By: Robert E. Henson
And just as Isaiah foretold, “Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us posterity, we would have become as Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.” -NASB
I call your attention to the title that Isaiah the prophet uses in reference to God in this verse. -“The Lord of Sabaoth.”
Sabaoth is a Hebrew term. It comes from the Hebrew root word which is translated army, and from the verb that means to wage war. The word Sabaoth can also be properly translated Hosts. The Lord of Sabaoth is the Lord of Hosts. This is a direct reference to the angels of God. Consequently, The Lord of Sabaoth is also correctly translated God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
This title for God is an expression of the full force of Heaven. This name indicates the potential employment of the holy angels in the fulfilling of God’s purposes. It refers to God acting with, and through, a full deployment of His angels. Let me share with you some further insights into this illustrious title of the Almighty.
The Lord of Sabaoth
This term, The Lord of Sabaoth, is one of the Hebrew compound names for God. This one is used some 280 times in the Scriptures. This large amount of usage in Holy Writ indicates that this name for God is of great significance.
The first person to use this title when calling upon God was a woman. In her anguish of soul, Hannah used this name when she besought God for a male child. In her distress, she cried, “0 Lord of Hosts.”
It is also most interesting that this was the name of the Lord that the shepherd lad David used when confronting the Philistine giant named Goliath. Let’s read a small portion of the story.
1 Samuel 17:45-47
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. [Emphasis added]
46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s and he will give you into our hands.
By faith, both Hannah and David reached beyond the restrictions of their present circumstances. They boldly reached for, and depended upon, the mighty power of God. They understood that the Lord God could even dispatch angels, if necessary, to assist them. They expected God to intervene and He did.
Oh, that you and I would be baptized with that kind of faith! The kind of faith that declares that…God is Who He says He is, and that God can do all that He says He can do!
Now, let us consider…
Angels on Assignment
It is important to note that angels receive orders from God.
19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. [Emphasis added]
There are two very important understandings in these verses:
– Angels are exceedingly strong.
– We cannot command the angels; the angels respond only to commands that come from God.
In fulfilling their assignments, angels are most often invisible. The angels are God’s secret service agents. However, angels have the ability, at will, to make themselves visible. In the Bible, there are 104 occurrences recorded of angels making appearances to human beings. If this is divided into the approximate 4,000 years of world history covered by the Scriptures, this figures out to be one visible appearance of an angel every 381/2 years. However, we are informed of something extremely interesting by the writer of Hebrews.
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
This verse presents the idea that perhaps there were numerous other sightings of, and/or encounters with, angels. In these experiences, the people were not aware that the individuals with whom they were interacting were actually heavenly creatures. Now, let’s look at something even more exciting…
The Ministry of Angels
But angels are only servants. They are spirits sent from God to care for those who will receive salvation. -NLT
One of the primary functions of angels is to assist those who are striving daily to live purposefully for God. The Scriptures indicate that angels can…
– Impart strength to those in need
– Arrange appointments
– Give direction
– Increase confidence
– Warn persons of danger
– War against the enemies of God and His people
Here is yet another insight into the ministry of angels.
“Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts.” [Emphasis added] -NKJV
The One God is with us, and it is He Who commands the armies of Heaven. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the angel armies. Angels are fierce enough to make a king tremble, and yet tender enough to comfort a lost child. As children of God, we can be sure that angels are involved in our lives. They observe us and watch over us.
Our Prayers to God Activate the Angels into Service on Our Behalf
Are you facing cloudy and difficult circumstances? Have you personally run out of options? Are your resources exhausted? Is your situation so unyielding and so stubborn that you are weary with it all? Do you need miraculous help? If you are diligently serving God, I have a word for you from the Lord.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Carefully observe that verse 11 is written in the present tense, making it applicable for all generations, and for every moment of time, and for every possible circumstance “The Lord of Hosts is with us “… not was with us… nor does it read that someday He will be with us. But right now The Lord of Hosts, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, is with us!
Your prayers can cause the Lord to give the command and to activate angels to work in your behalf. It is indeed wonderful to have the One True God on our side!