JEHOVAH SABAOTH – The Lord of Hosts

     In Medieval times, communities were built around a castle fortress.   The people lived and worked outside of the walls.   If an enemy attacked, however, they all ran to the castle to be protected within it’s walls.   Outsiders were not allowed.   Just the townsfolk that belonged to the castle.

     They didn’t take this privilege lightly or make jokes of inside. Neither did they make the call for a broken shovel or a stubbed toe or a solitary enemy.

     The community of Christ is built around a strong tower – Jehovah Sabaoth – the Lord of Hosts. Our commander/defender has at His disposal myriads of angels. As He told Peter in the garden, He could call 12 legions of angels – that’s 72,000! If it only took ONE angel to kill 185,000 Assyrians in one night, think of what a heavenly army of 72,000 could do!!!!

     But this is not a name of God to be invokedit.   They didn’t hollar that the enemy was coming just to see what would happen or how fast the townsfolk could get lightly.   This is not the name of God you use when your car won’t start, or you have a cold or are just feeling a little blue or out of sorts.   That’s like using a full body cast for a paper cut.

     When David was a teenager he was not a part of the military forces of Israel.   Indeed the military was not armed much better than David – they only had weapons of wood and stone.   The Philistines had all the iron and black smiths.   The Israelites had to go to the Philistines just to get their plows and sickles sharpened.   Now they are at war with the Philistines.   Sort of like the Plains Indians trying to fight an army of Sherman tanks.

     This was the time to call out the big guns so when Goliath swaggered out with his monstrous sword, spear and javelin and a lot of hot air boasting, David went out armed with the biggest gun available, a slingshot and the Name of Jehovah-Sabaoth.   He didn’t take 5 stones because he was afraid of missing, he took 5 stones because Goliath had four brothers.   He ran to the mighty fortress of the Lord his God and God took out the giant.
 Hannah had a giant in her life – a giant of barrenness.   She did her part – good nutrition, lovingly respectful of her husband, patiently bearing taunts and insults from his other wife.   Then she called on the NAME, Jehovah-Sabaoth and He answered and Samuel was born.

     This is the name we call on when we are at the end of our rope.   When we have no resources of our own.   Then we call on the Name who is “a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe,” as Proverbs 18:10 tells us.   Notice that the strong tower is for the righteous – members of the community of Christ.

     RIGHTEOUS?  I’m not righteous – no that’s why we call on Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness and confess and receive His cleansing forgiveness.   Then we are members of His community in good standing and are welcomed inside the safe protective walls.

     When do we call on Jehovah-Sabaoth? When the world stands against us for believing in the Lord God and His Word.  When sin and sorrow has surrounded us and we feel like we’re drowning under its weight. When grief has swamped us and we are sinking in a whirlpool of unanswered questions.   When we feel we just can’t take another step.

     Psalm 34:7 says – “The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them.”
     Isaiah 43:1-3  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name you are MINE.   When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.   When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you, for I AM the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”