Jehovah Sabaoth – LORD of Hosts

“Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the LORD there.” (1 Samuel 1:3)

There are times that we just get tired of fighting against the flow that the world has set for our following. The Christian by definition is at odds against the world and the evil that is in it. The world is under the control of the god of this world which it the Prince of the Air. All of us have been, or still are, under the dominion of his rule. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:1-2)

The Christian serves Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Host. This word Sabaoth means a military epithet of God. It is a great army of angels. The Host of the Lord contains myriad of myriads of angels. The Apostle John was unable to count the number of angels around the throne of God. He could not count them no more that we can count the stars in the sky. Man with his mighty telescopes cannot even see all the stars that are in the heavens. So great is the Host under the direction of our God all mighty. “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.” (Revelation 5:11)

Perhaps even before the battle becomes overwhelming to us we should call unto the Lord to fight that battle for us. He is willing, He is able, just as He fought the battles for the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan. (Joshua) The heavenly Host is at His command and we are His children and when we are in need He will send His ministering spirits to render us aid. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)

This name of our Lord God, like the many names that are associated with Him is magnificent and is equal to God in that our finite minds cannot comprehend the full truth of its definition of the power the Lord of Host has. It was so for the servant of Elisha when the Arameans were trying to capture Elisha. The servant was taken back that Elisha was not afraid for the armies against him were many. But Elisha prayed that the Lord of Host would open the eyes of His servant so that he could see the mighty army of the Lord. “Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17) When we have to fight the battles for the Lord we have the heavenly Host of the Lord at the ready to win the battle for us.

Jehovah Sabaoth is mentioned over 250 times in the Scriptures making it the most used compound name of the Lord. It refers to the Almighty Sovereign Lord who rules over the multitudes whether it be the Heavenly Host, the sun, moon, and stars, or all of creation itself.

The first use of this name of God is found in 1 Samuel 1:3. The Husband of Hannah, Elkanah, is making his annual trip to the Temple to make his sacrifices unto the Lord of Host. Eight verses later we see Hannah who is heartbroken making a covenant with the Lord of Host that He would bless her with a child. “She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11) Hannah gave birth to Samuel who became a prophet of the Lord.

For Hannah it was more than just wanting a child. In the culture of the Jewish people a woman who was barren did not have proper respect. When Hannah went to the Temple to worship the Lord there was a woman named Peninnah who would mock Hannah. Finally Hannah called upon the Lord of Host to fight this battle for her and give her a child. In exchange she would dedicate her son to the Lord. “Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat.” (1 Samuel 1:6-7)

The shepherd boy David called upon the Lord of Host to give him the victory against the giant Goliath. “Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” (1 Samuel 17:45) We also read that David became greater and greater because he walk with God and the Lord of Host empowered him. “David became greater and greater, for the LORD God of hosts was with him.” (2 Samuel 5:10)

The Prophet Isaiah when he was in the Temple of the Lord and saw his vision there he heard the Seraphim addressing the God as the Lord of Host. “And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) It is not only a name given to God by holy men but it is larger than man himself as the angels in heaven call the Almighty the Lord of Host.

The Lord of Host is deserving of our praise and we should at all times honor Him. The Lord of Host is our defender as He is the Holy One who is Sovereign over all the universe. Our all-knowing, ever present, and all powerful God who sees us, loves us, and will move the mountains in our life for us. He is willing and able to fight our battels and win the wars for us. And in times of need the Lord of Host is our refuge that we can run too. It is a great comfort and confidence to know that we serve a God who will work in our lives on our behalf. Our God, our Savior, the Lord of Host, Jehovah Sabaoth.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, February 12, 2016

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