“Be still, still and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
~ Psalm 46;10-11 (NRSV)
This week we are going to be studying the name of God which means “The Lord of hosts.” In 2 Kings 6:8-23 we find the story of the kings of Israel and Aram. The king of Aram was plotting against the king of Israel and Elisah the prophet was telling the king of Israel the secret plots of the king of Aram because God was showing Him what to say.
When the king of Aram learned of Elisha’s ability to tell the king of Israel what he was planning – he grew angry and sent his army to slay Elisha and his servant. Elisha’s servant panicked when he arose early in the morning to find the city they were in encircled by the warring soldiers of Aram. After reassuring his servant, Elisha declared his concern to ho cried out to God:
Read the following excerpt from this passage:
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Think of it, when we are in the most intense Spiritual Warfare of our lives we will find that God has sent a host of angelic warriors to surround us, to defend us and to empower us. We must ask God for eyes to see His presence when He comes before us as the Lord of hosts.
The Lord of hosts is a combination of two Hebrew words, YHWH or Jehovah (Yahweh) and Tsebaoth..
Hebrew Strong’s Reference Number: 3068
Translated in the KJV – LORD
Hebrew Strong’s Reference Number: 3068
Translated in the KJV – LORD
Hebrew Word: יהוה
Cross Reference: TWOT – 484
Part of Speech: n pr dei
Vine’s Words: Lord
English Words used in KJV:
LORD 6510 GOD 4 JEHOVAH 4 variant 1 [Total Count: 6519]
from (hayah); (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God :- Jehovah, the Lord. Compare (Yahh), (Yehovih).
Hebrew Strong’s Reference Number: 6635
Translated in the KJV – Tseboath
Hebrew Word: צָבָא
Root: from , Greek
Cross Reference: TWOT – 1865a, 1865b
Part of Speech: n m
Vine’s Words: None
English Words used in KJV: host 393, war 41, army 29, battle 5, service 5, appointed time 3, warfare 2, soldiers 1, company 1, misc 5 [Total Count: 485]
or (feminine) tseba’ah, tseb-aw-aw’; from (tsaba’); a mass of persons (or figurative things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); by implication a campaign, literal or figurative (specifically hardship, worship) :- appointed time, (+) army, (+) battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war (-fare).
From the Lexical Aids – Complete Word Study Old Testament, AMG Publishers, S. Zodhaites, p. 2357:
6635. Tsāvā’ or tsevā’āh; this masc. noun is derived from tsāvā ‘ (6633). It is a mass (of persons or things especially for war), a campaign, an army, troops, a host; the host of heaven (meaning angels) or stars [cf. Luke 2:13] for the host of angels which surrounds the throne of God); military service, warfare, heavy service, hardship (i.e., like the miserable condition of warfare, Job 10:17; 14:14; Is. 40:2), calamity; temple service. The basic meaning is service done for a superior, usually military service. the army of Abimelech (Gen. 21:22), the army of Israel (Num. 31:21, 48); and even a non-military host (Ps. 68:11) are mentioned. The “host of heaven” (i.e., stars, visual indicators) were worshiped as pagan gods (Deut. 4:19; Zeph. 1:5). Man had a tendency to worship those created objects (2 Kgs. 17:6), even though doing so was supposed to result in death (Deut. 17:20-7). Unfortunately, both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah yielded to the temptation at different times (2 Kgs. 21:3; 23:5). This word is used of the sun, the moon, and the stars (Is. 34:4; 40:26; 45;12; Jer. 33:22; Dan. 8:10 [cf. Matt. 24:29]). Everything in creation is included in the term (Gen. 2:1). God created them by His power (Ps. 33:6) and preserves their existence: “The host of heaven” may mean angels in Josh. 5:14, 15; 1 Kgs. 22:19; Dan. 8:10. the Lord (Jehovah/Yahweh) of Hosts is a special name for God. Either Yehōwāh (3068) or ‘elōhīm (430) appears to with the pl. form of tsāvā ‘ about 285 times. It occurs sixty-two times in Isaiah, seventy-seven times in Jeremiah, fourteen times in Haggai, fifty-three times in Zechariah, and twenty-four times in Malachi. Interestingly enough, it does not appear in the Pentetuech. This expression depicts Israel. The word became a technical term, a proper noun in the Sept. see sabaóth (4519, NT). Compare Rom. 9:29 and James 5:4. also, see the Greek word panktokrátōr (3841, NT). Although the title of tsāvā ‘ had military overtones, it pointed directly to Jehovah’s ruleship over the entire universe. He stands ready to intervene for His people at any moment (Cf. Ps. 80:19; 84:1; Is. 28:5, 6; Amos 4:13; 5:8, 9; 9:5, 6). See the Greek word stratía (4756, NT).
From the Bible Knowledge Commentary – Old Testament, Victor Books, Walvoord and Zuck, p. 549:
6:15-17. Since Gehazi had been dismissed as a disobedient servant and “leper” (5:27), the Naaman story must follow this one if Elisha’s servant here is Gehazi. Or this servant may be someone who replaced Gehazi. Early the next morning the servant was terrified to see that the whole city was under the Aramean’s control, or so he thought. He returned in a frenzy to Elisha and nervously asked, What shall we do? The servant’s anxiety reflected his lack of understanding and trust in the Lord which, one would think, Elisha’s previous revelations would have changed.
Elisha was not at all disturbed by the present situation. He encouraged his aide to stop fearing, and assured him that they had behind them a force superior to that of the enemy. Elisha then asked the LORD to enable his servant to see this host and the Lord did so. He gave the servant the ability to see the normally unseen world of invisible spirits (angels) that are constantly ready to do God’s bidding (cf. Gen. 28:12). The hills around Dothan were filled with superior horses and chariots. These appeared as fiery agents of God suggesting to the servant their superterrestrial origin (cf. 2 Kings 2:11). The LORD had surrounded the armies of Aram and was in control.
Can you picture them all around you in the most intense times of your life, when everything seems lost and when you feel the assault of the enemy upon you in every way! Let’s read on and discover more ways we can identify the activity of the Lord of hosts in our life.
This verse reinforces what Scripture promises us: We do not have to be afraid of even giant enemies who attack because if the Lord is for us who can be against, what do we have to fear? (Romans 8:31)
When we trust in the Lord of Hosts, we are happy, fortunate and envied. What does it look like to trust the Lord of hosts? Leaning in, believing on God, committing all and confidently looking to God, and without fear or misgiving… Let’s live like this… Let’s live like this… We have to – it is the key to victory!
This verse paints for us the picture of the Commander of the Armies of the Lord. Joshua met Him face to face… This verse assures us that no matter what our government, politicians, and other world governments cannot threaten us as God’s children because His zeal and passion for His creation as the Lord of hosts places the order of this world under the control of His Son, Jesus Christ. (See also Joshua 5:16-17, specifically Joshua Ch. 5 and 6).
Without the Lord of hosts at our helm, we have no hope, we have no power, God is the source of our strength, our protection and He is our only battle plan.
Devotion to God is a small price to pay to have the full protection of the legions of angelic warriors who stand ready at His command. I want my name to be in that book of remembrance He keeps. I want to be declared a Jewel, a special possession or treasure of the Lord because I thought on Him, sought Him and devoted myself to Him.
As a benefactor of the redemption of Christ, we must be prepared to step into our own armor – put it on everyday and do battle with the enemy at the Lord’s command. You see not only are the angels the host of which God commands, but He calls us to be soldiers in the Spiritual War that is being waged. When we stand our ground, in His strength it brings glory and honor to our Lord and enables and empowers us to overcome any snare, any plan or scheme of the enemy and to live in Victory all the days of this life. I want live like this – Oh Yes, I do.
As you weigh the Word today, count all the ways in Psalm 46 that God’s majesty is revealed in His name, The Lord of Hosts…