As I have only a few days left in this month, I wanted to go back and pick up a few names of God I have not written about before. The Lord of hosts is a name of God referred to in the Old Testament and first appears in 1 Samuel 1:3. “Now this man (Elkanah) used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord.” This is the beginning of the story of Hannah, Elkanah’s wife who had no children. They went to Shiloh yearly to worship where the sanctuary to the Lord was erected. It is a tender story that shows her dedication to the Lord, and how God,the Lord of hosts, met her greatest desire.
So why this name for God? Lord of hosts would suggest a realization by the people of Israel that God commanded many angelic beings and is similar to the reference to God as the God of Heaven’s armies. Jeremiah 15:16 NLT Lord of hosts acknowledges that God is Almighty, powerful and can command and use a host of beings to aid His children. I particularly love the story of Elisha in 2 Kings 6:15-17. The king was after Elisha as he had been giving information to enemy as the Lord had directed him. He and his servant had fled into the countryside to escape the king. “When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. 16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” The servant was amazed at the army the Lord had sent to protect his servant Elisha. God’s forces were present but unseen until God opened the servant’s eyes.
David repeatedly referred to God as the Lord of hosts in the Psalms. Psalm 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah , Psalm 84:12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! Isaiah records this phrase in his vision of God’s throne room. The angelic beings were speaking, “And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah 6:3
I love this name of God as it shows me that God is always more than I can ever imagine. He has the heaven’s and the earth at His command. His resources far exceed our needs. That is why I can claim His promise to me in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” I can depend upon Him to be with me and carry me in whatever circumstances I find myself. Truly, He is the Lord of hosts the one who commands Heaven’s Armies and the whole earth is filled with His glory!