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Old and New Testament.
dearly beloved, Are you facing an
insurmountable obstacles and losing all hope of victory? Do you feel overwhelmed
and powerless in your present circumstances?
Then run into the Strong Tower, crying out to the lord of hosts.
May Jehovah answer you in the day of trouble! May the NAME of the God of Jacob
set you securely on high...Some boast in chariots, and some in horses, But we
will boast in the NAME of Jehovah, our God. (Ps 20:1, 7
the LORD of HOSTS
is His NAME,
the Holy One of Israel.
LORD of Hosts
Updated February 21,
THE LORD OF HOSTS
THE LORD OF HOSTS
LIGHT OF THE TRUTH
ABOUT THE LORD OF HOSTS
is the LORD of hosts described?
behold, He Who forms mountains & creates the wind & declares to man
what are His thoughts, He Who makes dawn into darkness and treads on
the high places of the earth, the LORD God of hosts (Sabaoth)
is His name. Amos
description, God's attributes of sovereignty, omniscience & omnipotence
are clearly implied by this majestic Name.
Another prophet, Is, helps us understand the One called the LORD
Holy, Holy, is the LORD (Jehovah)
of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory."
A W Tozer writes
A person who has sensed
what Is sensed will never be able to joke about "the Man
upstairs" or the "Someone up there who likes me."
One of the movie actresses who still prowled around the nightclubs
after her supposed conversion to Christ was quoted as telling
someone, "You ought to know God. You know, God is just a livin'
doll!" I read where another man said, "God is a good fellow."
I confess that when I hear or read these things I feel a great pain
within. My brother or sister, there is something about our God that
is different, that is beyond us, that is above us—transcendent. We
must be humbly willing to throw our hearts open and to plead, "God,
shine Thyself into my understanding for I will never find Thee
For thus says
me, "As the lion or the young lion growls over his prey, against which a
band of shepherds is called out & he will not be terrified at their voice
nor disturbed at their noise, so will the LORD of hosts come down to wage
war on Mt Zion and on its hill. Like flying birds so the LORD of hosts
will protect Jerusalem. He will protect & deliver it. He will pass over (pacach
also describes the "Passover" cf uses in Exodus) & rescue it. (Is
Picture the fearless lion jealously guarding his prey - so too the LORD
of hosts is our Warrior (cf Ex 15:3) & He will protect, deliver & rescue His
covenant people "for
the gifts & the calling of God are irrevocable."
The fulfillment of this prophecy is most likely when the LORD Jesus
returns at the end of this present age as Commander of "the
which include saints & angels cf Rev 17:14-note)
which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white &
clean ...following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp
sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations & He will rule them
with a rod of iron & He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of
(Rev 19:14,15-note) "and
so all Israel will be saved just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL
COME FROM ZION, (Jerusalem) HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB" (Ro
In Israel's greatest hour of need the LORD of Sabaoth will return & wage
war & rescue His covenant people Israel for all eternity (see Zech
13:8, 9). Believers today must remember that this is the same Name that
all in covenant with Him can run to, crying out in their hour of need,
when all hope seems to be lost & defeat appears inevitable. May we all
learn to cry out to our Warrior, the LORD of hosts it is He, for the
battle is His. (discussed at right).
Who is the LORD of hosts?
King of Israel & his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first & I am the
last & there is no God besides Me."
Scripture with Scripture we find that in Re 22:13
Himself as "I am the Alpha & the Omega, the first & the last, the
beginning & the end." which clearly
parallels the Is passage. So Jesus is our Jehovah Sabaoth (similar affirmation by Jesus
are found in Rev 1:17
[note], Rev 2:18-note)
Who is the LORD of hosts
according to Zechariah?
"Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations
that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the
King, the LORD of hosts and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
In this passage
which in context (Zech
appears to occur during what is
known as the "millennium"
(Rev 20:4, 5, 6, 7-note),
we see that the King (of kings) (Rev 17:14-note, cp
note Rev 19:16-note)
Who is the Lord Jesus Christ is also referred to as the LORD of hosts.
The NET Bible
translates LORD of hosts as "the LORD Who commands armies."
What a great picture to keep in mind when we are fearful! We need faith
like Elijah when he affirmed to his servant when surrounded by the enemy
(2Ki 6:15) "Do not fear, for (term
of explanation) those who are with us are more than those who are with
them." (2Ki 6:16, cp 1Jn 4:4-note)
What happened? "Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his
eyes that he may see." And Jehovah opened the servant's eyes, and he
mountain was full of horses and
chariots of fire all around Elisha." (2Ki 6:17).
Indeed, LORD Who commands
armies, when we are fearful open the eyes of our heart to see Your armies
guarding us. In Jesus' Name. Amen
is He LORD over? In other words who is subject to His commands and
The Hebrew for
used ~ 486x with
most uses having something to do with warfare, armies or fighting. In
can describe (1) a multitude of men (army), (2) angels (good & bad) or
(3) physical stars. (Click discussion of the phrase "host of heaven")
Although one might disagree on what "host" refers to in a given
verse, the important truth is that
is LORD over ALL HOSTS, whether
they are the host (armies) on earth, the stars or the angels
(good or bad).
Stated another way
Sabaoth is in complete command and
total control of all HOSTS and there are no "troop movements" so to speak
without His knowledge. This should give those who run into the strong
Sabaoth a great deal of comfort & reassurance.
Nebuchadnezzar the greatest king of his time was humbled by God for 7
years after which he came to proper understanding of the LORD of host ...
"All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He
does according to His will in the HOST of HEAVEN & among the
inhabitants of earth & no one can ward off His hand or say to Him,
'What have You done?" Da 4:35
affirms God's sovereign control over the angelic forces...
Bless the LORD you His angels, mighty in strength who perform His
word, obeying the voice of His word! Ps 103:20
How do Hebrews 1:14 & Ps 91:11,12 help understand how the angelic hosts
interact with their Commander,
not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake
of those who will inherit salvation? (Heb 1:14- note;
see also note by
For He will give His
angels charge concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Ps 91:11
Who will give
His angels charge? Is this not
Jehovah Sabaoth? O to know Him with such
confidence & total reliance as the One Who gives the angelic host "charge
concerning" us. These truths make it clear that the focus of our adoration
& praise should go to the Commander of the angels, not to the angels who
serve as His "ministering spirits".
They will bear you up in their
hands that you do not strike your foot against a stone. Ps 91:12
Although this promise was
applied specifically to Jesus, it is also a marvelous representation of
the ministry of angels on behalf of the "heirs of salvation"
A wonderful story from 2Ki
6:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23 illustrates the authority
Jehovah has over the armies of heaven & should
serve to encourage us all
to cry out to
Jehovah Sabaoth. The context is an angry Aramean king who
seeks to destroy Elisha surrounding the city where Elisha lived with his
horses & chariots & a great army. But Elisha knew
Jehovah as LORD over the
angelic armies (host) of heaven and so when his frightened servant said
my master! What shall we do? (2 Ki 6:15)
Elisha responded with complete confidence...
Do not fear, for those
who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha
prayed & said, "O
I pray, open his eyes that he may see. & Jehovah opened the
servant's eyes & he saw & behold the mountain was full of horses &
chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2Ki 6:16, 17)
You can read
the rest of this faith building story in 2Ki 6:8-23.
So in 2Kings 6 we see that in
the face of insurmountable odds & no hope humanly speaking of escape,
Elisha cries out to Jehovah to open the eyes of his servant to see that
is in command of countless ANGELIC HOST
and is ready to send His ARMIES (HOSTS) as ministering spirits to those
who are being saved (Heb 1:14-note).
While our experience may not be as dramatic as Elisha's, we need to
remember that "we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand"
& we can cry out to the same LORD that Elisha cried out to, the One Who
has at His disposal "an innumerable company of (NIV "thousands upon
Elisha's servant you reach your "extremity", run to the sufficiency of the
Strong Tower of Jehovah Sabaoth confident that...
The eyes of Jehovah are
toward the righteous & His ears are open to their cry...& Jehovah
hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Ps 34:15,17)
additional insight can we glean by examining how Jewish scholars
translated "Jehovah Sabaoth" from Hebrew to Greek in the
Sabaoth" is translated with at least 3 different Greek phrases in the
1) "Kurios Sabaoth"
identical to the Hebrew in meaning, "Lord of hosts". Gk =
"Sabaoth" which is a straight transliteration of the Hebrew.
2) "Kurious ton
- can be translated the "Lord the Able (One)", a great truth to
remember about Jehovah Sabaoth when we find ourselves facing
insurmountable odds &/or are experiencing unrelenting assault by the
"He is able"
is a description of Jehovah found 3x in the NT (read what He is able to do in
2Ti 1:!2 -note,
Cry out to
Jehovah Sabaoth Who upon hearing the sound of your anguish is ever able to
come to your side and to rescue you (boetheo
in Heb 2:18) either out of the fire or through the
fire, always with the intended purpose of conforming you more to the image
(pas = all + kratos = might, dominion, power) is the most
frequent Greek phrase used to translate Jehovah Sabaoth and literally means
the "Lord Almighty", the One Who holds sway over ALL things.
It is certainly not an accident that in the NT
is found almost exclusively in the Revelation (9x
where we see final drama in which the LORD ALMIGHTY exercises His
full dominion & final triumph over all forces of evil, both human & angelic!
PTL! This One beloved is your strong tower
Jehovah Sabaoth of the OT in the Person of Jesus, the Lord Almighty of
the NT. In His unchanging character (immutable)
we can find assurance that He will win the victory over all the hosts of evil.
And so we can confidently cast all our burdens upon the LORD of hosts, the
Almighty One, knowing that He cares for us (Ps 55:22).
truths about Jehovah Sabaoth in mind as you study the Scriptures. May
these insights motivate us all to run without hesitation or reservation
into the Strong Tower of His wonderful Name, the LORD of hosts.
Click to read revival speaker
Sammy Tippit's gripping personal encounter with Jehovah Sabaoth.
as he sat in a train stopped by Romanian soldiers as he was trying to
enter Communist Romania and saw 10 soldiers running toward the train! They
were coming for Sammy! He
I came to know God that night as Jehovah Sabaoth, the LORD of Hosts.
He is Supreme Ruler of the universe. He is the Captain of all the angelic
forces in the heavenly places. There's none that can compare to Him,
because He is the LORD of hosts...It's also during our times of weakness
that we come to know God as Jehovah - Sabaoth. It's when we feel so small
and that our enemies are so strong that God reveals Himself to us as
Jehovah - Sabaoth. It's in those overwhelming moments that we come to know
Him as the Sovereign God who rules over all the celestial armies of
heaven. Draw near to Him in your day of weakness. He will be your strength
because He is truly Jehovah - Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts. (Ref)
Amos 5:14 teach about who can expect the very present help of Jehovah
Sabaoth in the time of trouble?
good and not evil that you may live and thus may Jehovah God of hosts
with you just as you have said! Amos 5:14
passage shows that the one who would cry out to Jehovah Sabaoth in the
hour of need and find "life" in His presence is the one who seeks good
rather than evil (a good pattern - focus on good first which will make it
much easier to avoid evil. cp the "order" in John 3:30) He who is seeking evil would be unlikely to
even cry out to Him.
Matthew Henry adds:
"This is the sure way to be happy ourselves and
to have the continual presence of God with us: "Seek good & not evil,
that you may live"...that you may have the favor of God, which is your
life, which is better than life itself, that you may have comfort in
yourselves and may live to some good purpose. You shall live, for so the Lord God of
shall be with you and be your life.’’ Note, Those that keep in the way of
duty (ed note = obey) have the presence of God with them, as the God of hosts,
a God of almighty power....
& whatever good we do, we must do it from a principle of love, do it of
choice and with delight. Those who thus love good will seek it, will
contrive to do all the good they can, enquire for opportunities of doing
it, and endeavor to do it to the utmost of their power. They will also
hate evil, will abhor the thought of doing an unjust thing, and abstain
from all appearance of it. In vain do we pretend to seek God in our
devotions if we do not seek good in our whole conversations (ed note =
our general manner of life)."
A W Tozer said that as
believers we must seek to...
Acquaint thyself with God.
To regain her lost power the Church must see heaven opened and have a
transforming vision of God.
But the God we must see is not the utilitarian God who is having such a
run of popularity today, whose chief claim to men's attention is His
ability to bring them success in their various undertakings and who for
that reason is being cajoled and flattered by everyone who wants a favor.
The God we must learn to know is the Majesty in the heavens, God the
Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, the only wise God our
Saviour....Knowledge of such a Being cannot be gained by study alone. It comes by a
wisdom the natural man knows nothing of, neither can know, because it is
spiritually discerned. To know God is at once the easiest and the most
difficult thing in the world. It is easy because the knowledge is not won
by hard mental toil, but is something freely given. As sunlight falls free
on the open field, so the knowledge of the holy God is a free gift to men
who are open to receive it. But this knowledge is difficult because there
are conditions to be met and the obstinate nature of fallen man does not
take kindly to them.....
Knowledge of such a Being cannot be gained by study alone. It comes by a
wisdom the natural man knows nothing of, neither can know, because it is
spiritually discerned. To know God is at once the easiest and the most
difficult thing in the world. It is easy because the knowledge is not won
by hard mental toil, but is something freely given. As sunlight falls free
on the open field, so the knowledge of the holy God is a free gift to men
who are open to receive it. But this knowledge is difficult because there
are conditions to be met and the obstinate nature of fallen man does not
take kindly to them.
Lord of hosts is found
in association with the ark of the covenant (cf. 1Sa 4:4; 2Sa 6:2); as
well as the temple (cf. Hag 1:14; 2:7; Zech 7:3); and Mt. Zion (cf. Is
The "Divine Warrior" motif is often linked with this title
in conjunction with the armies of Israel (cf. 1Sa 17:45; Ps 46:11; LORD
God of hosts in Is
The "Lord of hosts" often refers to God in the role of establishing
his kingdom on earth (cf. Is9:7; Zech 8:3; 14:16); and the
eschatological renewal of the kingdom of Israel (cf. Micah 4:4; Zech 1:17).
The title also reflects the judgment and wrath of God (Is 9:19), whether
it be directed against the enemies of Israel (e.g., Is 10:26; 13:4;
19:12; Nah 2:13; Zech 8:2) or against his own people (cf. Jer 6:6; 8:3;
This name is combined with
to give the compound name Lord God of hosts (34x
NAS) or rarely only
God of hosts. (Ps 80:7, 14) The meaning is essentially the same.
God is thus described as the divine warrior of Israel (2Sa 5:10); the
transcendent God of heaven (cf. Ps 80:14); as the one Who will judge his
people for their sin against Him (cf. Is 10:23; Jer 35:17; Amos 3:13);
and as the One Who will punish His enemies (Jer 46:10; 49:5; 50:31).
The ISBE writes of
Jehovah of Hosts that...
Evidently the meaning of the
title is that all created agencies and forces are under the leadership or
dominion of Yahweh, who made and maintains them (Ge 2:1; Is 45:12).
Where is Jehovah Sabaoth
first encountered in Scripture?
The LORD of hosts & the
related names, "LORD God of hosts" and "God of hosts",
occur over 270x (NAS) in the OT but not until 1 Samuel, which make
it the most frequent compound title for God in the OT.
Most of the uses are subsequently found in the prophets (click
for all uses below or
click each book for all the occurrences)
Malachi (24x). In
Psalms (6 of the 15 uses are associated
with prayer for His aid) . The specific phrase "Lord of Sabaoth"
is found twice in the NT (click to read in context - Ro 9:29
- note [quoting Is 1:9] & Js 5:4 in context of judgment as are
a number of passages in the prophets)
Note: You may wonder why
you cannot find the name "LORD of hosts" in the NIV?
NIV substitutes the name LORD Almighty for the LORD of
hosts. I personally think it is less accurate and creates some
confusion with God's Name
EL Shaddai = God Almighty!
Although not revealed until 1Samuel 1, there
is a "preview" of Jehovah Sabaoth in Joshua 5:14,15. What is the
Joshua in obedience to Jehovah
had just commanded circumcision & Israel had kept the Passover. Now on the
verge of a major military campaign (a picture of the spiritual warfare of
all believers) not only against Jericho but against all of the Canaanites
throughout the land was surely in need of Divine encouragement. And so we
come to this fascinating encounter...
Now it came about when Joshua
was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man
was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, & Joshua went
to him & said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries ?" He said,
"No; rather I indeed come now as CAPTAIN (Prince) of the HOST (Sabaoth)
of Jehovah (NIV = commander of the Lord's army] and Joshua fell on his
face to the earth and bowed down and said to Him, "What has my lord to say
to His servant?" The captain of the Jehovah's host said to Joshua, "Remove
your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is
holy." And Joshua did so." (Joshua 5:13, 14, 15)
It is interesting that the NKJV capitalizes
"Commander", clearly indicating that the translators feel this
individual is divine. The context supports this encounter is almost
certainly another "Christophany" (pre incarnate appearance of the
Messiah). (cf "Angel
of the LORD"). Note that
although there is a chapter break at, the narrative seems to continue
without break & in (Josh 6:2, 3, 4, 5) Jehovah addresses Joshua with
encouragement & instruction...
"Jehovah said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with
its king & the valiant warriors. "You shall march around the city, all the
men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for 6 days. Also 7
priests shall carry 7 trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. Then on the
7th day you shall march around the city 7 times & the priests shall blow
the trumpets (Josh 6:2,
3, 4, 5)
And so we see the "Captain
of Sabaoth" meeting Joshua, a man preparing for war & in need of
assurance of God's presence, provision & power, which provides a great
preview of truth revealed in the revelation of the LORD of hosts.
1 Samuel what is the setting for the initial revelation of Jehovah
1 Sa 1-2:11)
First Samuel takes place
during the dark, desperate days of the "Judges" when most of Israel was
doing what was right in their own eyes (Jdg 21:25
was however (as there always is) a godly remnant who sought the Living God
in the midst of all of the pagan counterfeit "gods". Hannah & her husband
Elkanah were certainly representative of the godly remnant of those
declared righteous by faith (cf
Ge 15:6). But there were a few problems
in the Elkanah household - what were they?
1Sa 1:2 He (Elkanah) had 2 wives: the name of one was Hannah
("Grace", "favor") & the name of the other Peninnah ("pearl"); & Peninnah
had children, but Hannah had no children.
God's plan was always
one man & one woman for life (SBD
article) & we can understand from subsequent
events in 1Sam1 why polygamy was never the ideal - not only 2 wives vying
for Elkanah's attention (I might add another penalty of bigamy is two
mothers-in-law!) But worst of all "Hannah had no children" in a day when
childlessness was considered a sign of God's displeasure. (article)
which Peninnah probably taunted Hannah with.
HOW DO WE KNOW ELKANAH WAS A GODLY
MAN IN THE UNGODLY days of the JUDGES?
1Sa 1:3 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 Sa 2:12 adds that "the sons of Eli were
[sons of belial, NT name for Satan!] they did not
Three times a year every male
Israelite was required to appear at the central sanctuary (at this time in
Shiloh) at the
Pentecost (Harvest Feast or Feast of
Tabernacles (Booths, Feast of
As an aside, Elkanah's yearly pilgrimage should encourage us that
godliness is possible even in the most decadent of times. So don't lose
heart but "discipline
for the purpose of
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (see note Php 2:15-note
Spurgeon) which for the most part
forsaken God the "fountain of living
waters to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no
water" (Jer 2:13). God will honor your
of holiness (sanctification)
note) even as He did Elkanah & Hannah.
HOW DO WE SEE ELKANAH'S LOVE FOR HANNAH?
1Sa 1:4: When the day
came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his
wife and to all her sons and her daughters;
Elkanah demonstrated his for
Hannah "love" not with just his lips but with his actions - love is an
"action" verb. Notice too that Peninnah had at least 4 children ("sons",
"daughters") making Hannah's sense of rejection all the more intense.
WHAT DOES the name "Hannah" mean?
"Grace" - God's transforming power to live a supernatural life.
Hannah must have felt like anything but the possessor of God's unmerited
favor for she knew it was "the LORD had closed her womb." (1Sa 1:5).
in addition to her
why else did Hannah need grace?
1Sa 1:6 Her rival
(adversary, affliction) however would provoke (to anger, vex) her
bitterly to irritate (literally thunder at) her, because the LORD
had closed her womb"
HOW LONG HAD HANNAH EXPERIENCED BARRENNESS & FAMILY VEXATION?
1Sa 1:7 It happened year
after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she
would provoke (anger, trouble, demoralize) her; so she wept and
would not eat.
"Year after year" -
imagine the pain & hopelessness Hannah must have felt week after week, month
after month, etc
How did Hannah react? (1 Sa
1Sa 1:8 Then Elkanah her
husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat
and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"
She wept, could not eat & her
heart was sad (cf 1 Sa 1:7) Can't you imagine some "comforter" saying
something like "Come on Hannah chin up – just live up to your name 'Grace'
You may be asking yourself - Why
is Hannah suffering barrenness?
Compare Hannah's "illness" to
Jesus' teaching in John 9:
When queried by His disciples
regarding whether the blind man or his parents had sinned, (Jn 9: 3) 'Jesus
It was neither that this man
sinned, nor his parents but it was so that the works of God might be
displayed in him
What Jesus meant was that God
had created a condition so that when He relieved it, new insights, new glory
would break forth for His own name & people would understand more of His
mercy, grace & power than they ever could have had the affliction not been
present. God does not allow hindrances or difficult circumstances to torment
us or to lead us into bitterness or resentment. We often turn our
"barrenness" into bitterness. God gives "barrenness" to us in order
that as we bring it back to Him in prayer, so that in turn He might lead us
to a solution we never would have found otherwise, a greater answer than we
ever could have dreamed of. That is what Hannah's story is revealing about
the LORD of hosts. He gave her the problem in order that she might bring it
to Him to find the solution He had in mind.
How did "Elkanah her
husband" console her?
"Am I not better to you than ten
Elkanah cherished Hannah &
showed his love with his words (cf Eph 4:29
How did Hannah respond to Elkanah's kind words?
1 Sa 1:9 Then (when is
"then"? after "pleasant words") Hannah rose after eating & drinking
in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the
doorpost of the temple of the LORD
Elkanah's pleasant words had
begun the healing process deep within Hannah's soul. Kind words from a
husband can have a powerful effect as taught in Proverbs:
Pleasant words are a
honeycomb, Sweet to the soul & healing to the bones. Pr 16:24
How did Hannah feel?
What choice does she make?
Where does she "run"?
1 Samuel 1:10, 11, 12
She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD & wept bitterly. She
made a vow & 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, & a razor shall never come
on his head." Now it came about, as she continued praying before (in
front of, to the face of) the LORD, that Eli was watching her mouth"
= bitter, bitterness & phrase in the literal Hebrew reads "bitter of soul".
Bitterness because of years of barrenness & provocation from her enemy
Peninnah. Hannah made a crucial choice - instead of focusing on her
bitterness, she accepted God's appointment to brokenness & ran in her
extremity to the sufficiency of
Sabaoth, a wonderful illustration of Php 4:6, 7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be
made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (see notes
The Septuagint translates
"prayed" in 1Sa 1:10 with the similar Greek word for "prayer"
used in Phil 4:6-7 which is notable because this specific word for prayer
conveys the idea of a devotional & adoring focus on God & not
the idea of making specific requests. So at the outset Hannah sought
to have a personal encounter with God & so she focused on His
character. She then supplicated or made a specific request of the
LORD of hosts. Did you note the repetition of "maidservant" 3x in
1Sa 1:11 which emphasizes Hannah's humility & submission to a higher
authority, in this case
Hannah ran to the Strong Tower of the Name
Sabaoth crying out to Him a pattern encouraged in James 5:13
Is anyone among you
suffering? Then he
that prayer in times of suffering is not an optional exercise but
according to James is a command. It should be our "first resort" not our
"last resort". Pray [word
study] again is the
Gk verb that focuses first primarily on the character &
attributes of God even before
offering supplication - identical to the pattern seen in Php 4:6 and in
Prayer requires a conscious
awareness & acceptance on our part of our human helplessness & a
reliance upon God's resources.
El Elyon the sovereign God had shut
Hannah's womb but because He is also
El Roi He saw her pain &
mistreatment & as Jehovah Sabaoth He heard her cry to please "remember
me...not forget". After several years of barrenness she may have
felt as if Jehovah had forgotten her plight..
How does Hannah respond when Eli
accuses her of being drunk?
1Sa 1:15, 16 "No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed (hard) in spirit; I have
drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before
the LORD. Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have
spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation."
Note the characteristics of her prayer - "wept bitterly" (1Sa 1:10),
"speaking in her heart" (1Sa 1:13), "poured out my soul" (empty soul of
contents). What a graphic picture of God centered prayer birthed in the
brokenness brought on by bitterness (which by the way she "poured out" in
prayer!). Oh, for all the saints of God to pray with the passion of
WHAT Were THE effects OF HANNAH'S
PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH the lord of SABAOTH?
(1) Her anorexia ceased - (1 Sa 1:18)
(2) Her countenance changed - (1 Sa 1:18 she "was
) Note that this change was
not contingent upon having received an affirmative answer from God but
was the result of her having been in the presence of God. When we come to
the end of ourselves & find that all we have is God, we come to realize that
God is all that we need.
(3) She "worshiped
LORD" - (1Sa 1:19)
(4) God remembered her - "Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife
& the LORD remembered her." and so..."It came about in due time, after
Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him
Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked him of the LORD." (1Sa 1:20)
Faced with "barren"
circumstances & prolonged provocation potentially productive of bitterness,
are you willing to humble yourself as a servant or maidservant of the LORD,
pouring out your heart to the LORD of hosts?
Such an "uplook" might just give
you an entirely new outlook (a new perspective) which will affect your
innermost being and your outer countenance so that it is no longer "cast
down" but lifted up, all to the glory of the LORD of hosts.
Annie Flint's poem gives us a fitting description of the LORD of
He gives more grace when the
burdens grow greater.
He sends more strength when the labors increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed 'ere the day is half done;
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure.
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again." PTL
of Annie's poems)
The LORD of hosts occurs on two
other occasions in 1 Samuel:
(1) David vs Goliath (Click)
(2) Israel vs the Philistines (Click)
Scofield notes that the
"revelation of God by His names is invariably made in connection with
some particular need of His people, and there can be no need of man to
which these names do not answer as showing that man’s true resource is in
God. Even human failure and sin but evoke new and fuller revelations of
the divine fulness."
In light of these awesome
truths about Jehovah Sabaoth the words in Haggai seem very appropriate:
"Thus says the LORD of hosts,
"CONSIDER YOUR WAYS! Hag 1:5,7
To summarize, the LORD of
hosts, Jehovah Sabaoth is the Name of God we find used in Scripture when
a man or woman is at the end of their rope so to speak -- Jehovah Sabaoth is
the Strong Tower which God has made available for those times when we fail &
are powerless, when our resources are inadequate, when there is no other
help. And it is especially during those times that one comes to appreciate
that God is truly the LORD of the Armies & of all hosts. In short, Jehovah
Sabaoth speaks of God's available power in our time of trouble.
1 Samuel 1-2 Hannah was barren which
was producing bitterness. Faced with impossible odds of having a child after
years of infertility, in her brokenness she choose to cry out to the LORD of
hosts & after a "face to face" encounter, her "dour" outlook was transformed
into a radiant countenance. We find that despite the fact that Jehovah
Sabaoth did not at that time grant her request for a son, nevertheless she
came away a changed woman. In similar manner, sitting & pouring out one's
soul in the presence of the LORD over heaven & earth (Coram Deo - Before the
Face of God) can also transform our bleak, even potentially bitterness
producing outlook brought on by our "barren" (desert-like, fruitless, empty,
etc circumstances. So the first way to "run into the tower of Jehovah
Sabaoth" is to cry out, seeking first the Greatness of the Giver
rather than the gift, a principle echoed by our Lord Jesus (Mt 6:33-note)
Richard Mayhue writes
that "Jehovah–Sabaoth or LORD Almighty (‘LORD of hosts) refers to God’s
command of all His creation, which ensures divine victory over every enemy
(Jer 11:20)." (Focus on the Bible: 1 and 2 Thessalonians)
1 Samuel 17 (see
related more detailed discussion) David was
faced with an "immovable force" in the "mountain" of a man (Goliath)
with no human hope of victory. However, in his private battles with
predators David had experienced deliverance enabled by the power of the
LORD. He put into practice the great truth spoken by the LORD of
hosts in Zechariah...
This is the word of the Lord to
Zerubbabel saying "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD
of Hosts (Zech 4:6- See
T. J. Bach the former
director of The Evangelical Alliance Mission alluded to the truth in Zech
4:6 when he said...
The Holy Spirit longs to
reveal to you the deeper things of God. He longs to love through you. He
longs to work through you. Through the blessed Holy Spirit you may have:
strength for every duty, wisdom for every problem, comfort
in every sorrow,
joy in His overflowing service.
And so in the context of
Zechariah 4 (Zech 4:7), the mountains would be made into plains not by
might nor by power but by the Spirit of Jehovah Sabaoth. (See
Spurgeon's devotional on Zech 4:7)
Not only did David gird his
mind (1Pe 1:13-note)
with this truth about God, but he held fast to it and stood firm, undeterred
by discouraging words from his own family and even words of doubt
from King Saul. In short, David wisely rejected man's wisdom (Saul's
armor) and instead chose to fix his eyes not on the size of Goliath,
but on the
size of His God Whom He had grown to trust in the private times of
testing. David did not need the armor of man because he was armed with the
full armor of God (cp Eph 6:10-note;
Thus David walked out in faith (2Co 5:7), confident that the victory was
assured because the battle was not his but the LORD of hosts. -- the
battle was not by David's might nor power but by Jehovah's Spirit! This is
the pattern of victory for every child of the King. Jettison self reliance
and rely wholly on the Holy LORD of Host's supernatural provision of power
thru His Spirit. Amen!
A. W. Tozer once said
If God were to take the Holy
Spirit out of this world, much of what we’re doing in our churches would go
right on, and nobody would know the difference. (Ouch! Are you as
convicted as I am?)
Most of our battles as believers
are spiritual rather than physical but these OT principles still apply for
the victory always belongs to the LORD of hosts and in all these battles we
can be certain that we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us (Ro
Make the wise choice like David
to run into the strong tower of Jehovah Sabaoth by trusting in His Spirit,
acknowledging that the battle is His so that all the earth may know that
there is a God in Israel (cp same NT principle in Mt 5:16-note)
1 Samuel 4 teaches us how not to
run into the Strong Tower of the LORD of hosts (see
notes) as we see Israel faced with imminent
defeat by the Philistines seek the ark of the covenant as if it were a
magical charm rather than seeking the godly counsel of the prophet Samuel &
the help of the LORD of hosts. The result was ignominious defeat & capture
of the ARK by the Philistines, resulting in the departure of the glory of
the LORD (Ichabod
= no glory). Clearly there was "sin in the camp" (Eli's sons were
worthless men who did not know God, who lay with the women at the doorway of
the tent of meeting & who tended the holy ARK!) which undoubtedly explains
their defeat. In Proverbs 18:10 God says that it is the righteous man or
woman who runs into the Strong Tower of the LORD and can expect His
protection &/or deliverance. It was not until 1Samuel 7 (see
notes) that Israel repented & sought the LORD, Who
then routed the Philistines. The principle is clear: we cannot have
unclean hands & an impure heart and expect God to set us securely on high
simply because we cry out to His Name. To do so is to be like the elders of
Israel who focused on the symbol rather than the Substance.
The question in Psalm 24
is one we can all ask ourselves before we would seek to run into the Strong
Who may ascend into the hill of
the LORD? & who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands & a pure
heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood & has not sworn
deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD & righteousness from
the God of his salvation (Ps 24:3, 4, 5) (Spurgeon on
"Thus says Jehovah Sabaoth,
'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in
(what "days"? see context of
where Jehovah Sabaoth prophesies that He will return & dwell in the midst
of Jerusalem for He is jealous for it )
will it also be
too difficult in My sight?' declares the LORD of hosts.
= all powerful)"
Clearly from our present study, the answer to this somewhat rhetorical
question is an emphatic "No".
If the LORD of hosts is for us who is against us (cf see note
so that we confidently say, "THE LORD IS (our) HELPER, (we) WILL NOT BE
AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO (us)?" (Heb 13:6note).
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world & this is the victory that
has overcome the world --our faith. (1Jn 5:4)
And so to know the character of the LORD of hosts is to trust Him & to
cast all of our burdens on Him (Ps 55:22
for "the people who know their God will display strength & take action." (Da 11:32b)
So when the "Goliath's" come against us, remember that "Jehovah
is with (us) like a
champion." (Jer 20:11)
Faced with a sense of discouragement & spiritual opposition to the
rebuilding of God's temple,
Jehovah Sabaoth (note repetition in passage below) comes to the aid
of the remnant in their moment of need, Haggai recording these words...
"But now take courage,
'take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest & all you
people of the land take courage,' declares the Jehovah & work for I am
with you' declares the
Jehovah Sabaoth. (Greek =
5 'As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My
Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!' 6 "For thus says Jehovah
Sabaoth 'Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens
and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 'I will shake all the
nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will
fill this house with glory,' says Jehovah Sabaoth. 8 'The silver is
Mine and the gold is Mine,' declares
of hosts. 9 'The latter glory of this house will be greater than the
former,' says Jehovah Sabaoth, 'and in this place I will give peace,'
Sabaoth." (Hag 2:4-9)
In sum, Jehovah Sabaoth
is God’s Name for man’s extremity, those times when we have reached our
end, finding ourselves impotent, in turmoil, embroiled in real spiritual
warfare (which by the way we are always in whether we
realize it or not!) and with no other source of help (cp
Jehovah Ezer: The LORD our
deeply on the truths
revealed in the magnificent, sufficient Name of Jehovah Sabaoth and
you will find that you will be enabled to
therefore, having girded your loins with truth" regarding the LORD of
hosts (Eph 6:14-
(Ponder the Truth in Torrey's
Behold, I am going to send My messenger & he will clear the way
before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His
temple; & the Messenger of the covenant, (THE MESSIAH) in Whom you
delight, behold, He is coming" says
understood the truth found in the Name the LORD of Sabaoth and
expressed them memorably in his great hymn - note especially stanza two
and Luther's warning about striving against the world, the flesh & the
devil in our OWN strength...
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
A mighty fortress is our
God, a bulwark never failing;
He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft & power are great, & armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength
confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
The story of the people of
Israel recorded in the Bible is a living demonstration of the fact that
the Lord does win the battle, that He is sovereign in all things. You
cannot read the records of the past without seeing the hand of the LORD
of Hosts at work in the events of history ("His-Story").
the following hymns to celebrate the glory and power in God's Name, the
LORD of hosts, a Name which assures that "in all...things we
overwhelmingly conquer through Him Who loved us." (Romans
O King of Kings, O Lord of Hosts
O Lord of Hosts, to Thee I Cry
How Dear to Me, O Lord of Hosts
O Lord of Hosts, Whose Glory Fills
O Lord of Hosts, Almighty King
O Lord of Hosts, How Lovely
Lord God of Hosts in Mercy
O God of Hosts, the Mighty Lord
O Lord of Hosts, Who Didst Upraise
In Heav’n Above
In Heav’n above, in Heav’n
God hath a joy prepared,
Which mortal ear hath never heard,
Nor mortal vision shared,
Which never entered mortal breast,
By mortal lips was ne’er expressed,
’Tis God, the Lord of hosts!
Round the Lord in Glory Seated
“Lord, Thy glory fills
Earth is with its fullness stored;
Unto Thee be glory given,
Holy, holy, holy Lord!”
Thus Thy glorious Name confessing,
We adopt thine angels’ cry,
“Holy, holy, holy,” blessing
Thee, the Lord of Hosts
Psalm 46 gives us a
great picture of the attitude and action (instead of our all
too frequent "reaction"!) that believers should be able to manifest
if they truly appropriate the truth inherent in the great Name, Jehovah
Sabaoth, LORD of hosts. Notice the command in verse 10 and then the firm
foundation in verse 11 that "activates" the commands (in
(God's commandments always include His enablements!)...
(KJV - Be Still)
(knowledge is not to puff us up but to renew our mind to think rightly of
our great God and motivate right behavior) that I am God; I will be
exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." 11 The LORD
of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (see
J M Boice on “the LORD
of Hosts, Jehovah Sabaoth...
“Hosts” refers to the
armies of Israel, on the one hand, and to the angelic armies of God, on
the other. This makes the Name especially apt in this psalm, since the
psalm is based on a historical deliverance of the people from earthly
armies, whatever their origin, and also looks forward to a final
deliverance when God will subdue the hostile forces of rebellious man
forever. It is a particularly striking name in this psalm because the
name Jehovah does not occur much in this second book of the psalms; the
name is usually Elohim. (Psalms 42–106: An Expositional Commentary)
Barnhouse has a note on
If you thrash around in the
thorn patch, you will only get more scratches. If you stand quiet and
allow the Lord to speak to you, you will find Him only too glad to
Inspired by God's words in
Psalm 46:10 Katharina A. von Schlegel wrote the great hymn below (take
a moment and read the great words and then sing them back to the Lord,
asking Him to make these truths about His character true in your
experience not just your knowledge)...
Be Still, My Soul
Be still, my soul: the Lord is
on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below Be still, my soul: when
dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.w.
Here are the 239 uses for "LORD
of hosts" in the Scripture -
1Sa 1:3, 11; 4:4; 15:2; 17:45; 2Sa 6:2, 18; 7:8,
26f; 1Ki. 18:15; 2Ki. 3:14; 1Chr. 11:9; 17:7, 24; Ps 24:10; 46:7, 11;
48:8; 84:1, 3, 12; Is 1:9; 2:12; 5:7, 9, 16, 24; 6:3, 5; 8:13, 18; 9:7,
13, 19; 10:26; 13:4, 13; 14:22, 23, 24, 27; 17:3; 18:7; 19:12, 16, 17, 18,
20, 25; 21:10; 22:14, 25; 23:9; 24:23; 25:6; 28:5, 29; 29:6; 31:4, 5;
37:16, 32; 39:5; 44:6; 45:13; 47:4; 48:2; 51:15; 54:5; Jer. 6:6, 9; 7:3,
21; 8:3; 9:7, 15, 17; 10:16; 11:17, 20, 22; 16:9; 19:3, 11, 15; 20:12;
23:15, 16, 36; 25:8, 27, 28, 29, 32; 26:18; 27:4, 18, 19, 21; 28:2, 14;
29:4, 8, 17, 21, 25; 30:8; 31:23, 35; 32:14, 15, 18; 33:11, 12; 35:13, 18,
19; 39:16; 42:15, 18; 43:10; 44:2, 11, 25; 46:18, 25; 48:1, 15; 49:7, 26,
35; 50:18, 33, 34; Jer 51:5, 14, 19, 33, 57, 58; Micah 4:4; Nah. 2:13; 3:5;
Hab. 2:13; Zeph. 2:9, 10; Hag. 1:2, 5, 7, 9, 14; 2:4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 23;
Zech. 1:3, 4, 6, 12, 14, 16, 17; 2:8, 9, 11; 3:7, 9, 10; 4:6, 9; 5:4;
6:12, 15; 7:3, 4, 9, 12, 13; 8:1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 18, 19, 20; 9:15;
10:3; 12:5; 13:2, 7; 14:16, 17, 21; Mal. 1:4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14; 2:2, 4,
7, 8, 12, 16; 3:1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17; 4:1, 3
Here are the 44 uses of "God of hosts" -
2 Sam. 5:10; 1 Ki. 19:10, 14; Ps. 59:5; 69:6; 80:4, 7,
14, 19; 84:8; 89:8; Is 3:1, 15; 10:16, 23, 24, 33; 19:4; 22:5, 12, 14, 15,
28:22; Je 2:19; 5:14; 15:16; 35:17; 38:17; 44:7;
46:10; 49:5; 50:25, 31; Ho 12:5; Amos 3:13; 4:13; 5:14, 15, 16, 27; 6:8,
Theological Wordbook of the Old
an interesting note on another meaning of "tsaba
(see more complete discussion below)"
It has also a wider use in the sense of rendering
service. Interestingly four uses have to do with the work of the
Levites in the tent of meeting (Nu 4:23, 8:24). No doubt service for
Yahweh is seen as involving total dedication and careful regimentation,
and since God is Yahweh of hosts, enthroned between the cherubim housed
inside the tent of meeting, work associated with the tent may be
considered spiritual war. In Exodus 38:8 and 1Samuel 2:22
a participle refers to the women who ministered at the
door of the tent of meeting."
(Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. page
750. Moody Press) (Bolding added)
MacArthur writes that hosts "Hosts can refer to human
armies (Ex. 7:4), celestial bodies (Deut. 4:19), or heavenly creatures
(Josh. 5:14). This title emphasizes the Lord as sovereign over all of the
powers in heaven and on earth, especially over the armies of Israel."
Wiersbe writes that "This is the “military” name of God, for
“hosts” comes from a Hebrew word which means “to wage war.” The Lord is
the Commander of the hosts and heaven: the stars (Is. 40:26; Gen. 2:1),
the angels (Ps. 103:20, 21), the armies of Israel (Ex. 12:41), and all who
trust in Him (Ps. 46:7, 11)."
In Jeremiah, God tells His
prophet to buy some land (even in the face of the Babylonian invasion of
the land!). The prophet is faced with what to a natural man would be a
foolish request, as if God were calling on Jeremiah to throw away his
money! And yet in the context of these dark days and human impossible
odds, we find that it is the LORD of hosts Who Himself serves as
the "seal" assuring Jeremiah that his obedience to purchase land in the
face of Judah's sure defeat by Babylon would not prove foolish. Jeremiah
And I assigned and sealed the deed, and
called in witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 “Then I
took the deeds of purchase, both the sealed copy containing the terms and
conditions, and the open copy; 12 and I gave the deed of purchase to
Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my
uncle’s son, and in the sight of the witnesses who signed the deed of
purchase, before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard.
13 “And I commanded Baruch in their presence, saying, 14 ‘Thus says the
LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Take these deeds, this sealed deed
of purchase, and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, that
they may last a long time.” 15 ‘For thus says the LORD of hosts,
the God of Israel, “Houses
and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”‘
in depth commentary)
James Hastings has this note on
childless Hannah's prayer for a child and her appeal to Jehovah Sabaoth
(the first use of Jehovah Sabaoth in Scripture =
1Sa 1:3, 11)...
She addresses Him as the “Lord of
Hosts” (Jehovah-Sabaoth)—the first time this afterwards
familiar name is found on the page of Scripture. She calls on Him, that is
to say, as the Lord who rules in heaven and earth; who leads out the hosts
of heaven, the stars, by number; who sends the hosts who dwell in heaven,
the angels, upon His errands; who, as the Lord of Sabaoth among men too,
can do His will, as in heaven, so also among the inhabitants of earth. If
such a God as this will but speak the word, Hannah knows that all things
are possible with Him. She has every confidence that He can grant her the
desire of her heart. (The Greater Men and Women of the Bible:
Matthew Henry adds: Probably
Samuel the prophet was the first that used this title of God, for the
comfort of Israel, when in his time their hosts were few and feeble
and those of their enemies many and mighty; then it would be a
support to them to think that the God they served was LORD of hosts,
of all the hosts both of heaven and earth; of them He has a sovereign
command, and makes what use He pleases of them.
James uses Jehovah
Sabaoth, to warn the rich who had gained some of their wealth by oppressing
and defrauding their day laborers...
Behold, the pay of the laborers who
mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against
you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears
of the Lord of Sabaoth. (James 5:4)
The Lord Almighty, the omnipotent
sovereign, is not oblivious to injustice. James reminds the rich who
think the poor have no protector, that the Lord of the whole hosts in
heaven and earth is the guardian and avenger of the latter.
William MacDonald comments
The laborers who mowed the fields were
deprived of their rightful pay. Though the workers might protest, they
were quite helpless to get redress. They had no one on earth to plead
their cause successfully. However, their cries were heard by the Lord of
Sabaoth (Hebrew for “hosts”). He who commands the armies of heaven is
strong on behalf of earth’s downtrodden masses. The Lord God Omnipotent
will help and avenge them. (Believer's Bible Commentary)
MacDonald also comments on Peter's
quote in 1Pe 3:15 as evidence of Jesus as Jehovah Sabaoth: In the last
part of verse 14 and in this verse, Peter quotes from Isaiah 8:12, 13,
which says: “Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The LORD of
hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your
dread.” Someone has said, “We fear God so little because we fear man so
much.” The Isaiah passage speaks of The LORD of hosts as the One to be
reverenced. Quoting it, Peter by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says,
sanctify the Lord God in your hearts ( The NU text reads “Christ as Lord”
for “the Lord God.” This would suggest that the Christ of the NT is the
Jehovah Sabaoth of the OT).
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Tom Constable commenting on
(James 5:4) writes that...
The title “Lord of Sabaoth”
(lit. Lord of Hosts, i.e., Lord Almighty; cf. Is 5:9; Ro 9:29)
emphasizes the sovereign omnipotence of God. Although the oppressed may
appear to have no defenders on earth, they have as their helper the Lord
God omnipotent in heaven." (Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the
Matthew Henry commenting on James
God is...the Lord of Sabaoth, that
is, the Lord of hosts—a Hebrew word retained in the Greek, as
5:4. All the host of heaven and earth are at his beck and
disposal. (Ed note: and Jehovah of hosts is always open to
our cry for help...What a mighty God we serve!) (Henry, M.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible) (Bolding added)
Eerdmans writes that LORD of
hosts and LORD God of hosts...
describe Yahweh as both divine Warrior
and divine King, with “hosts” referring to both earthly (e.g., the
Israelites or their armies) and cosmic forces (celestial bodies or
In 1Sa 1:3 it is associated with the
shrine at Shiloh. During Israelite conflict with the Philistines it is
paralleled with “the God of the armies” (1Sa 17:45), demonstrating,
initially, a very militaristic understanding of the title.
Wiersbe wrote that...
“The tumult and the shouting dies—
The captains and the kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient Sacrifice
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!”
—Rudyard Kipling, “Recessional”
Kipling’s “Recessional” was published in 1897 when Queen Victoria’s
diamond jubilee was celebrated in Great Britain. The poem was a quiet
warning to the British people to beware of overconfidence in their hour of
imperial glory. (in Be Decisive)
The British expositor G. Campbell
Morgan told of visiting some elderly sisters when he was a young pastor
and reading Matthew 28:18, 19, 20 as part of his ministry to them. The phrase
“Lo, I am with you always” struck Morgan with power and he said, “Isn’t
that a wonderful promise!” One of the ladies replied, “Young man, that
isn’t a promise—it’s a reality!” How true! “The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Ps. 46:7, 11). (Be Equipped)
Zechariah uses the title “Lord of
hosts” thirty-seven times and Malachi twenty-three times. Why should
the little Jewish remnant fear the Gentile armies around them when the
Lord of Armies is their Savior and Commander? (Be Heroic) (Ed:
And why should believers today be fearful for He is the same yesterday,
today and forever. Amen!
“Hosts” means “armies,” and this
can mean the stars (Is. 40:26), the angels (Ps. 103:20–21), the nation of
Israel (Ex. 12:41), or all believers who belong to the army of Christ (2
Ti 2:3, 4; 2Cor. 10:3, 4, 5, 6; Eph. 6:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18). (Be Worshipful).
Zechariah’s favorite name for
God is “Lord of Hosts”—the Lord of the armies (click
for uses - almost 20% of all OT uses!)
LORD of hosts is also Isaiah's
favorite name for God).
He sees the Lord coming to defeat Israel’s enemies and establish Jerusalem
in peace and glory. To interpret these magnificent prophecies as referring
to the church today is to rob this book of meaning and power (Ed:
See related discussion
Israel of God).
Certainly there are spiritual applications for all ages, but the basic
interpretation must be for the Jewish nation and Jerusalem. (Wiersbe,
W. W. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill.:
The Prophet Isaiah warned him against
ungodly alliances and urged him to trust God for deliverance. “Sanctify
the Lord of hosts [armies] Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him
be your dread” (Is 8:13). (The Bible Exposition Commentary)
Notes on the
LORD of hosts...
NET Bible Notes -
"the LORD Who commands armies" “LORD Who rules over all”
The title “LORD of hosts” here pictures the LORD as a mighty warrior-king
who leads armies into battle (see Ps 24:10; 46:7, 11). The title pictures
God as the sovereign king who has at his disposal a multitude of
attendants, messengers, and warriors to do his bidding. In some contexts,
like this one, the military dimension of his rulership is highlighted. In
this case, the title pictures him as one who leads armies into battle
against his enemies.
“The Lord Yahweh, [the God of] hosts.”
The title “the LORD who rules over all” is a way of rendering the
title “Yahweh of armies.” It is an abbreviation of a longer title “Yahweh
the God of armies” which occurs five times in Jeremiah (see, e.g., Jer
44:7). The abbreviated title occurs seventy-seven times in the book of
Jeremiah. On thirty-two occasions it is further qualified by the title “the
God of Israel,” showing His special relation to Israel (See
related discussion of "God of Israel"). On six occasions it is
preceded by the title “Lord” (see, e.g., Jer 46:10) and twice it is
preceded by the title “the King” (see, e.g., Jer 51:57). Both titles
Sovereignty. Twice it is said that He is the maker of all things (Jer
10:16; 51:19), and once it is said that He made the earth and the people
and animals on it and gives them into the control of whomever he wishes
(Jer 27:4–5). On two occasions it is emphasized that He also made the
heavenly elements and controls the natural elements of wind, rain,
thunder, and hail (Jer 31:35; 51:14-16). All this is consistent with usage
elsewhere where the “armies” over which He has charge are
(1) The angels which surround His
throne (Isa 6:3, 5; 1Ki 22:19) and which he sends to protect His
servants (2Ki 6:17),
(2) The natural forces of
thunder, rain, and hail (Isa 29:6; Josh 10:11; Jdg 5:4, 5) through which
he sends the enemy into panic and “gums” up their chariot wheels,
(3) The armies of Israel (1Sa
17:45) which he leads into battle (Num 10:34–35; Josh 5:14, 15) and for
whom he fights as a mighty warrior (Ex 15:3; Isa 42:13; Ps 24:8), and even
(4) The armies of the nations
which he musters against his disobedient people (Isa 13:14).
This title is most commonly found in
the messenger formula “Thus says…” introducing both oracles of
judgment (on Israel [e.g., Jer 9:7, 15] and on the nations [e.g. Jer
46:19; 50:18]; and see in general Jer 25:29–32). It emphasizes His
sovereignty as the King and Creator, the Lord of creation and of history,
and the just Judge Who sees and knows all (Jer 11:20; 20:12) and judges
each person and nation according to their actions (Jer 32:18–19, cp Jer
17:10). In the first instance (in the most dominant usage) this will
involve the punishment of His own people through the agency of the
Babylonians (cf., e.g., Jer 25:8–9). But it will also include the
punishment of all nations, including Babylon itself (cf. Jer 25:17–26,
32–38), and will ultimately result in the restoration of His people and a
new relation with them (Jer 30:8; 31:35-37). (Ed: Referring to
refers to this as the "Militant Name of God"...
The term “host” means army or other
organized group; and the term “angels” means messengers. Thus, when God is
described as “the LORD of the angels,” it implies that He carries out His
will by means of angels or messengers. Jehovah Sabaoth is the God of
angelic hosts who carry out His will.
One task of angels is to transport
people into the presence of God at death. To be “absent from the body” is
to be “present with the Lord” (2Cor 5:8), and God uses angels to usher the
dead into His presence (Luke 16:22). We should not fear death, because God
is Jehovah Sabaoth, the God of the angels who accompany the dead to His
1. Jehovah Sabaoth brings heavenly
power to the aid of His children. This name, the LORD of Hosts,
indicates the power with which God will help His children. When Israel
came to the Promised Land, and their leader Joshua approached Jericho, he
wondered how he could take such a city. On an observation trip, he saw a
stranger standing before him. Joshua asked, “Art thou for us, or for our
adversaries?” The reply came, “Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD
am I now come” (Josh 5:13,14). Note that the Lord came to Joshua as
Captain of the Hosts in his hour of need to encourage him. While not
bearing the name Jehovah Sabaoth, it was the same Person who helped. Some
commentators believe that this was a Christophany—that the One who
appeared to Joshua in his time of need was Jesus Christ Himself.
2. The LORD of Hosts rules the armies of heaven so they will obey His
will. The Lord has hosts who will not-only fight for Him, they will
obey His command. One of the difficulties in an army is getting the
average soldier to obey. Sometimes threats of death, court martial or
physical torture are used to get him to do so. But the LORD of Hosts has
an army that obeys. There is no evidence of His having to punish the
armies of heaven, because His angels carry out His will. “Are they not all
ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them, who shall be heirs
of salvation?” (Heb. 1:14).
How many are in the army of the LORD of Hosts? Jesus said on one occasion,
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently
give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53). Beyond this
number, the writer of Hebrews referred to “an innumerable company of
angels” (Heb 12:22)-so many that they could not be numbered. The apostle
John wrote in Revelation 5:11 that there were in excess of 2 million
angels in heaven. This large group could not function efficiently without
organization or a leader. The various groups of angels identified in
Scripture all have their duty and their rank-and they obey their Leader.
3. The Lord will allow His faithless people to be defeated. There
are two wrong ideas that Christians have about problems. First, some have
the mistaken idea that being a Christian relieves them from problems and
attacks. But a Christian will have pressures in life. “My brethren, count
it all joy when you fall into various trials” (Jas 1:2NKJV). Note that
James does not say if trials come, but when.
The second mistaken idea is that being a Christian automatically gives one
the victory over all attacks. Old Testament Israel apparently had that
idea. They felt that no enemy could defeat them because they had the
presence of Jehovah in the Temple. They treated God like a rabbit's
foot—as long as the Temple or the Ark was around, they could not be
defeated. However, their sins of legalism, pride and selfish arrogance led
to deeper sins of idolatry, adultery and even the sacrifice of their
children in fiery holocaust.
The LORD of Hosts who would have defended Israel sat on the sidelines
instead, and allowed heathen nations to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple,
then rape the women, slaughter many of its population and take a large
number of the people into exile (see 2Kings 25; 2Chr. 36:17; Zech. 14:2).
God would have been honored by a victory against Israel's enemies, as a
judgment of their enemies' sins. But the LORD of Hosts is also honored by
the defeat of His people as judgment against their own sins. God does not
enjoy the suffering of His people, but at times He allows it. Even then,
His holiness is vindicated. (Online PDF -
My Father's Names - Elmer Towns)
C I Scofield
- Sabaoth means simply host or
hosts, but with especial reference to warfare or service. In use the two
ideas are united; Jehovah is LORD of (warrior) hosts. It is the name,
therefore, of Jehovah in manifestation of power. “The LORD of Hosts, He is
the King of glory” (Psa. 24:10), and accordingly in Old Testament
Scripture this name is revealed in the time of Israel’s need. It is never
found in the Pentateuch, nor directly in Joshua or Judges, and occurs but
rarely in the Psalms; but Jeremiah, the prophet of approaching national
judgment, uses the name about eighty times. Haggai in two chapters uses
the name fourteen times; Zechariah in fourteen chapters calls upon the
LORD of hosts about fifty times. In Malachi the name occurs about
twenty-five times. In the utmost extremity, the Psalmist twice comforts
his heart with the assurance “the LORD of hosts is with us” (Ps 46:7, 11).
The meanings and uses of this name may be thus summarized: (1) The “hosts”
are heavenly. Primarily the angels are meant, but the name gathers into
itself the idea of all divine or heavenly power as available for the need
of God’s people (Gen. 32:1, 2; Isa. 6:1–5; 1Ki. 22:19; Lk. 2:13–15). (2)
In use this is the distinctive name of Deity for Israel’s help and comfort
in the time of her division and failure (1Ki. 18:15.; 19:14; Isa. 1:9;
8:11-14; 9:13-19; 10:24-27; 31:4, 5; Hag 2:4; Mal 3:16, 17; Jas. 5:4).
(Scofield's Note on 1Samuel 1:3)
Bill Bright - Facing the Philistine army, the
Israelites were terrified and demoralized as each day, the giant Goliath
hurled insults at them and their God. He challenged them to find a
champion who would fight him—winner take all. No one dared to confront
Goliath. But then David, a small shepherd boy, stepped forward. He would
fight Goliath in the name of Jehovah-Sabaoth. David was confident that
“the Lord of hosts” would conquer the giant and deliver Israel from the
Philistines. He shot a stone from his sling and Goliath came crashing
down. Jehovah-Sabaoth also comes to our aid when we are in a personal
crisis. For years, Hannah had been ridiculed for being barren. She pleaded
with Jehovah-Sabaoth to give her a child, and the prophet Samuel was born
(1 Sam. 1). Jehovah-Sabaoth still answers the cries of those who are
hopelessly overpowered by foes or circumstances. He is the great
Protector, Deliverer, and Enforcer of justice. Whatever crisis you may be
experiencing, cry out to Jehovah-Sabaoth, who can deliver you. (God:
Knowing Him by His Names)
Commentary - The name, which is not used in the
Torah, is the usual one in the spiritual conflicts of Israel against
heathenism, which were fought by the prophets.
Joel who lives in Jerusalem
I don’t have to tell you that the
situation between Jews and Arabs is very bad, and that is especially true
here in Israel. Many Arabs live in my neighborhood, and because I speak
Arabic, I have contact with them and try to extend friendship to them.
I recently had a very interesting
encounter with five young Arab students from Ramallah University. Their
love for the Jews is like the love of a dog for a cat, but, as we say here
in Israel, a barking dog never bites. I could immediately sense their
blind hatred for Jews and the nation of Israel.
I met them in their village, which is
near my home, and the first thing they said was, “Aren’t you afraid to be
here?” “No!” I replied. One of them asked, “Don’t you realize that there
are many more Arabs in this neighborhood than Jews?” I responded, “In 1948
there were only half a million Jews in all of Israel, and the Arabs in the
surrounding countries were more numerous than the sand upon the seashore,
but we were victorious. I do not fear you because I have put my trust in
the Lord of Hosts, Jehovah Sabaoth, and it is He who fights
our wars for us. Therefore I do not worry.” ("Joel of Jerusalem in Israel
My Glory: Volume 48 Issue 5)
Hosts are against us, but the
Lord of hosts is with us. We dare not budge an inch, for the Lord
Himself holds us in our place, and there we will abide forever.
This was the doctrine on which the
brave old Ironsides fed—the men who, when they rode to battle with the war
cry of “The Lord of Hosts!” made the cavaliers fly before them like
chaff before the wind. There is no doctrine like it for putting a backbone
into a man and making him feel that he is made for something better than
to be trodden down like straw for the dunghill beneath a despot’s heel.
Sneer whoever will, the elect of God derive a nobility from the divine
choice that no royal lineage can outshine. (Grace, God's Unmerited
But where is the might of a Christian?
It is not in himself, for he is perfect weakness. His might lieth in
the Lord of Hosts. (Ed: Cp Zech 4:6, 7) Then let us seek His help; let
us proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our “hand
findeth to do,” let us wait upon the Lord for His blessing. What we do
thus will be well done, and will not fail in its effect. (Morning and
How encouraging this is to those who
are at one with God? If He be on our side, who shall be against us? “The
Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” We ought to be
of the same mind as that believing woman who, during an earthquake, was
observed to be very happy. Everybody else was afraid–houses were falling,
towers were rocking, but she smiled; and when they asked her why, she
replied, “I am so glad to find that my God can shake the world; I
believed He could, and now I see that He can.” Be glad that you have One
to trust in to whom nothing is impossible, who can and will achieve His
purposes. My heart feels that she would give Him the power if He had it
not, and if it were all mine. I would leave all power in His hands even if
I could remove it. “Great God, reign Thou supremely, for there is none
like unto Thee.” “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the
multitude of isles be glad thereof.” (Sovereign Grace Sermons)
If you are indeed soldiers of such a
Captain, throw fear to the winds. Can you be cowards when the Lord of
Hosts leads you? Dare you tremble when at your head is the Wonderful,
the Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace
(Is 9:6)? The trumpet is already at the lip of the archangel; who
will not act like a man? The great drum that makes the universe to throb
summons you to action.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner;
It must not suffer loss.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord,
he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail
thee, neither forsake thee: fear not neither be dismayed.”
IN the presence of a great work or a
great warfare, here is a text which should help us to buckle on our
harness. If Jehovah Himself goes before us, it must be safe to follow. Who
can obstruct our progress if the Lord Himself is in the van? Come, brother
soldiers, let us make a prompt advance! Why do we hesitate to pass on to
Nor is the Lord before us only; He is
with us. Above, beneath, around, within is the omnipotent, omnipresent
One. In all time, even to eternity, He will be with us even as He has
been. How this should nerve our arm! Dash at it boldly, ye soldiers of the
cross, for the Lord of hosts is with us!
Being before us and with us, He will never withdraw His help. He cannot
fail in Himself, and He will not fail toward us. He will continue to help
us according to our need, even to the end. As He cannot fail us, so He
will not forsake us. He will always be both able and willing to grant us
strength and succor till fighting days are gone.
Let us not fear nor be dismayed; for
the Lord of hosts will go down to the battle with us, will bear the
brunt of the fight, and give us the victory. (Faith's Checkbook)
Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a
plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings,
crying, Grace, grace unto it.”
AT this hour a mountain of difficulty,
distress, or necessity may be in our way, and natural reason sees no path
over it, or through it, or round it. Let faith come in, and straightaway
the mountain disappears and becomes a plain. But faith must first hear the
word of the Lord, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith
the Lord of hosts.” This grand truth is a prime necessity for meeting the
insurmountable trials of life.
I see that I can do nothing, and that
all reliance on man is vanity. “Not by might.” I see that no visible
means can be relied on, but the force is in the invisible Spirit. God
alone must work, and men and means must be nothing accounted of. If it be
so that the Almighty God takes up the concerns of His people, then great
mountains are nothing. He can remove worlds as boys toss balls about or
drive them with their foot. This power He can lend to me. If the Lord bids
me move an Alp, I can do it through His name. It may be a great mountain,
but even before my feebleness it shall become a plain, for the Lord hath
said it. What can I be afraid of with God on my side? (Faith's Checkbook)
Joshua 1:5 I will be with
thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
THIS word to Joshua is often quoted; it
is the basis of that New Testament word, “He hath said, I will never
leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Beloved, a life of warfare is before
but the Lord of Hosts is with us.
Are we called to lead a great but
fickle people? This promise guarantees us all the wisdom and prudence that
we shall need. Have we to contend with cunning and powerful enemies? Here
is strength and valor, prowess and victory. Have we a vast heritage to
win? By this sign we shall achieve our purpose: the Lord Himself is with
It would be woe to us indeed if Jehovah
could fail us but, as this can never be, the winds of disquietude are laid
to sleep in the caverns of divine faithfulness. On no one occasion will
the Lord desert us. Happen what may, He will be at our side. Friends drop
from us; their help is but an April shower. But God is faithful, Jesus is
the same forever, and the Holy Spirit abideth in us.
Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful
today. Clouds may gather, but the Lord can blow them away. Since God will
not fail me, my faith shall not fail, and, as He will not forsake me
neither will I forsake Him. Oh, for a restful faith! (Faith's Checkbook)
Joshua 17:18 Thou shalt drive out
the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be
IT is a great encouragement to valor to
be assured of victory, for then a man goes forth to war in confidence and
ventures where else he had been afraid to go. Our warfare is with evil
within us and around us, and we ought to be persuaded that we are able to
get the victory, and that we shall do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. We
are not riding for a fall, but to win; and win we shall. The grace of God
in its omnipotence is put forth for the overflow of evil in every form,
hence the certainty of triumph.
Certain of our sins find chariots of
iron in our constitution—our former habits, our associations, and our
occupations. Nevertheless we must overcome them. They are very strong, and
in reference to them, we are very weak; yet in the name of God we must
master them, and we will. If one sin has dominion of us, we are not the
Lord’s free men. A man who is held by only one chain is still a captive.
There is no going to heaven with one sin ruling within us, for of the
saints it is said,
“Sin shall not have dominion over
Up, then, and slay every Canaanite, and
break to shivers every chariot of iron!
The Lord of hosts is with us, and
who shall resist His sin-destroying power? (Faith's Checkbook)
Psalms 84:12 O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!
Spurgeon comments: Here is the key of
the Psalm. The worship is that of faith, and the blessedness is peculiar
to believers. No formal worshipper can enter into this secret. A man must
know the Lord by the life of real faith, or he can have no true rejoicing
in the Lord's worship, his house, his Son, or his ways.
Dear reader, how fares it with thy
soul? The one thing that
makes man blessed. Trust in God. Blessed, etc. - For all things; at all
times; in all circumstances.
The Blessing contained in that one thing. God himself becomes ours;
His mercy for our pardon; His power for our protection; His wisdom for our
guidance; His faithfulness for our preservation; His all sufficiency for
our supply. The certainty of the blessing. From David's own experience;
from the solemn appeal to God respecting it. O Lord God of hosts, etc. G.
Psalm 24:10 Who is this King of
glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.
The closing note is inexpressibly
grand. Jehovah of hosts, Lord of men and angels, Lord of the
universe, Lord of the worlds, is the King of glory. All true glory is
concentrated upon the true God, for all other glory is but a passing
pageant, the painted pomp of an hour. The ascended Saviour is here
declared to be the Head and Crown of the universe, the King of Glory. Our
Immanuel is hymned in most sublime strains. Jesus of Nazareth is
Jameison adds: Lord God of hosts
(Ho 12:5 Amos 4:13), describes God by a title indicative of supremacy over
all creatures, and especially the heavenly armies (Jos 5:14 1Ki 22:19).
Whether, as some think, the actual enlargement of the ancient gates of
Jerusalem be the basis of the figure, the effect of the whole is to
impress us with a conception of the matchless majesty of God.
Alexander Maclaren on Psalm
Notice the historical and original
application of these words to the King who dwelt with Israel. The thought
of God in these words is mainly that of a God of strong and victorious
energy, a Warrior-God, a conquering King, One whose word is power, who
rules amidst the armies of heaven and amidst the inhabitants of earth....
‘the Lord of Hosts,’ the Captain of all
the armies of heaven and earth. In that name is the thought to which the
modern world is coming so slowly by scientific paths, that all being is
one ordered whole, subject to the authority of one Lord. And in addition
to that, the grander thought, that the unity of nature is the will of God;
and that as the Commander issues His orders over all the field, so He
speaks and it is done. The hosts are the angels of whom it is said: ‘Bless
the Lord all ye His hosts; ye ministers of His that do His pleasure.’ The
hosts are the stars that fill the nightly heavens, of whom it is said, ‘He
bringeth out their host by number.’ The hosts are all creatures that live
and are; and all are the soldiers and servants of this conquering King.
Such is the name of the Lord that dwelt with Israel, the great conception
that rises before this Psalmist.
A W Tozer in his book
Knowledge of the Holy has the following thoughts related to The
LORD of hosts, the King of glory...
When viewed from the perspective of
eternity, the most critical need of this hour may well be that the Church
should be brought back from her long Babylonian captivity and the name of
God be glorified in her again as of old. Yet we must not think of the
Church as an anonymous body, a mystical religious abstraction. We
Christians are the Church and whatever we do is what the Church is doing.
The matter, therefore, is for each of us a personal one. Any forward step
in the Church must begin with the individual.
What can we plain Christians do to bring back the departed glory? Is there
some secret we may learn? Is there a formula for personal revival we can
apply to the present situation, to our own situation? The answer to these
questions is yes....
The secret is an open one which the wayfaring man may read. It is simply
the old and ever-new counsel: Acquaint thyself with God. To regain her
lost power the Church must see heaven opened and have a transforming
vision of God.
Psalms 46:7 The LORD of hosts
is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
The Lord of hosts is with us.
This is the reason for all Zion's security, and for the overthrow of her
foes. The Lord rules the angels, the stars, the elements, and all the
hosts of heaven; and the heaven of heavens are under his sway. The armies
of men though they know it not are made to subserve His will. This
Generalissimo of the forces of the land, and the Lord High Admiral of the
seas, is on our side -- our august ally; woe unto those who fight against
Him, for they shall fly like smoke before the wind when He gives the word
to scatter them. The God of Jacob is our refuge, Immanuel is
Jehovah of Hosts (Ed: Jesus is LORD of hosts!), and Jacob's God is
our high place of defence. When this glad verse is sung to music worthy of
such a jubilate, well may the singers pause and the players wait awhile to
tune their instruments again; here, therefore, fitly stands that solemn,
stately, peaceful note of rest, SELAH.
Spurgeon: The grace of God that
brings salvation from sin has flashed forth conspicuously like the
lightning which is seen from one part of the heaven to the other, and our
victory over darkness is insured. However hard the conflict with evil, it
is not desperate. We may hope on and hope ever.
Spurgeon told a story related to
this passage: You have been working for Christ, dear brother, and have
fallen into a very low state of heart, so that you cry, “Hath God
forgotten to be gracious?” I know what state you are in. You say, “I do
not feel as if I could preach; the matter does not flow. I do not feel as
if I could teach; I search for instruction, and the more I pull the more I
cannot get it.” “Hath God forgotten to be gracious?” Can he not fill
your empty vessel again? Can he not give you stores of thought, emotion,
and language? He has used you; can he not do so again? “Ah, but my
friends have gone; I am in a village from which the people remove to
London, and I lose my best helpers.” Or, perhaps you say, “I work in a
back street, and everybody is moving out into the suburbs.” You have lost
your friends, and they have forgotten you; but, “Hath God forgotten to be
gracious?” You can succeed so long as the Lord is with you. Be of good
courage; your best friend is left. He who made a speech in the Academy
found that all his hearers had gone except Plato; but as Plato remained,
the orator finished his address. They asked him how he could continue
under the circumstances, and he replied that Plato was enough for an
audience. So, if God be pleased with you, go on; the divine pleasure is
more than sufficient. “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of
Jacob is our refuge.” Did not Wesley say when he was dying, “The best of
all is, God is with us?” Therefore fear not the failure of friends.
Adam Clarke adds: We, feeble
Jews, were but a handful of men; but the Lord of hosts—the God of armies,
was on our side. Him none could attack with hope of success, and His
legions could not be over-thrown...And even the armies of our enemies are
at his command, and will fight for us whenever he pleases: "He is the Lord
of all hosts." Having heard these declarations of God, the people cry out
with joy and exultation, The Lord of hosts, the God of armies, is with us;
we will not fear what man can do unto us
Warren Wiersbe writes “The
LORD of hosts is with us" explaining that... The word “providence”
comes from two Latin words that together mean “to see beforehand.” No
matter what has to be done, the Lord will see to it (Ge 22:13, 14). Planet
Earth isn’t staggering around in space like a helpless drunk. God has the
whole world in His hands and is working out His divine purposes for the
good of His people and the glory of His name. It’s that assurance (Ed:
Including the truth that He is Jehovah Sabaoth) that gives His people
peace, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be. (Wiersbe,
W. W. Be Basic. Victor Pub)
Psalms 46:11 The LORD of
hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Comment:
Septuagint or LXX
translates LORD of hosts with the word
which speaks of One with inherent ability able to produce a strong effect.
Literally the Greek translation reads "Lord the dunamis God" the one able
to carry out whatever He deems fit and proper! We need to remember this
truth about His Name.)
Spurgeon: It was meet to sing this twice over. It
is a truth of which no believer wearies, it is a fact
too often forgotten,
it is a precious privilege which cannot be too often considered.
Reader, is the Lord on thy side? Is
Emmanuel, God with us, thy Redeemer? Is there a covenant between thee and
God as between God and Jacob?
If so, thrice happy art thou. Show thy joy in holy song, and in times of
trouble play the man by still making music for thy God. SELAH. Here
as before, lift up the heart. Rest in contemplation after praise. Still
keep the soul in tune. It is easier to sing a hymn of praise than to
continue in the spirit of praise, but let it be our aim to maintain the
uprising devotion of our grateful hearts, and so end our song as if we
intended it to be continued.
SELAH bids the music rest.
Pause in silence soft and blest;
SELAH bids uplift the strain,
Harps and voices tune again;
SELAH ends the vocal praise,
Still your hearts to God upraise.
Psalm 69:6 May those who wait for Thee not be ashamed through me, O
Lord GOD of hosts; May those who seek Thee not be dishonored through me, O
God of Israel,
Spurgeon: Let not them that
wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake. If he were
deserted, others who were walking in the same path of faith would be
discouraged and disappointed. Unbelievers are ready enough to catch at
anything which may turn humble faith into ridicule; therefore, O God of
all the armies of Israel, let not my case cause the enemy to
blaspheme—such is the spirit of this verse. Our blessed Lord ever had a
tender concern for his people, and would not have his own oppression of
spirit become a source of discouragement to them.
Let not those that seek thee be
confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. He appealed to the Lord of
hosts by His power to help him, and now to the God of Israel by
His covenant faithfulness to come to the rescue (See related discussion of
God as Your Covenant Defender). He was strengthened in the hour of
peril, and came off more than a conqueror, as we also shall do if we hold
fast our confidence even to the end.
Exodus 12:51 And it came about
on that same day that the LORD brought the sons of Israel out of
the land of Egypt by their hosts.
It is from this that the Divine Being
calls himself, the LORD OF HOSTS or armies, because the Israelites were
brought out of Egypt under his direction, marshalled and ordered by
himself, guided by his wisdom, supported by his providence, and protected
by his might. This is the true and simple reason why God is so frequently
styled in Scripture the Lord of hosts; for the LORD did bring the children
of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their ARMIES.
Joshua 5:14 And he said, "No,
rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And
Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him,
"What has my lord to say to his servant?"
By this saying Joshua was both
encouraged and instructed. As if he had said, "Fear not; Jehovah hath sent
from heaven to save thee and thy people from the reproach of them that
would swallow thee up. Israel is the Lord's host; and the Lord of hosts is
Israel's Captain. Thou thyself shalt only be captain under me, and I am
now about to instruct thee relative to thy conduct in this war."
We may draw two useful reflections from
the subjects of this chapter:—
1. As the manna had now failed, the
people always greatly addicted to incredulity, might have been led to
imagine that God had now given them up, and would be no longer in their
armies, had he not given them this strong assurance, that the Angel of his
presence should be with them as the guide and protector of the whole camp;
for Joshua undoubtedly informed them of the encouragement he had received
from the captain of the Lord's host.
2. By this vision he showed them that
their help came from himself, and that it was not by human might or power,
but by the Lord of hosts, they were to have the victory over all their
adversaries; and he gave them the most convincing proof of this in the
miraculous destruction of Jericho. By this means he continued to keep them
dependent on his arm alone, without which dependence the spirit of
religion could not have been preserved among them.
2 Samuel 6:2 - The ark is called
the ark of the Lord of hosts. But this is not a literal version; the word
shem, NAME, occurs twice together; probably one of them should be read
sham, THERE. There the name of the Lord of hosts was invoked,
Ezra 1:2 "Thus says Cyrus king
of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the
kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in
Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
It is not unworthy of remark, that in
all the books written prior to the captivity, Jehovah is called The
Lord of Hosts; but in all the books written after the captivity, as 2
Chronicles, Ezra Nehemiah, and Daniel, he is styled The God of Heaven.
The words however have the same meaning.
tsaba = to go forth to war, to
wage war, to serve) is a masculine noun meaning troops or army
(2Ki 5:1) and so has to do with war or warfare in many of the OT
passages. The TWOT says the root verb
tsaba "has to do with fighting,
e.g. Israel warring against Midian (Nu 31:7). It has also a wider use
in the sense of rendering service." And so in a group of uses in