It’s time for another post in the Names of God series. We have done a little study on the names Elohim, El Elyon, El Roi, El Shaddai, El Olam, Adonia, Jehovah, Jehovah-jireh, Jehovah-rapha, Jehovah-nissi, Jehovah-mekoddishkem and Jehovah-shalom. Now we will look at Jehovah-sabaoth.
We are introduced to this name of God through the lips of a woman named Hannah. In 1 Samuel 1 we read of woman who was unable to give her husband a child. Her husband had taken another wife and she had given him children. This other wife, because of her children, and I am sure also her jealousy toward the husband’s love for his barren wife, was tormenting Hannah.
Hannah lived with another woman who was giving her husband what she could not… I cannot even begin to imagine her pain. Here, in 1 Samuel, we are given a glimpse into the grief and anguish of Hannah’s heart while she is in the temple. We find her crying out to God, praying that He would give her a child.
Here Hannah cries out for Jehovah-sabaoth, the LORD of hosts. She cries out for Him to deliver her from this pain. From her lips and out of this pain is where God chose to reveal this beautiful name.
Sabaoth means mass, and refers to a mass of angels, the heavenly host, an army.
We need to remember that at this time there were temples and altars throughout the land to a myriad of gods. Many of those were fertility gods. If you were to go to China today you would still find a Buddha temple that is set aside to pray to in order to have a child. There is even one to specify whether you want a boy or a girl.
But Hannah did not cry out to a fertility god. She did not seek out an idol to pour her heart out to or to put her hope in. She cried out to Jehovah-sabaoth, the God of gods.
We see this name of God come again from a young man named David.
In 1 Samuel 17 we read of how Israel is at war with the Philistines. The Philistine army has Israel at a standstill as the giant Goliath stands over them mocking them and their God. David has been sent by his father to check on his older brothers who are at the battlefield. David is shocked by what he sees. There is not a man in all of the Israeli army that is willing to go head to head with Goliath. Therefore David says, “I’ll do it”
Goliath stands before David and laughs in his face. He mocks David and he curses him by his Philistine gods and he insults David’s God. David is not frightened by this giant and he is not impressed by his big mouthed threats. David knows that this giant comes at him in the power of his strength and the non-existent power of his false gods, while David comes at him with Jehovah-sabaoth.
We know that David received the victory. Goliath, as big and mighty as he appeared, was no match for God.
God will always be victorious.
The Mighty One of Israel, declares,
“Ah, I will be relieved of My adversaries
And avenge Myself on My foes.
We can be certain that we will all face our own “goliaths” in this life. There will be people and problems and trials and tribulations that we all will face. There will be those who mock us for trusting in our God. There will be those who hate us and seek to destroy us and our witness. Rest assured that Satan is looking for every opportunity he can to devour you, but not even Satan is a match for Jehovah-sabaoth.
Precious one, also remember that David was able to defeat Goliath because he was willing and able to face to him. He was ready to take him head on. He was ready because he had prepared for this battle by his daily walk with God. He knew God by name, by character, and by personal experience with Him.
David never doubted God. He believed God was who God said He was. All the others standing on the sidelines, shaking in fear… they doubted God. They doubted that God would deliver them, therefore they were not willing to face this fear.
My friend, get to know your God.
His name, Jehovah-sabaoth is only a small part of Him. Get to know every part of Him that He will reveal to you. If you are just stepping into this study I implore you to scroll back up to the top and get to know these other characteristics of our God that He so graciously reveals to us in His Word through His name.