Lord of Hosts
One of the most common names for God in the Bible is Yahweh Sabaoth or Elohim Sabaoth. The name appears over 285 times in the Old Testament and is translated “Lord of hosts” or “God of armies.”
The title “Lord of hosts” communicates the idea that God commands a vast army of angelic beings who obey his orders to accomplish his purpose on earth. It is a name that emphasizes God’s sovereign power over all things.
Knowing that their God was the “Lord of hosts” was a source of great comfort to ancient Israelites. David invoked this name when marching out to fight Goliath (1 Sam. 17:45). Hannah called on the “Lord of hosts” when pleading in prayer for a son (1 Sam. 1:11). The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah frequently referred to God using this term, asserting the Lord’s unrivaled authority over events taking place in their world.
We too can find comfort in this meaningful name for God. The New Testament reveals that the “Lord of hosts” is Jesus. “The armies of heaven [are] following him” (Rev. 19:14). Though crucified in weakness, Jesus now reigns with power.
Our God is a warrior. He battles on behalf of his people. He never loses a fight. With God on our side, what have we to fear?
“Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.” (Martin Luther)