God the Lord of Hosts
When there seemed to be no other recourse for deliverance, the children of Israel came to know God as Jehovah-sabaoth, the Lord of hosts.
The name Jehovah-sabaoth is not used until the book of 1 Samuel. Then, in two of the three instances, it is used by individuals. Apparently during that time in her history, Israel did not see her need to call upon God as Lord of hosts. Yet, when we read the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, we find this name for God used repeatedly. It appears fifty-two times in Zechariah’s fourteen chapters and eighty-three times in Jeremiah’s fifty-two chapters.
Why is God referred to so often as the Lord of hosts in Isaiah and Jeremiah but not in Ezekiel? This name is not for those who have ceased to fight. In Ezekiel’s day, God’s people were to settle down for seventy years of captivity.
Instead, this is a name for those who find their resources inadequate in the midst of a struggle. From our perspective, this is the name of God to run to when there is no other help.
From God’s perspective, it is a name that reminds His people of exactly who He is—not only the One who delivers, but also the One who judges. Thus, in the book of Malachi we see God reminding His people over and over again of His name Jehovah-sabaoth. Malachi was written to a people who honored God with their lips but not with their lives. Once again, we see man’s failures. God wanted them to see Him as Lord of hosts and to bow the knee.
So often, not until we find ourselves failing and powerless do we realize our need to run to our Jehovah-sabaoth. This name of God meets failure and offers deliverance. O Beloved, do not forget it, for it is “a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). It is a name that keeps you from boasting in chariots and horses (Psalm 20:7)—who needs them when the name of his God is the Lord of hosts?
What current situation are you in where you most need Jehovah-sabaoth, the Lord of hosts?