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Why is God called The Lord of Heaven’s Armies (or The Lord of Hosts)?
There are more than 300 times in the Old Testament (source) that He is called Jehovah Sabaoth or some version (Adonai Tzva’ot, Yahweh Sabaoth), which translates God of the armies of heaven or God of hosts.
The Meaning Of Jehovah Sabaoth
Jehovah Sabaoth first makes an appearance in 1 Samuel 1:3 when Hannah is praying for a son. When she appeals to God, she does not cry out to a gentle God, but the God who commands the multitudes.
She appeals to her Lord, the warrior and the commander of warring armies in the heavenlies. She is contending, or interceding; this is literally an act of spiritual warfare.
Is This The Same As The God Of Angel Armies?
There’s a well known Chris Tomlin song called “The God Of Angel Armies” and many want to know what verse it refers to.
It’s the phrase used in The Message, often replace Lord of Hosts.
Jehovah Sabaoth In Scripture: The Old & New Testament Lord of Heaven’s Armies
Throughout the book of Jeremiah, and many other places in the Old Testament prophecies, this name of God is used liberally to describe His might, His authority, His victory, and His purpose for His children.
In fact, it’s there several hundred times, in both the Old and New Testaments.
And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”Isaiah 63:3, ESV
In the Septuagint, during New Testament times, the Greek translation of the original Hebrew is to refer to the Lord of hosts or Lord of heaven’s armies (Jehovah Sabaoth) as the Lord Almighty (source).
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”Revelation 4:8, ESV
God is Mighty
In this sin ravaged world where bad things happen to good people, sometimes it’s easy to forget that God is mighty. But He is! He is the Almighty God, the Lord of Hosts!
God is Lord Over Heaven & Earth
Think about the comfort in this.
You know that there is more than meets the eye all around you, and you know that death is not the final stopping place.
Isn’t it beautiful to know that with all of these things that you cannot control or even influence, your God is Lord over it all?
He commands angels, has authority over demons, establishes eternities. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is great!
God is Victorious
Not only is the fact that He is Lord over heaven and earth encouraging, but the fact that He is victorious is even more so. Even the demons tremble at His name, and even satan is a defeated foe.
Your God is victorious!
He wields His authority and power with love and grace, but it is still powerful. At the final battle, there will be no confusion as to who the victor is: He has already won it!
Yahweh Sabaoth Commands For a Purpose
The idea that God is the commander of the hosts is also unique in that it brings a military element in.
Armies are regimented, disciplined, and vast. Their commanders move them with precision and purpose, to accomplish a determined result.
God is sovereign and knows the end from the beginning. Therefore you can trust Him.
The God of Heaven’s Armies Knows Your Name
And this mighty God knows your name.
He knit you together in your mother’s womb. He ordained your steps. He calls you His. He pursues you and loves you relentlessly.
With all of heaven at His command, His heart is still for you.