Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt helpless and out of control? I remember feeling that way multiple times in high school:
There was the time I was pulled off my chair, onto the floor, and proceeded to get hit in the face.
One time I was driving a car and the brakes went out.
And there was the time I got in my first major car accident when I rolled my car going around a gravel turn.
Even though they make pretty great stories now, in each of these situations I found myself physically out of control and scared for my life. Where do you turn to when everything seems hopeless, when you can’t control what’s going on? You go to someone who is in control, who can handle the situation. And who else is better to turn to than Jehovah Sabaoth?
Jehovah Sabaoth translates to “the Lord of Hosts.” This compound name for God is the most common one found in the Old Testament. The name “Lord of Hosts” is used to communicate that the Lord is Lord of all armies, both in heaven and on earth. But more than just authority over physical and angelic armies, it implies God’s power, control, sovereignty, and might over all things in heaven and earth. In other words, there is nothing that is not in His control, nothing that is able to overtake Him, and nothing that can take Him by surprise.
The prophet Haggai refers to God as the Lord of Hosts approximately 15 times in his two short chapters. The people he was preaching to were people who had come back to Jerusalem after being in exile and were rebuilding the temple. But, in the midst of rebuilding, they were being persecuted. That persecution led to slow and stalled work on the temple which ultimately led to them doubting that God was with them. Haggai gives them this word from the Lord of Hosts:
“Be strong…Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of Hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. [Haggai 2:4-5]”
Haggai reminds the once exiled people that God is with them. In the midst of discomfort, uncertainty, and pain the Lord of Hosts is with them. And because He is with them, they should not fear, they should be strong, and they should continue in the work He had called them to (rebuilding the temple).
Church, if you are in Christ, the same is true of you. No matter what circumstances surround you, no matter the discouragement you’re facing, no matter what global pandemic you’re living through: Be strong. Work. Do not fear. For the Lord of Hosts - the Lord over all things in heaven and on earth, the Lord who has control and power and dominion over everything - is with you.
When things seem uncertain and out of your control be reminded that they probably are, BUT they are not and never will be out of the control of Jehovah Sabaoth.