Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weekly Devotion: The Host of Heaven

 “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” Nehemiah 9:6

Many great truths have been perverted and hidden by the world and in doing so, have robbed God’s people of great blessings. One such perversion is seen by examining the phrase “host of heaven” in the Bible. This phrase has two definitions, one worldly, one heavenly, but both have one central doctrine, the “host of heaven” worships God.

·         The first definition is that of stars and other heavenly bodies. 2 Kings 23:5b talks about the idolatrous practice of worshipping the host of heaven, “…them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.”

·         The second definition is that of God’s angelic “host, like what is written in 2 Chronicles 18:18, which says, “Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.”

Although the word host is often used to describe an army, in a war time context, it can also be used to describe a servant, much as we use the word “hostess”. So to understand these phrases as an army of servants that abide in heaven, worshipping God, makes sense. Now consider how that the celestial bodies (host of heaven) in the second heaven (outer space) pictures for us the spiritual bodies (host of heaven) that exist in the third heaven (God’s abode – 2 Corinthians 12:1-4).

Jeremiah 33:22 alludes to both groups for us, “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.” Luke 2:13, 14 demonstrates the angelic host and their role at the birth of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Man’s tendency has been to worship both angels, in religion, and the stars through astrology, even though the Bible condemns both (Revelation 19:10; Jeremiah 8:2). The great truth that I marvel at though is that both of these heavenly hosts model for us the role of saints in eternity! One such Biblical reverence is found in Daniel 12:3,
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Another such promise is found in 1 Corinthians 15:41, 42a in reference to our resurrected bodies, “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead…”

Friend, how exciting to consider our role in the increase of his government which shall have no end (Isaiah 9:7)! However, right now we need to cease from desiring to be a star in the eyes of man, but rather work towards the day when we shall be “…as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30b). Would you repent and turn to righteousness right now, it would bring joy to God’s angels?

“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10

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