“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies….” Psalm 23:4-5 NLT
Jehovah Sabaoth: The Lord of Heaven’s Armies
Who are the armies that this name refers to? They are the angels God uses to accomplish His purposes. This name for God is used 269 times in the New Living Translation of the Bible. (As opposed other names, like Jehovah Jireh which is only used once.) Its use in various contexts reminds us that God is all-powerful (omnipotent). Everything is under His control – the heavens, people, nature.
We know that before the creation of the world, a beautiful and musical archangel (chief angel) named Lucifer dreamed of being God. He thought: “I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14) But, by definition, how could someone be higher than the Most High? So, he was cast out of Heaven. Afterward God created Adam and Eve in His image and gave them dominion over the earth. Lucifer (aka Satan) came to Eve and tempted her to disobey God. When Eve and Adam both disobeyed God, the dominion they had was taken by Satan. Jesus even called him the prince of this world. But, we should be encouraged, because before his crucifixion Jesus said: “The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.” (John 12:31)
The Bible demonstrates over and over that the Lord of Heaven’s armies fights for His followers spiritually and physically. How do we see this in Psalm 23? Verse 4 says that God protects and comforts us, like a shepherd (Jehovah Rohi), with his rod and his staff. The rod was used to fight off wild animals that wanted to attack the sheep. The staff had a curve which was used to hook the sheep around the neck when they would go the wrong way. The Lord has no fear of Satan or of evil. In fact, Psalms 37:13 says that “But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming.” And Psalm 23:4, above, reminds us that He has our good in mind, even preparing a feast for us in front of our enemies.
We don’t need to be afraid of evil spiritual forces. Satan is the father of lies. (John 8:44) He wants the Christian to think he has power over us; but when we are followers of Christ, we are seated with Him in heavenly realms (Eph 2:6). He has given us His authority to work and carry out His will here, including commanding demonic forces to flee.
We know the end of the world. Revelation tells us that God wins and Satan will be imprisoned forever. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies was victorious, is victorious, and will be victorious!