Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Lord of Hosts Is His Name


On a warm summer night, darkness creates a quiet calmness. Chipping tree frogs and crickets break the silence and distant stars sparkle like diamonds on black velvet. “The heavens declare the glory of God…” says the Psalmist, and my breath catches, suddenly comprehending how small I am and how great is our God!

In these moments, I understand King David’s proclamation, “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord God… So let Your name be magnified forever saying The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel…”  Jeremiah agrees, “Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and stars for a light by night…the Lord of hosts is His name.”


The name, Lord of hosts, is Jehovah-sabaoth in Hebrew, translated the Lord Almighty by the NIV. Sabaoth, is a military term meaning hosts or armies who serve a Commander. Joshua encountered this Captain of the Lord’s host, and when he did, he fell on his face and worshipped. “Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy,’ and Joshua did so.”

We know this Captain of the Lord’s host as the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, the host of the Lord is much more than humans and angels; it is the whole of creation. Every created thing serves the Lord of hosts, and by this name, we feel the vastness and majesty of God.

It was the Lord of hosts who asked Job, “Can you bind the cluster of Pleiades [the Seven Stars], or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth [Constellations] in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear [Arcturus] with its cubs? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?”

To these rhetorical questions, of course Job’s answer was no.

Faced with the omnipotence of the Lord of hosts, we, like Job, gaze into the heavens. This home of billions of stars, some one hundred times larger than our planet, cannot compare to the One who created it. His name is Jehovah-sabaoth, the LORD OF ALL HOSTS.

Kay Arthur, in her book, Lord, I Want to Know You says, “My friend, if you have come to the end of your strength and need deliverance, you might…turn to Jehovah-sabaoth, the Lord of hosts… This is the name of God to run to when there is no other help – from our perspective…” (Pg. 135-136)

What battle are you facing?

With impending destruction, King Jehoshaphat prayed, “O Lord God…are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the Kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?”

As we surrender to the Lord of hosts, His presence envelopes us.

Therefore, remove your shoes, fall on your face and worship upon this holy ground. For “Thus says the Lord to you:  Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this…for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

For further study:  Psalm 19:1; II Sam. 7:18-26; Jeremiah 31:35; Joshua 5:13-15; II Chron. 20:6-15

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