A Voice in the
I am Jehovah, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. (Is42:8) For I am a great King, Says Jehovah of Hosts, And My name is to be feared among the nations. (Mal1:14)
As has been shared with the readers on the e-mailing list, a new 'translation' (Update/fixing of the NKJV) is in progress. The process involves, first, a sorting out, verse-by-verse. Then, proofreading of what's been processed. There are also some generic global changes being made.
One of those global changes is to capitalize "Hosts", where it is part of God's name, "Jehovah/God of Hosts". But, silly me, it didn't dawn on me that perhaps I should have done that at the same time I was working on some other things where I was using the word processor to semi- automate the process, while I was going through file-by-file... figuring that "there's only a -few- of those... I can just change them from within the OLB 'notes' editing function. I can just 'whip them out quickly'." ...because there's 'SO FEW' of them! ...Right!!
As I got into finding every instance of "hosts" being changed to "Hosts", I quickly discovered that there are VERY -MANY- of them! Yes, indeedies! And what I thought I would merely 'whip out quickly' ended up taking several hours. Over and over, "Jehovah of Hosts", "God of Hosts". Most of them occuring in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah and Malachi.
As I was laboring through them all, one after another, on and on and on, I began to become "tired" of doing it. Almost beginning to have the thoughts, "When will I -ever- come to the end of all of these!?" Being almost tempted to think, "Why do there have to be SO MANY of them?" Somewhat also mentally thrashing myself for not having done it with the word processor. But then, feeling guilty for entertaining such thoughts, boredom became awe... at God's name! Because, you see... as I was finding every instance of "Jehovah of Hosts", by default I was also seeing bits and pieces of what God was saying to Israel, next to His own name which He was continually proclaiming. "Jehovah/God of Hosts" is repeated so often, because it is SO IMPORTANT. It is who God is!
Just as, when God gave the Law at Sinai, He introduces the Ten Commandments by saying, "I am Jehovah your God.." (Ex20:2), as He later enumerated many decrees, as we observed in the series "I Am Jehovah, I Am the Son" (in the Library), He closes important points by reiterating, "I am Jehovah your God" (Lev18:2,6,21, 19:3,4,10,12,etc)
Now, we have already studied in the past how "Jehovah" means, "the existing one". In other words, God "exists", as He said to Moses, "I AM, that I AM." (Ex3:14) That is His "memorial name" (Ex3:15), and He reminds Israel of this through the prophet, "That is, Jehovah, God of Hosts. Jehovah is His memorial name." (Hos12:5)
But what does "Jehovah of Hosts" mean? What is "Hosts"?
First of all, one thing that it is NOT, is the round wafer the priests of Rome break, calling it Christ's 'actual' body. Jehovah does not exist on pagan altars!
When God warns Israel against idolatry He says, "And take heed, when you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the 'host' of heaven, that you not feel driven to worship them and serve them, which Jehovah your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage." (De4:19) Is God the God of the universe? (Heb11:3) Well, certainly, "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork." (Ps19:1) But when He proclaims, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Ex20:3) He goes on to prohibit the making of images in the likeness of "anything that is in heaven above..." (vs4) Thus, when He continually proclaims His name, "God of Hosts", it must be something else besides the "host of heaven" of the stars.
The stars, moons, asteroids, galaxies of the heavens are things that are 'visible'. All these things are passing away. (1Cor7:31, 1Jn2:17) "while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Cor4:18) That round white wafer (of Rome) is a symbol of the sun. Anyone who partakes in it partakes in idolatry of pagan sun-worship.
"Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel.." (2Kg6:8) Sounds just like today, doesn't it! Thing is, God was continually thwarting Syria's purposes, by revealing to Israel where Syria's armies were headed, so Israel was continually able to head them off, or avoid being ambushed. After the king of Syria suspects a traitor in his ranks, someone informs him that Elisha the prophet was the one, "..Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom." (vs12) So, the solution is... 'we gotta go get Elisha!'
So Syria's "great army" goes overnight and surrounds Dothan. Elisha's servant wakes up and sees "an army surrounding the city with horses and chariots" and he does what any Godly (?) servant would do, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" (vs15) Look at this powerful army with tanks, planes, missiles, nukes and satellite surveillance technology! And their cross-hairs are scoped in on our tiny apartment! We've HAD IT!! We're done for!!
Elisha responds, "Do not fear..." (vs16) This is something every Believer into Jesus Christ should remember. Before God reveals any details to the servant, he needs, first, to be "not afraid". Remember, we "walk by faith, not by sight". (2Cor5:7) Living a life of Faith (Rom1:17) we take courage in God's promise, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go." (Josh1:9)
And then, after he encourages the servant to not be afraid, Elisha says, "..for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." (vs16) Very much the same as the occasion when Hezekiah and his people are bottled up in Jerusalem, surrounded by Sennacherib's vast army, he encourages the people with similar words, "Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him." (2Ch32:7)
And so Elisha asks the Lord to allow the servant, "that he may see". (vs17) What did he see? "And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." Jehovah's "-HOSTS-".
When we look up the definition of the Hebrew word [tsaba] (which appears 393 times in the KJV) it is all about an organized army or angels, and it is all about Warfare, Battle, Fighting, Going forth or Muster.
Scripture talks much about God's "kingdom". (Ps145:13, Dan4:3, 2Pet1:11, Mt3:2, etc) With what do kingdoms back up their authority? Their military. With what does the law of the land back up its authority? Through the police and sheriffs. Paul speaks of the "authority" wielding the "sword". (Rom13:4)
When God appears to Joshua He identifies Himself as, "..Commander of the army of Jehovah.." (Josh5:14) Who is this Commander? He is the "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev19:16) When Joshua was about to defeat Jericho, it was not Joshua winning the victory, but the "hosts" of Heaven, commanded by none other than Jesus Christ, Himself.
When Israel's missiles had nearly 100% accuracy during the Six-day-War of 1967, was it Israel's might and technology that hit their targets? No! It was the Hosts of Heaven, with Christ at their command, guiding each one of those missiles. In fact, there have been some accounts, whether they are true or not I don't know. But where during that war some individual Israelis would be about to be overwhelmed, but the Arab armies would suddenly mysteriously turn around and retreat. The Israelis didn't see, but the Arabs were later reported to have seen "massive troops" where the "lone" individuals were hunkered down. Sounds a lot like another time when Jehovah "..caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses--the noise of a great army.." (2Kg7:6) so they skedaddled outta there and left everything behind in their camp for Israel to plunder.
When Sennacherib was surrounding Hezekiah, it says, "..Jehovah sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land." (2Ch32:21) When people came up against Israel, they also came up against Israel's God, "Jehovah of Hosts". The people learned that God "exists". He is the "I AM". And that He commands the "Hosts" of Heaven. When Israel was victorious, "the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries" because "they heard that Jehovah had fought against the enemies of Israel." (2Ch20:29)
God's name is based on His character. What He does. Jehovah of Hosts is God's 'military' name. In the opening Scripture He speaks of Himself as "great King". And He is thus of His kingdom. This name is His name of authority in that kingdom. What is His authority, and how does He back it up? He is "Jehovah of Hosts"
And so, when we who are Believers into Jesus Christ consider spiritual warfare, what is the nature of it? Do you ever wonder why, when you try to be victorious with your 'own' committments, resolutions, strivings, tryings, attempts, plans, plots, promises, rededications, etc... why you (we) always fall flat on our faces? The struggle is not against the PLO, communism, feminism, New Age, charismania, etc. Those are merely the humanistic manifestations of the true enemy. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual 'hosts' of wickedness in the heavenlies". (Eph6:12) Do you see why we need to put on "all the armor OF GOD"? (vs11) Do you see why the translation is wrong that says, "I -CAN-DO- all things..." But rather that is is "I have strength for all things -IN-CHRIST- who strengthens me" (Phil4:13) The same one who is "Commander" of the Hosts of God is also the very same one who fights the "hosts of wickedness". If we want victory, we must be "in Christ". (2Cor5:17) The victory comes "through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom7:25)
So... back to those 393 occurances of "Hosts". What was the Great King's message to Israel, which He was backing up with His name?
When Hannah "made a vow" to the Lord, after which the Lord gave her Samuel, who became one of Israel's greatest prophets, this communication was with "Jehovah of Hosts". (1Sam1:11) When David killed Goliath he did so "in the name of Jehovah of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel," (1Sam17:45) When God promises David of his enduring lineage and the coming of Messiah through David's Seed, this is again from "Jehovah of Hosts" (2Sam7) When Elijah has the great victory over the false prophets of Baal, and is subsequently running from Jezebel, his conversations are with "Jehovah of Hosts" (1Kg19)
And so as we get to the greatest concentrations of God's proclamation of this name it has to do with: Israel's preservation (Is1:9), God's vengeance upon His enemies (Is1:24), The whole aspects of God disciplining Israel and then extending retribution on those who oppress Israel (Is3:1,15), His name by which He is held in reverence (Is5:16), the name by which the Heavenly creatures worship Him (Is6:3), the name before whom a sinner is humbled in repentance (Is6:5), in the sending of Jesus Christ to redeem sinful man (Is9:7), the name by which God restores Israel in the last days (Is13:4), the name by which God brings the last judgments upon earth as He prepares for the Millennium of peaceful rule of Christ (Is13:13), the name by which God destroys Babylon and crushes the world rebellion since Babel (Is14:22), when God purposes something and brings it to pass (Is14:24,27).
Jehovah of Hosts is Israel's "husband" (Is54:5), and when she was in rebellion Jehovah of Hosts chides them (Jer2:19), and his retributions against them are by this name (Jer5:14, 6:6), and also the name by which He continually pleads with them to repent (Jer7:3), and by which He condemns the false prophets who are leading them astray (Jer23).
Now, when He speaks of restoring Israel to Himself by giving them a new heart, He only refers to the name by which He introduced Himself to them originally in Egypt, "Jehovah" (Jer31:31-34), the "I AM" (Ex3:14)
But as soon as He finishes that promise, He gives His credentials and the basis for the certainty of the promise. How can Israel know that what He says will come to pass? If the sun, moon and stars were to cease existing, then His promise to restore Israel would also be false... then, it could be said that Israel will cease to exist as a nation. (Jer31:36)
You who call yourselves "Christian", but think that Israel is "done for", and that the Church has 'replaced' Israel, note this well. God has promised to restore Israel in righteousness. The certainty of this promise is based on the existence of the sun, moon and stars. Israel's continued existence is just as certain as the continuation of the visible universe. And you certainly believe that "in the beginning -GOD- created the heavens and earth" (Gen1:1), right? Well, if you believe that, then, Israel's restoration is just as certain. And the one who is seeing to it...?? He is using all of His Heavenly armies, everything at His disposal, to bring it about. And...
"Jehovah of Hosts is His name" (Jer31:35b)