The Lord of Hosts (02-12-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 46:6-7 and 24:10
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord of Hosts, he is the King of glory.
Bible Reading:1 Samuel 17:45, Isaiah 6:1-3
David said to Goliath, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,
but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces,
with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
As we come to the end of our reflections on the names of God in the Old Testament, we turn our minds from images of God which we probably interpret more personally, The Lord who Provides, The Lord our Shepherd, The Lord who heals, The Lord our Peace (though the images themselves are all corporate), to an image of God that is awesome, that is beyond everything; Jehovah Sabaoth: The Lord of Hosts.
Our image of the hosts of God is probably limited to the angels appearing to the shepherds at Christmas and yet the term ‘The Lord of Hosts’, sometimes translated ‘The Lord Almighty,’ is the most frequently used name for God in the bible, occurring over 270 times.
It seems to me that the angelic hosts of God have two main roles, one is to lead in the worship of the Lord of Hosts, the other is to fight battles on behalf of the people of God.
In the Old Testament we read of the hosts of God encamped unseen around God’s people and scattering the enemies that surround them and when Israel is being attacked by the Philistines, David, a young teenager, comes against the giant Goliath ‘in the name of the Lord of Hosts.
I wonder what battles you might be facing at the moment. Remember, the hosts of God are around you and you fight in the name of the Lord of Hosts.
By contrast, Isaiah was worshipping in the temple on one occasion when he was overcome by the glory of The Lord of Hosts surrounded by angels who were calling out ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts. Isaiah, aware of his own sinfulness in the presence of The Lord of Hosts, was reassured that God had taken away is guilt and atoned for his sins.
In our worship let us not forget that we are worshipping The Lord of Hosts, and that we worship with the Hosts of the Lord.
Lord of Hosts, I thank you that your hosts of heaven are encamped around me.
With them I worship you. Amen
Holy, Holy, Holy