When I was growing up, I remember hearing about the many different names of God. People would use them in our Christian clichés with regularity, but they never really clicked in my understanding the purpose of what those names were really for. It’s like having knowledge, but without knowing how to apply that knowledge, we lack wisdom.
In the New Testament there are two Greek words that are used to communicate the English of “word”. This is “logos” meaning spoken word, and “rhema” often translated as revealed word or illuminated word. Rhema is the word that is translated in Luke 5:5 “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” It was this revealed word that enlightening Peter to let his net down.
My father attended Rhema Bible Institute when I was a child and later he had a license plate with word “RHEMA” on it. I can remember sitting in the car with my parents and someone reading our license plate and my parent saying “Yes, the Rhema word, get ahold of it”. Not sure why, but that moment always stuck with me. Fast forward to the future now, and those names of God starting coming back to me while in prayer. It started being illuminated to me how God’s character is revealed in his name and that all we need from him is captured in his name. God’s name is powerful, intentional, and provisional for every circumstance we can experience in this life. So today we are going to continue on our journey of prayer and the names of God. This one is one of my favourites (I have a lot of favourites), Jehovah Tsaba.
Jehovah Tsaba (Lord of Hosts or Lord our Warrior)
Our story is found in 1 Samuel 17:42-51
42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “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 (Jehovah Tsaba), the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.
I always loved this story, I mean who doesn’t. There is so much to take from it. The Philistine cursed David and disdained him, having full confidence in his abilities and weapons of war to conquer this ruddy shepherd boy. But David was bold and knew who his God was. He identifies all the weapons that his enemy is carrying with him, a sword, a spear and a javelin. They didn’t phase him. He didn’t respond with “Oh ya, I got a slingshot”. He declared what he already knew, that all that he needed was Jehovah Tsaba.
It says “I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts”. He went into battle with the name of God, Tsaba! He didn’t go in with the name of David, or Saul or the name of a nation, but simply Tsaba. His proclamation was that the Leader of the armies of God was with him in battle. It is his strength that carries us in battle. The Lord of the Hosts in the best of the best. The champion of champions. He is the general of the armies of heaven and when you fall this day, all the earth will know He is God. For Tsaba doesn’t save by swords and spears, these are his battles and his name alone brings victory.
What battle are you in? What weapons has your enemy brought to destroy you? Rise up this day and remind your enemy that Jehovah Tsaba is with you, the Lord of the Hosts, the mighty warrior, and by his name you enter battle. Thank you, Jesus, that you are my Tsaba and today I enter battle with your name. You are everything I need as my enemy seeks my destruction…