Names of God 4

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:11 (ESV)

YAHWEH-Sabaoth means the LORD of hosts. This name reminds us that, at any moment, our Lord has an invisible and invincible and innumerable army of angelic powers at His disposal. YAHWEH-Sabaoth is the glorious and sovereign ruler over heaven and earth. Whoever goes against this mighty warrior will soon find out that He is powerful enough to break the bow and shatter the spear (Ps 46:9).

The name YAHWEH-Sabaoth has always been a great encouragement to God’s people.

  • This name appears for the first time in 1 Samuel. It encouraged Hannah in her distress to pray with confidence, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life” (1:11).
  • The same name encouraged David and filled him with the awareness that he was not fighting the battle against Goliath on his own. Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied (17:45).
  • This name also encouraged Elisha and kept him from falling into despair, as his young servant did, when he saw the enemy surrounding them. Elisha told his servant, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16-17).

This name YAHWEH-Sabaoth also refers to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane the Lord said to Peter: Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53). “At any moment, at his simple word, the sky could blaze forth with a tremendous host of mighty angels, whose swords could annihilate all these or any other enemies of his.”1 Everyone will see this mighty army when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him (Matthew 25:31). Just imagine what a glorious coming this will be, when Christ is accompanied by all His angels, by the whole angelic army! No doubt, then everybody will know that the meaning of this wonderful title YAHWEH-Sabaoth, LORD of hosts includes majesty and authority and strength! And every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord!

As you learn the verse will you allow this name to encourage you today?

Gerd Walter

1 R. C. H. Lenski, Commentary on the New Testament on Matthew 26:53, accessed through the Olive Tree Bible App.