Have you ever studied the Names of God? It can be a great exercise in maturing our knowledge of God; His attributes and works. The names of God can challenge, teach, and comfort us! Today we want to consider the name "Jehovah Sabaoth" (sah-bah-OATH). Often seen as "LORD of Hosts."
Do you ever find yourself in a hard, difficult situation? (financial problems, physical hardships, emotional problems, etc.) You don't know what to do? Ever feel distressed? In Despair? Overwhelmed? Well, we have a God who can deliver us, or at least, see us through our trials and difficulties!
I. The Definition: When you find the word "LORD" (Jehovah or Yahweh) in all capitals in the Old Testament it emphasizes God's sovereignty, faithfulness, Covenant keeping God. He can always be trusted to be faithful to His people.
Sabaoth comes from ṣāḇā’ meaning to fight, to serve, war or army. Often used with the sense of fighting but in a wider sense includes rendering service. When used in the plural it is used in the sense of armies: Inhabitants of heaven, Angelic army, Israel as God's army, and heavenly bodies such as the sun, moon, stars, etc. The hosts will do God's will!
As a personal name of God, the emphasis is on the sovereign power of God. Our God is a mighty God! He is the mightiest warrior and the all-powerful King! The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) often translates "The Lord of powers." Our God is not just a warrior God among other national warrior god's as the heathen saw it, but our God is the Supreme Warrior and Ruler. The ONLY true God!
II. Usages of Interest:
A. 1Samuel 1:1-20 Comfort & Hope for Hannah: We find our name "LORD of Hosts" in v.3. Elkanah was married to Hannah and Peninnah. Every year they made a pilgrimage to Shiloh in order to worship and offer sacrifices. Peninnah gave her husband children but Hannah was barren. In that day, to be childless was to be seen as cursed by God. So Hannah prayed at the temple for a child. V.19 tells us the LORD remembered her and took away her bareness and she gave birth to Samuel.
Our mighty God opened the womb of a barren women and provided her great joy!
B. 1Samuel 17:41-47 David's Great Trust: No one in Israel would stand up to Goliath. They were all greatly afraid (read the whole chapter). Then came along David! He could no longer take Goliath's ridicule of God. Especially take note of 1Samuel 17:45- "Then said David to the Philistine, Thou
comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to
thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom
thou hast defied." David knew that he was not alone in this great fight. His all powerful, mighty God would fight with and empower him for the task at hand.
C. Psalm 46: Notice especially v.7. In a world of chaos and cruelty, our God is with us!!!
D. Malachi 1: Our great God deserves all respect! He deserves our very best for His glory. The Priests of Israel were disrespecting their God by offering polluted and maimed sacrifices. Notice all the times the "Lord of Hosts" is used in the chapter.
E. Romans 9:29: In Chapters 9-11 Paul deals with the topic of Israel. He explains how God has set them aside for the time being, but He is not finished with them. God will fulfill all of His Covenant promises to Israel in the future Millennial Kingdom. In v.29 Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah to show us that God always preserves a remnant of the Jewish people. How many times in history have people (And Satan) tried to destroy the Jewish people? Hitler and many others have tried but Almighty God preserves a remnant- Israel cannot be destroyed!
F. James 5:4: Here in our last example, God hears the cries of the oppressed. And the "LORD of Hosts" is able to take care of and help them.
III. Challenge For You: We have an all-powerful, sovereign God who is able to protect you, provide for you, and help you in any circumstance. We should never be afraid- 2Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of
fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (also read Philippians 4:6, Romans 8:31-39) Our mighty God can do something about our trials and problems if it is within His will to do so.
What God desires of you is that you will come to Him in total dependence and trust. Cultivate a strong prayer life, read His word daily, and obey His Word and will for your life. He truly cares about you- 1Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon him; for he
careth for you."