Before you begin, pray to God for wisdom to understand his Word. Pray that he uses this time to grow you.
Tuesday: “LORD of Hosts” adonai tzavaot
Several times this passage refers to God as the “LORD of Hosts.” You might be familiar with this phrase; another way to bring into English is “Sabaoth Lord.” Here’s an older translation of Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress:”
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
OK. So what is the “LORD of Hosts”? What does that phrase even mean?
A “host” is a large group of angels. For instance, the heavenly host appeared the shepherds that Christmas evening. And God is the “LORD of hosts.” He’s the one in charge of all the angels. He’s the one who gives them their jobs.
When this title for God appears in the Bible, it usually serves as a way to emphasize God’s amazing power and his military might. God isn’t just some spirit trying to get you to do something; he is a God of power. He is the general of an army who expects you to obey him just as much as his angels obey him.
Except… we don’t treat him that way, do we? We don’t view him as our commanding officer. Oftentimes he’s more of a pain, or someone we can ignore.
This is our God: He condemns our sin. If a private ignored a general, you can bet that the private wouldn’t be in the army long. Yet, our general doesn’t drum us out. He comes to us again and again with forgiveness, and then has the grace to give us new marching orders!
Yes, the LORD of Hosts is with us! Our God is mighty, and he has an army of angels that do his bidding. Yet, even with that, he chooses to use us as well!
Read Psalm 91. Who’s in charge of the angels? What does he command them to do?
Who’s really in charge of your life? Is God your “commanding officer”? As you go throughout your day, notice the choices you make and ask who is the one commanding you to do these things.
God is in charge of the whole world with power. Does it look that way? Think of the times where it looks like God is a weakling in this world, and pray that God opens your eyes to his power. And then look to the cross, the place where it appeared God was most powerless, and yet that is the place where he demonstrated his greatest power and love!