Summary: This sermon sets the series stage by exploring the role of Christ as Jehovah-Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts. This is a spiritual warfare sermon describing Jesus as a Mighty Warrior!

(A great deal of the inspiration for this sermon taken from Francis Frangipane’s "The Three Battlegrounds", and "This Day We Fight".)

Have you ever taken a good look at a Christmas tree angel? What do you see? What gender is portrayed? What tone? What emotions? At our home, it is a female angel exemplifying beauty, peace, and calm.

However, that is not quite the same as the Biblical image of an angel. When you reflect on angels in God’s Word you find. . .

- Masculine forms

- Masculine names

- Symbol of strength

- Their first words are often – “Fear Not”/”Be Not Afraid”

- Because they are fierce warriors of righteousness

- They are mighty in battle

- In fact, there are no references to feminine angels in the Bible

- The cupid form of an angel we often picture came from Greek mythology – not the Scriptures

As one theologian writes, “Those were not Gerber babies that sang around the manger the holy night Christ was born; those were mighty, warring heavenly beings singing in awe of the sacrifice of the great King.”

This is not intended to disparage your view of angels, but to ask the question, I wonder if there are any other Biblical images that have become somewhat convoluted, disproportionate, or even missed over time?

Do me a favor. Clear your mind. In a moment, I’m going to say a name. When I do. I want you to think of the first image that comes to mind of that person. Don’t ponder it for long. First thing that comes to your mind. Ready?

(Slide of Jesus the Good Shepherd is displayed on the screen.)

Okay, what is the first image that comes to your mind when you hear the name Jesus?

All right. I admit it. That wasn’t fair. Let’s try this again. Clear your mind. First picture that comes to your mind when you think of. . .Jesus?

(Slide of Jesus with children on His lap is displayed on the screen.)

Seriously though. Even without the rather direct subliminal messaging, I wonder if left to our own thoughts what image would come to our mind at the mention of the name Jesus. Because I believe that to a similar extent as with angels, we have missed out on a fully developed, accurate image of Christ.

The Bible utilizes a number of compound names for God. Maybe you have heard some of them:

- Yahweh/Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord my Banner)

- Yahweh/Jehovah-Jirah (the Lord my Provider)

- Yahweh/Jehovah-Rapha (the Lord my Healer)

About 30 different times there is this type of unification between the Lord’s eternal nature, and the needs of His people in a compound name for God.

One other compound name appears almost 300 times. In fact, it appears more than 10 times the sum of all the other names put together!

- Yahweh/Jehovah-Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts. . .or the God of Armies

And this was not only a compound name of God, but a recognized description of Jesus Christ before He actually came to earth. Look at these references and descriptions of Him –

I Samuel 17:45 – David approaches Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, Jehovah-Sabaoth whom you have defied.”

We can get stuck in the 23rd Psalm – The Lord is my Shepherd. But look at the 24th Psalm (v. 7-10) –

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The LORD strong and mighty,

The LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

Lift up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The LORD of hosts – Jehovah-Sabaoth,

He is the King of glory.

Around Christmas, we relish the prophecies of Isaiah. We reflect on the coming of the humble, suffering king. But look at what else Isaiah had to say (42:13) –

The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man;

He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.

He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;

He shall prevail against His enemies.

What I want us to do today, is make room in our consciousness, in our picture of Christ, in the painting that we have unfurled over the past five weeks of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the Door, the Way, the Truth, the Life. . .to make room in that picture for the most abundant revelation of the divine nature of Christ that you will find in the word of God. . .the Lord strong and mighty. The Lord mighty in battle. The Lord of Hosts. Jehovah-Sabaoth.

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