Names of God – Jehovah Sabaoth
This one is, by far, one of my favorite of the names of God. But, it didn’t become my favorite until about 10 years ago. You see I grew up reading the KJV which translates it as “the Lord of hosts”. Now, that isn’t a wrong translation, but in today’s language, it didn’t really mean anything to me. Then, one day I read it in the NLT which translates it as “the Lord of Heaven’s armies”, or “the Lord of angel armies” and that changed everything.
We find this name used 269 times in the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments and this name is important because it, once again, speaks of God’s protection…He is the Lord of Heaven’s armies. Let’s look at just what that means. There is an old hymn that says, “He could have called Ten Thousand Angels.” That is a lot, but it isn’t quite accurate. You see, this song was taken from Matthew 26:53, which says, “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” So, how many are twelve legions? One legion is equal to six thousand troops, so twelve legions are 72,000 troops. Each troop was roughly a horseman and 10 footmen, that’s 792,000 angels. So, when Jesus told His disciples that His Father would have sent twelve legions of angels, what He was saying was that He would send more angels than they could count. In fact, there are far more angels than that in Heaven. According to Revelations 5:11, there are: “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.” Now, this translation from the NASB is the most accurate. The KJV translates it as ten thousand times ten thousand, but the Hebrew word that was translated here as myriads is the Hebrew word “Murias” which is where we get the word myriad. Murias is translated as, “an innumerable multitude, an unlimited number.” You know, when we were kids we used to say, “infinity times infinity”? Well, that’s what myriads and myriads means. This is Heaven’s armies! So, what exactly are you afraid of? There is a great worship song by Chris Tomlin titled, “Whom Shall I Fear” and the chorus says:
“Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side”
The God of Angel Armies is always by my side…isn’t that an awesome thought? Have you noticed a common theme in many of these names of God? Jehovah Shalom, The Lord is Peace; Jehovah Ra’ah, The Lord is my Shepherd; Jehovah Sabaoth, The Lord of Angel Armies; they are all talking about His protection of His children. He is the Lord of Peace, so we can have perfect peace and contentment. He is our Shepherd, so we can lie down in those green pastures and feast before our enemies because He is watching over us. And, He is the commander in chief of Heaven’s armies…again, God’s got this!
We often think that God’s got too much to do to worry about my little, insignificant problems. Don’t you think it matters to God when you are cheated out of something? Check out James 5:4, “For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” He’s listening to your cries, and He’s there for you.
We are His adopted children, He chose us. Malachi 3:17 says, “’They will be my people,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child.” Here’s the thing, none of us deserve His favored. I hear people everywhere, both Christian and non-Christian, saying, “You deserve this,” “You’re worth it”. We deserve nothing but punishment, but through His grace and mercy, He has forgiven those of us who have asked for it. My wife wrote this on Facebook recently, and I couldn’t agree more, “So many Christians have gotten on the bandwagon of telling themselves and others “you are worthy”. Where does the Word of God say so? The Bible does point out over and over our unworthiness, though, in order to highlight God’s love and grace – His UN-merited favor. So, please, don’t tell me I am worthy … I know I am unworthy… but, I also know that Christ is worthy and that His Gift has made me worthy … nothing else … And, that I am loved.
When one focuses on whether they are worthy or not, they are not focusing on God, His love, His Mercy, and His grace … the story we are here to tell. Not to tell others they are worthy! In fact, we can never have this gift unless we admit our sin and unworthiness, and give ourselves to Him to live in exchange for His Gift of Grace.” Romans 3:23 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Amen!
Here’s the beauty of all of this. I don’t have to be worthy! People who believe in works-based salvation are constantly living under the stress of being good enough. They think, “what if I sin right before I die?” The Bible makes it very clear that salvation has nothing to do with how good we are. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” So, don’t try to be worthy, just live every day to glorify the one who set you free.
Know this, although you are not worthy, you are loved. You are loved by Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Heavens Armies…therefore, whom shall I fear?