So in Berean’s Bible study, we are going through the book of Zechariah, a book that I would probably not consider reading through on my own time. However reading through the minor prophets has been a blessing but one connection I’ve drawn over the past few weeks pertains to the phrase “LORD of hosts” as seen in Zechariah 1.
We learned in Bible study that “LORD of hosts” implies a general or military like connotation. Hosts was a word often used to describe large armies, which in this case, the Lord leads. It was hard for me to attribute certain characteristics to this title, such as His power and sovereignty until I realized how crazy his army is. The source that helped me understand a bulk of what kind of hosts the Lord commands comes from a sermon I heard at my home church over spring break. The verses and that the following information come from Dr. Fox in a sermon titled “Love is a Life Laid Down”, which can be found below.
The first passage we will look at is Matthew 26:52-53
52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.
53″Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
Here Jesus tells Peter that he has the ability to summon more than 12 legions of angels. I’m not going to speculate just how many “more” he could have summoned so we’ll focus on the word “legion”. Assuming Jesus was using cultural context, a Roman legion at that time had 6000 soldiers in it. If we account that number to Christ, that’s over 72,000 angels he could have fight for him.
That in itself is beyond our comprehension, but it’s also a small part of God’s seemingly infinite army. In Revelations 5:11, John said he looked and heard “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” of angels around the throne. As we will see in the next text, these angels not only proclaim God’s worth, but are also gifted in battle. We know in our minds that there is a war that is not of flesh and blood, but I feel that we cannot understand the magnitude and intensity of the fight.
The text that supports this is found in II Kings 19. Here King Hezekiah finds himself helpless before his circumstances. Many of us would be if 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were on our door step ready to spill blood. He petitions the Lord in II Kings 19:19 asking,
19“Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.”
The Lord’s response is surely a sign of grace and is demonstrated by the power of one angel, as seen in II Kings 19:32-35.
32‘Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, “He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. 33″By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,”‘ declares the LORD. 34’For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.'”
35Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead.
King Hezekiah’s prayer request was answered by one angel because of God’s commitment to his own glory as well as his covenant with David. One of the Lord’s angels has the power to wipe out 185,000 men in one night. Not only should the people who were saved be in awe, but we should also have a reverent fear in today’s age.
Can you imagine what would have happened had Jesus not relinquished his power in order for the prophecy to be fulfilled? Right before Peter cuts the servant’s ears off in John 18, Jesus’ responsed “I am He” when asked if he was Jesus the Nazarene and that the men drew back and fell to the ground. If you combine the authority of Christ with 72,000 angels that can likely kill more than 185,000 people in one night, what kind of force do you get? Yet despite the circumstance, Christ humbled himself and as the Bible says and Dr. Fox points out, gave up his life.
If you look at it another way, it demonstrates the seriousness of the war that we cannot see among the angels. For me it would almost seem like an anime fight, where people have crazy powers and fighting abilities. These soldiers serve one general, the Lord of hosts.
Regardless, Christ is exalted. In my study of Hebrews, the author makes it clear that Christ is superior to angels. Often we separate the roles of God and Christ, but at least in the of the role “LORD of hosts”, they are seemingly equal as displayed by one of my favorite Psalms, and on this note I will end this entry. What are the attributes of this warrior? Strong and mighty, mighty in battle.
1The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
2For He has founded it upon the seas
And established it upon the rivers.
3Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face–even Jacob. Selah.
7Lift up your heads, O gates,
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
8Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
9Lift up your heads, O gates,
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
10Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory. Selah.