Old Testament saints knew God in a way we know very little about. They knew him as the Lord of hosts! God is referred to by this name more than 200 times in the Old Testament. This majestic title resonates throughout the psalms.
– “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:7, NKJV).
– “O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty like you, O Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds you” (Psalm 89:8).
– “Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer” (Psalm 84:8).
– “Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:10).
The Hebrew word for ‘hosts’ is tsbaah; it means “an army ready and poised for battle.”
In 2 Chronicles, the Assyrian army comes against King Hezekiah and Judah. Hezekiah is unmoved when surrounded by a ferocious army and says to God’s people, “’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. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.’ And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8).
The Old Testament saints rested in their vision of an almighty God who assembled an army for their protection. David boasted, “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; the Lord is among them…” (Psalm 68:17).
We will never keep ourselves from evil by our own power; we do not do battle with Satan in our own strength. The Lord of hosts must do the keeping. David said in Psalm 121:5, “The Lord is your keeper,” and he recalled God’s love and protection that gives every believer hope: “He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. he delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me” (Psalm 18:16-17).
Throughout scripture, we are assured, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25).