He’s fighting my battles.

Lord of Hosts.

Jehovah Sabaoth or Tsebao’th, or Yahweh Sabaoth .

Mighty warrior.

God of angel armies.

God Almighty or Lord Almighty.

Elohim .

Why do I assume that I can understand God enough to explain Him to you? Sometimes I do (assume I can understand Him), and sometimes I’m humbled or overwhelmed by what I learn, that I just want to put down a little bit of what He’s revealed to me, knowing all the time that it’ll never be enough. Both of these happened these last few weeks, while I’ve been reading up and studying The LORD of Hosts. I assumed , I, a mortal made of dirt, can explain, an all-powerful God. And I as studied more and more, I was by turns, humbled and overwhelmed. I can’t do it. He is too much for me to explain, but He is never far from me. While it has been much to take in, He has been gracious and kind and gentle to me. He’s taken me in, and loved me . He will reveal Himself to me, when He knows I’m ready, which I’m not now. So, very briefly, knowing it’ll never cover everything worth knowing. I’ll attempt to write what The LORD of Hosts means to me.

If you look above at the list of names, you’ll see more than just The LORD of Hosts. In the Names of God (NOG) Bible version, you’ll see this name , ie, Yahweh or Jehovah Sabaoth. In the Message (MSG) Bible version, you’ll see this name often translated as God of Angel Armies. In the English versions (NIV) , you’ll often it translated LORD or God Almighty. In the Amplified (AMP) version, you’ll see it rendered as The LORD of hosts. That doesn’t mean that every time you see LORD Almighty or God Almighty, in the English versions, that in the Hebrew or Greek versions, it’s always Yahweh or Jehovah Sabaoth. Some of those times, it’s  El Shaddai or Shadday ( God Almighty)!

So…….. Now that I’ve attempted to confuse you as much as possible, let’s dive in 🙂

These are different names. These have slightly different meanings. They are different manifestations of the same One True God, but translated differently according to the root word . This study , among other things, opened my eyes up to how spectacular and majestic God is, and also to how diverse and complicated languages are. English for all its beauty, is limited. Hebrew and Greek for all its wonder, is hard to translate. And the same God understands all these languages, and can be understood in all of them. He is known more, when people seek to comprehend Him , in what is known to them. I am eminently grateful to all those who have undertaken the difficult process of translating the Bible, from Latin to Greek and English and Tamil and Mandarin and Swahili and French and German and all the languages of the world. How beautiful to read about the Saviour, in your heart’s language.

Getting back to The LORD of Hosts. LORD almost, always denotes Yahweh (Jehovah in Greek). The God who exists, the I AM, the One who needs no one to complete Him. Hosts, used in the Bible, generally is associated with warfare: weapons, war, armies, battles etc. The LORD of Hosts, like mentioned earlier, is translated as God of Angel Armies, or sometimes Mighty Warrior. He commands the armies of heaven, the angels, and all created beings. The animals , birds, sea creatures and all races of people are under His dominion and His to call, to match to war, against His enemy. We owe Him our reverence, our worship, our obeisance and our souls. We owe Him everything.

Imagine, if you will, Aragon at the end of the Lord of the Rings ( The Return of the King), standing firm, and leading his small band of warriors against the forces of Sauron. Brandishing his weapon, and running into battle, with a cry on his lips. Imagine all the stories you’ve read, and the movies you’ve watched, about good vs evil , where the last battle is the turning point , and where our brave, good warriors and heroes lead the charge.  Always there’s someone at the forefront who is willing to risk his or her life for the many.

Imagine, God at the head of His army, a hundred times more splendid, a thousand times more awe-inspiring, a million times more frightening to His enemies. And all the time, He knows and everyone with Him and against Him know, that He will be victorious. He has already entered into the depths of hades and has taken the keys to death and hell. He has already won, it is written so in the Good Book, and He cannot lie. There is no shadow of turning in Him. All His promises are “Yes” and “Amen” . Imagine a glorious day, when every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is LORD. This is Yahweh Sabaoth, the LORD of Hosts.

For behold, He Who forms mountains & creates the wind and 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 4:13

Is 44:6 “Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel & his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first & I am the last & there is no God besides Me.” Comparing Scripture with Scripture we find that in Re 22:13 Jesus identifies Himself as “I am the Alpha & the Omega, the first & the last, the beginning & the end.” which clearly parallels the Isaiah passage. So Jesus is our Jehovah Sabaoth (similar affirmation by Jesus are found in Rev 1:17 , Rev 2:18)

In the Bible, these names or combination of names ( Elohim, Yahweh or Jehovah Sabaoth, El Shaddai, Mighty Warrior) occur 261 times. They are concentrated in Isaiah and Jeremeiah, with a verse in Amos that really defines The LORD of Hosts. Psalm 46 and Psalm 84 have a lot of mentions ( plus a few other psalms). In 1st Samuel though, do we see this name first mentioned. Below is a favourite psalm  of mine in three versions, followed by a brief description of The LORD of Hosts in a few verses.

Psalm 46The Message (MSG)

A Song of the Sons of Korah

46 1-3 God is a safe place to hide,

    ready to help when we need him.

We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,

    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,

Before the rush and roar of oceans,

    the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,

    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,

    this sacred haunt of the Most High.

God lives here, the streets are safe,

    God at your service from crack of dawn.

Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,

    but Earth does anything he says.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,

    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God!

    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,

Bans war from pole to pole,

    breaks all the weapons across his knee.

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,

    loving look at me, your High God,

    above politics, above everything.”

11 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,

    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us

Psalm 46Names of God Bible (NOG)

Psalm 46

For the choir director; a song by the descendants of Korah; according to alamoth.[a]

Elohim is our Machseh and strength,

    an ever-present help in times of trouble.

That is why we are not afraid

    even when the earth quakes

        or the mountains topple into the depths of the sea.

            Water roars and foams,

                and mountains shake at the surging waves. Selah

There is a river

    whose streams bring joy to the city of Elohim,

        the holy place where Elyon lives.

Elohim is in that city.

    It cannot fall.

        Elohim will help it at the break of dawn.

Nations are in turmoil, and kingdoms topple.

    The earth melts at the sound of God’s voice.

Yahweh Tsebaoth is with us.

    The Elohim of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

Come, see the works of Yahweh,

    the devastation he has brought to the earth.

        He puts an end to wars all over the earth.

            He breaks an archer’s bow.

            He cuts spears in two.

            He burns chariots.

10 Let go of your concerns!

    Then you will know that I am Elohim.

        I rule the nations.

        I rule the earth.

11 Yahweh Tsebaoth is with us.

    The Elohim of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

 

Psalm 46Amplified Bible (AMP)

God the Refuge of His People.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to soprano voices. A Song.

46 God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],

A very present and well-proved help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change

And though the mountains be shaken and slip into the heart of the seas,

Though its waters roar and foam,

Though the mountains tremble at its roaring. Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her [His city], she will not be moved;

God will help her when the morning dawns.

The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered and were moved;

He raised His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower]. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,

Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.

He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;

He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two;

He burns the chariots with fire.

10 

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) 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 [our refuge, our high tower]. Selah.

 

thy-maker-is-thine-husband-lord-of-hosts-his-name

First mentioned in 1 Samuel 1:3, we find Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, making annual trips to the temple to sacrifice to the LORD of Hosts. Just a few short verses later we find a barren and heartbroken Hannah making a covenant with the LORD of Hosts as she cried out for Him to hear her prayer and give her a child. (1 Samuel 1:11)

Hannah may have longed for her womb as well as her arms to be filled with a sweet little bundle of joy, but the previous verses (1 Samuel 1:6-7) give us a better idea of why she prayed such a desperate prayer. She not only wanted to experience the joy of being a mother but she also wanted to be able to silence the persistent mocking of Peninnah. So she called on the LORD of Hosts to win a war she could not win on her own.

In 1 Samuel 17:45, we find just prior to pegging Goliath with a pebble, David boldly proclaimed, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

And in 2 Samuel 5:10, we find – “And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.”

In Psalm 24:10, The LORD of Hosts is the King of glory and in Psalm 46:7 He is our Fortress.
In Psalm 59:5, He is called upon to vindicate His people.
In Isaiah 51:15 we see He controls the sea and the waves.
In Isaiah 54:5 He is our husband and in Zechariah 4:6, He declares that He alone wins our battles when He tells Zerubbabel, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.”
And in Isaiah’s life-altering, mouth-shutting vision of the Lord, he heard the Seraphim speaking to one another, crying out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

Throughout Scripture we find this LORD of Hosts as our ever-present defender, the Sovereign and Holy God over all the universe who sees us, loves us and moves mountains on our behalf. He fights our battles, wins our wars and is the refuge we can run to in time of need. He is Jehovah-Sabaoth!

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