They were crying out to each other,
"More holy than the holiest holiness
is Adonai-Tzva'ot! (YHVH of Armies)
The whole earth is filled with His glory!"
I am writing this post on Friday, as I am seeing the rockets landing in Israel, and I have just received an email from my dear friends, Avihai and Ophir. They live in Jerusalem and are asking for our prayers for their nation. I also received a timely newsletter from a Messianic leader that I support in Jerusalem. He cited this Scripture as inspiration for his fellow Believers.
As I often do, I go to the Jewish Bible to read the original Hebrew meaning of Scripture. Sometimes so much has been lost in the translation from Hebrew to Greek to English. Such is the case in this instance. My New International Version of the Bible, transcribes this verse as "And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
The Hebrew name of God used here .... YHVH of armies .... gives us a much clearer picture of the character of God in this particular circumstance. My Messianic friend points out that in this modern world, it is difficult to understand God in some kind of military role. After all, haven't we been taught that He is the God of Peace and Love?
But I would like to share with you some of the Scripture passages that tell us of a militaristic or war-like battle between God and the Enemy. Consider these Biblical perspectives:
Psalm 24:8. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. God is Sovereign over the armies of heaven and earth, and is an expert at the strategies of warfare.
Joshua 5:13-15. Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[a] have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. This Scripture reveals Jesus, Himself, as the chief commander of God's angelic armies.
2 Samuel 5:24. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army. This passage lets us know that angelic armies may accompany a human army if that army has righteous leadership and is fighting for a righteous cause.
Revelation 12:7. Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. There is warfare in the spiritual realm between good angels loyal to God, and bad angels in satanic rebellion.
Revelation 19:11. I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. The ultimate outcome is a spiritual war that will culminate in a great End Times battle in which Jesus will descend from heaven, leading the angelic armies.
Ephesians 6:12. For our struggle (battle) is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. This shows the military-type ranks and hierarchy of the forces against us.
Zechariah 12:9. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. Armies will unite together to attack Israel. Jesus will fight against them and destroy them.
Revelation 16:14. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. Evil spirits will descend and influence an evil world empire to fight against God's people.
These verses and the recent missile attacks between Israel and Gaza remind us that spiritual warfare is sometimes expressed on the battlefields of this world. We need to understand and realize that warfare is likely to increase and become more intense as we progress into the End Times. May God grant us wisdom for prayer strategies that match His battle strategies!
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