Jehovah Tsebaoth – The Lord of Hosts.
This amazing name shows us so much about our God and is a title that reveals Him as the One who is in control of all created things; the heavenly bodies we see at night, all bird and animal life, we human beings and even the satanic beings and of course the heavenly angelic beings, the host of Heaven. It appears often in scripture; in Isaiah and Jeremiah 60 – 70 times, in Haggai 14 times, in Malachi 24 times, in Zechariah 53 times. I could go on, but altogether this phrase, “the Lord of Hosts” occurs 260 times in the Old Testament.
This title is used in particular to the relation of God to His people when gathered together for service or worship. So it is a gathering title and so appropriate for we believers who gather together in His Name. Psalm 46:7 says, ‘The Lord of Hosts is with us!’
This is how Spurgeon describes this name of God;
‘The Lord rules the Angels, the stars, the elements and all the hosts of Heaven, and the Heaven of heavens is 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 and our August ally; woe unto those who fight against Him, for they shall flee like smoke before the wind when He gives the word to scatter them.’
Jehovah Tsebaoth is the one eternal, self existent Being who created and controls all powers that be throughout the Universe, whether these powers be material or spiritual.
He controls the host of Heaven, the angelic beings.
There are several references in scripture to these angelic forces which fight on our behalf.
‘Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying; “O Lord of Hosts , God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennecherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands – wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.” Isaiah 37:15-20
When King Hezekiah (one of the few Godly kings of Judah) was threatened by the King of Assyria, Sennecherib, who mocked God openly, Isaiah told Hezekiah to pray. The above is his prayer. Hezekiah saw the Assyrian army encamped all around Jerusalem, a sight that put fear into any heart, but Hezekiah chose to trust God, and God heard his prayer and intervened. In one night, one single angel from the angelic host killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers and Hezekiah awoke, (you see he was at peace with God and able to sleep, despite the threatening forces surrounding the city,) to see them all lying there, dead! That must have been some clean up operation! If God could do that with one Angel, what could He not do with the whole host of angels.
‘Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.’ 2 Kings 6:14-18
The Syrians came to Dothan and surrounded the city, seeking to capture Elisha, because he was giving the King all Syria’s movements beforehand, and they wanted to be rid of this man of God, who seemed to know all that they intended to do against Israel. Elisha’s servant was terrified by the sight of the huge army surrounding the city. ‘Do not fear for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ (v16). Elisha asked God to reveal the true situation to his servant and his eyes were opened spiritually to see the shining host of Heaven surrounding the Syrian army.
He is the Lord of the hosts of the heavens that we can see.
“Then God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.” Genesis 1:16-17
‘Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.’ Genesis 2:1
‘Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.’ Isaiah 40:26
He is Lord of the hosts of birds, animals and sea creatures.
‘So it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. . Then he sent out a Raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.’ Genesis 8:6-12
‘So the King gave the command and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the King spoke, saying to Daniel “Your God whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the King sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed. Now the King went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. Then the King arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The King spoke saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually , been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the King, “O King live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him, and also O King, I have done no wrong before you.” Now the King was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out if the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God. And the King gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions – them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.’ Daniel 6:16-24
God sent His angel to shut the lions mouths, and to rescue Daniel, but opened them again to devour the enemies of Daniel and his God.
Think too about Balaam’s donkey. God can even make a donkey speak. And there are many more instances in the Bible when animals do the Lord’s bidding.
He is the Lord of the hosts of humankind.
‘Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? Psalm 2:1
“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh: The Lord shall hold them in derision, then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.” Psalm 2:1
‘Behold the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales.
“All nations before Him are as nothing. And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.’ Isaiah 40 v 15 and 17
Think of Hitler, Napoleon, Mussolini and others like them. Men who exalted themselves and died dishonourable deaths, all their schemes and plans coming to nothing in the end, responsible for the deaths of millions; and they will have to answer before God for what they have done. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Our Jehovah Tsebaoth is the supreme God of history…… His story!
He is Lord of the satanic hosts.
‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.’ Ephesians 6:12
Satan was not able to test Job without God’s permission.
At Calvary Satan became a defeated foe. Jesus cried out, ‘It is finished!’ In His completed victory over Satan and his hosts.
Jesus whilst on earth cast out demons frequently and they knew who He was, the Lord of Hosts, Jehovah Tsebaoth, they knew He was Lord over them and their evil leader.
When we know all this, why should we be afraid? If God is for us then who can be against us.
Next time I will share a remarkable account from the word of God that aptly illustrates this fact.
Until then, may God continue to bless you.