Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts – 1 Samuel 17:45
The Lord of hosts (or Jehovah-tsabaoth) is arguably the most popular name for God in the Old Testament, being used some 235 times; it is even found twice in the New Testament. And we see from David’s challenge to Goliath the awe-inspiring, fear-inducing, courage-producing implications of this name.
First, it is a reminder that, no matter how lonely we may feel at the moment, God has many servants on earth. This should encourage us to know there is a mighty host engaged in the battle with us; this should remind us that there are many of his people who yet need to be discipled; and this should humble us to recognize that God is not dependent upon our meager efforts to advance his vast kingdom.
Second, we are told that the hosts over whom our God rules includes many servants in heaven. As the servant of Elisha learned when his eyes were opened to see the angelic warriors surrounding his enemies, Jehovah is Lord in heavenas well as on earth. It is “with his mighty angels” that Jesus will return one day soon “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).
Finally, we are to understand that the Lord of hosts, because he has all power, has servants everywhere. God is his own army. He needs no assistance and he will win every battle. Even his enemies unconsciously fulfill his higher purposes. As Charles Spurgeon wrote:
Say not my soul, 'From whence can God relieve my care?' Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
© Baptist Bible Hour
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