“God spoke with us, the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord is his memorial name.” Hosea 12:5
I find it interesting that God identifies Himself as the “Lord of hosts” time after time in scripture. The problem with growing up in the church though is that one can hear this phrase hundreds of times over the course of their lifetime and because of its familiarity, the power of the title is never appreciated. Eugene Peterson’s, THE MESSAGE, translates “the God of hosts” as “the Lord of the angel armies.” Now that grabs my attention and causes me to consider the implications of this God-declaration.
The critical points made are these:
- There are angels around even though I may not be aware of them. I can be so consumed by the material world that I fail to realize the relevance of what is transpiring in the spiritual realm. Scripture instructs every child of God to be cognizant of the fact that we are spiritual beings, part of a spiritual realm, citizens of a spiritual kingdom. That reality is to define who I am and what I do.
- There are angel armies and there are also demon armies. The battle between good and evil is being fought twenty-four hours a day. There is a war being waged against me personally, against my family, against my church, and even against my city or town. I can train to fight, appropriate the weapons God has provided in order to be victorious, or I can choose to remain passive and become a casualty. There is no neutral ground, only winners and losers.
- God is the Lord, the commander, of the angel armies. He wants me to know the chain of command and be comforted by the fact that His hosts of angels are carrying out orders within a hierarchy that is extremely well structured. God loves His children and has not sent me, nor anyone else, to the front lines to be slaughtered. He has provided angelic hosts to fight on my behalf, their activity fueled by prayer and faith.
God is not an anemic God. He may be my Father, tender-hearted and full of mercy, but He is also a commander-in-chief, not to be trifled with. The One who loved me enough to give His Son’s life to win my freedom is also the One to whom all of creation will one day bow. I endeavor not to lose my head over things and situations that are temporary.
You, the Lord of the armies, the fiercest of warriors, have me in the palm of Your hand. Now that gives significance to my day. I engage in the battle with hope and expectations of victory. With Jesus’ name on my lips, Amen