The many descriptive names of God were given by revelation in time of need. Jehovah Saboath – the Lord of hosts—is one of the compound names of Jehovah Lord). No less than 260 times this powerful descriptive name of God appears in the scriptures.
“The Lord of hosts is with us…”—when nations rage (Psalm 46:6, 7).
“The Lord of hosts is with us…”—when there is war in the earth (Psalm 46:9,11).
“The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory”—and mighty in battle (Psalm 24:8, 10).
“The Lord of hosts…”—will fight and defend (Isaiah 31:4, 5).
Abraham gave us Jehovah Jireh, “the Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:13, 14). Moses gave us Jehovah Rapha, “the Lord that healeth” (Exodus 15:26). But, amazingly, Jehovah Saboath, “the Lord of hosts” (a revelation not of provision, but of extreme power) is introduced to us for the first time by a woman—a praying woman named Hannah.
Hannah, a desperate, praying, weeping, worshipping woman of faith and praise was pressured by the pain of personal problems which she could not control; but Hannah prayed. She turned her trouble, grief and torment into intercession. Her continued intercession was beyond the ordinary because Eli did not recognize it. Her desperate intercession led to revelation of all the divine and heavenly power available for her need when she called on…the Lord of hosts. Her weeping intercession was miraculously answered and she altered history with her prayer. What a testimony to the power of a woman’s prayers! What a testimony of the power of the Lord of hosts.
What prompted her to such heights of appeal as…the Lord of hosts? No one had ever used this title before in prayer. Saboath is derived from root words which mean army or the verb which means “wage war.”
Perhaps she had been influenced by another woman, Deborah, who had lived in the same mount Ephraim and had initiated great faith. In her song of victory over the seemingly impossible odds of the enemy, Deborah sang, “…I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel…They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera…So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might” (Judges 5:3, 20, 31).
Do you need the Son of Righteousness to arise? Have you, as Hannah, struggled on for too long with sad countenance, painful problems, and taunted by your enemy? You may fell helpless, but there is a God, the Lord of hosts, whose throne is established in the heavens, who rules over all and whose heavenly host excels in strength to do his commands (see Psalm 103:19, 20).
Regardless of the circumstances, the Lord is high and lifted up as Isaiah saw him in his day of grief and confusion. Isaiah used the powerful, descriptive name, Jehovah Saboath, 62 times.
The Lord of hosts is a predominant and powerful description of God which we can focus on in these days of spiritual attack and desperate need. The distressful times in which Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi lived caused these great prophets to use this name over 85 times in 20 short chapters.
What could a shepherd boy with a slingshot and stones do up against an armed giant? When David faced Goliath, there was more involved than a rock and a sling. “I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts” was David’s strategy and power (I Samuel 17:45). All David had was a need, an appeal, faith, and the Lord of hosts. It was enough. When David took the strong hold of Zion it was because “…the Lord God of hosts was with him…” (II Samuel 5:6, 10).
Paul assures us that spiritual war and attack will come, but we have a parallel force of power through God to pull down strongholds we can handle with earthly weapons (II Corinthians 10:4).
“Resist the devil, and he will flee…” (James 4:7). “Resist” in word study can be defined as “the armies are arrayed against.” We do not have to cower in depressed weakness and fear. In prayer, through faith, we can call on the Lord of hosts—Jehovah Saboath—the revealed name of power for help in time of need.
Why did Hannah call on the Lord of hosts? Faith’s initiative enabled her to reach beyond the restrictions of present circumstances. No one had ever prayed like she prayed, but her need and her desire enabled her to reach beyond the ordinary. She boldly reached for the power of God in prayer. That power is still available.
Abraham asked, “…is anything too hard for the Lord” (Genesis 18:14).
Jeremiah answered, “…there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jeremiah 32:17).
The possibility of the impossible has been proven over and over again by people like us who were most often provoked by desperate needs to appeal through prayer and initiate faith in the power of God, who is able to do more than we can think or ask.
So, look up, there is more available than what you can see! “…be strong…saith the Lord…for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:4).
And if God, the Lord of hosts, is for us, nothing else counts!