December 8, 2015

The Heavenly Host - Nativity Story

Interview with Rebecca Holt Stay, Instructor of Biblical Studies - BYU Continuing Education

There appeared to the shepherds an angel of the Lord. "And the glory of the Lord shown round about them: and they were soar afraid. And the angel said, 'Fear not, I bring you good tidings of great joy!'" (Luke 2:10). Now of course, good tidings is the term that means 'gospel.' So "Good tidings of great joy." And 'joy' in the Old Testament is always associated with two things: one, with having children, and second, with receiving a forgiveness of sins. This combines both of those themes. And that is to be given to all people, "'For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.' And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God" (Luke 2:11-14).

Now when you speak of 'host' as a biblical term, 'host' or 'tsabaot' in Hebrew means army. Jehovah is called 'Yahweh tsabaot,' or Jehovah, the leader of the army. So what we're getting here is not a choir of putee little cherubs with pink cheeks and floaty wings, but rather it is much more like Gabriel coming. Gabriel's name means 'mighty warrior of God.' So when you see Gabriel, you should see an individual who has come in full armor as one of Jehovah's (Jesus') handpicked soldiers, and so that's who this is, is a military choir that has come to witness, and let people know, that the Commander and Chief of the heavenly host, the heavenly army, has been born. And that the battle is now going to ensue. And they know through their faith that their Commander and Chief is going to win this battle. And he will take back the keys of death and hell and open the prison doors and let us all go free. And thus "Tidings of great joy which shall be to all people!"

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