Question: "What does it mean that God is the God of gods and Lord of lords?"
Answer: We know there is only one Lord God, but sometimes the Bible references other gods and lords. For example, in Deuteronomy 10:17 we find, “The LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome.” Whoever these other “gods” and “lords” are, they cannot compete with the “great God, mighty and awesome.”
The emphasis in this verse is God’s supremacy. The focus is on God’s greatness and might. When He is called “God of gods,” we understand it as a reference to the God who is more powerful and greater than any other so-called god. The verse does not teach the existence of other real gods. Rather, God says, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). See also Isaiah 43:11. Being the “God of gods,” the One True God towers over anything else that might be worshiped. He alone is worthy of worship (Deuteronomy 10:21).
Idols have no power: “All the gods of the nations are worthless” (1 Chronicles 16:26, NET; cf. Psalm 96:5). Psalm 97:7 adds, “All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols.” These and many other passages note that there is only one God. To worship any other God is useless.
What about the title “Lord of lords”? A “lord” (lower case l) often referred to a leader. To call the Lord the “Lord of lords” emphasizes God’s greatness above all other leaders or anyone who holds power. As a result, the psalmist writes, “Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:3, ESV).
In the New Testament, we find the phrase “Lord of lords” used on three occasions in reference to Jesus. Paul teaches that Jesus is “he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15, ESV). Revelation 17:14 speaks of Jesus’ return, saying, “He is Lord of lords and King of kings.” Revelation 19:16 adds, “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.”
Interestingly, the title “Lord of lords” affirms the unique power of God and provides insight into the triune nature of God. While God the Father is the One called “Lord of lords” in Deuteronomy 10:17 and in Psalms, the New Testament writers use the same title to refer to God the Son, Jesus Christ. The Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Outside of this God, there is no other.
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