four groups of three tribes each, and they set up camp in a square surrounding the tabernacle. The lead tribes of the four groups—Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan—had banners, or standards, that signified their divisions. Within the larger divisions, smaller banners and ensigns designated the separate tribes and families (see Numbers 1:52; 2:34). A banner gave one a place, an identity, a rallying and reference point. The raising of banners could instantly bring order to a chaotic environment.

When the beloved in the Song of Songs says of her lover, “His banner over me is love,” she locates herself among the many young women in Israel. Her lover’s love, publicly acknowledged, sets her apart from all others. No one doubts to whom the beloved belongs.

Now think of yourself as the beloved of God. In a chaotic world, you can always find your place and know who you are. God’s love is a banner lifted high over you for all to see. You need only take your place under His banner for the purpose of the fulfillment of His love in you.

God’s Promise: Look for His love, and you will always know where you belong.

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