The phrases “God of gods” and “Lord of lords” are used in Scripture to emphasize God’s sovereignty over all other powers in heaven and on earth. As the one true God, He reigns supreme over every false god and earthly authority.
The title “God of gods” first appears in Deuteronomy 10:17: “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God.” This affirms that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is exalted above the pagan gods worshipped by other nations at that time. Though idols like Molech and Baal were feared and venerated by Israel’s neighbors, the true God sat enthroned over them all.
We see this same phrase repeated in other Old Testament passages like Joshua 22:22, Psalm 136:2, Daniel 2:47, and Daniel 11:36. It emphasizes that while people may worship a pantheon of false deities, ultimately there is only one supreme God who reigns over all. He alone is worthy of worship.
The title “Lord of lords” also stresses God’s sovereignty, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 10:17. It appears again in places like Psalm 136:3, which says God “alone does great wonders.” As Lord over all earthly powers and rulers, His dominion is unmatched. All other masters and lords owe their authority to Him.
When the New Testament speaks of Jesus Christ as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16), it declares His divinity and supremacy. Jesus shares equal status and authority with God, who is called “God of gods” in the Old Testament.
As Paul says in Philippians 2:9-10, at the name of Jesus, “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Human rulers and governments may believe they wield ultimate power in this world. But Scripture says one day, all pretenders to the throne will kneel before Jesus. For “the LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty” (Psalm 93:1). His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion endures from generation to generation.
In summary, the biblical titles “God of gods” and “Lord of lords” teach us:
- Yahweh is the one true God, high above every man-made idol.
- All other spiritual powers must ultimately submit to His authority.
- He exercises sovereign control over earthly rulers and realms.
- Jesus shares fully in God’s supreme identity and reign.
- One day, “at the name of Jesus every knee [will] bow” in worship before Him (Philippians 2:10).
This should give us great comfort and confidence as believers today. We serve the one true and living God, maker of heaven and earth. Even when human kingdoms shake and falter, His faithful love endures forever. “His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and heaven; the keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given” (Frederick W. Faber).
1. God Reigns Supreme Over All False Gods
The most fundamental meaning of “God of gods” is that Yahweh reigns supreme over every false god and idol worshipped by the nations. Although pagans bow down to images of wood, metal, and stone, these lifeless statues are mere creations of human hands. As God declares in Isaiah 44:9-20, idols have no power or knowledge at all – they are foolish objects formed from the same materials used for ordinary tools and furniture!
In contrast, the LORD formed the heavens and earth by the word of His mouth. He alone is the self-existent Creator with power over all things. As Psalm 96:5 says, “For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.”
Because Yahweh is the one true God, we must worship Him alone, forsaking all others. He will not share His glory with counterfeits. Through the prophet Isaiah, God sternly warns His people, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).
As the God exalted high above heaven and earth (Psalm 113:4), the Lord deserves all honor, praise, and allegiance. He seeks exclusive devotion from His people (Exodus 20:3). Service to false gods is spiritual adultery against the LORD who formed an exclusive covenant bond with Israel.
That is why Scripture contains such stark warnings against idolatry. Turning to worthless idols is an act of unfaithfulness toward the true God. It exchanges His life-giving truth for lifeless deception (Jeremiah 2:11-13). God calls His people to reject the futile false gods of the nations and worship Him alone, for He alone is God.
2. All Powers Must Submit to His Authority
The title “God of gods” also signals that the LORD wields ultimate authority over all spiritual beings – including both divine pretenders and the angelic host. While demons may contend for power and pagan deities promise favor, ultimately they must all submit to the supreme King who governs the universe.
In the Exodus story, Yahweh displays His dominance over Egypt’s gods such as Ra, Osiris, Hapi, etc. Through the 10 plagues, He systematically dethrones the so-called gods of the Nile, livestock, crops, storms, and so forth. The God of Israel proves Himself the one true God who brings both judgment and deliverance according to His will.
Likewise, in 1 Kings 18 Elijah engages in a spiritual showdown to prove Yahweh’s supremacy over Baal. Though Baal’s 450 prophets cry out and sacrifice bulls, their god gives no answer. Yet at Elijah’s prayer, the LORD sends fire from heaven, consuming the offering. All the people then confess, “The LORD – he is God!” (1 Kings 18:39).
Even supernatural forces of darkness must bend the knee to Christ. As Philippians 2:10 says, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” All angelic powers, whether obedient or rebellious, will ultimately submit to Him.
And at the final judgment, every false god fabricated by human hands or minds will disappear. Only Yahweh, the true God of gods, will remain standing. “On that day people will throw away to the moles and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship” (Isaiah 2:20).
3. He Rules Over All Earthly Authorities
The title “Lord of lords” complements “God of gods” by affirming that God reigns supreme not only over spiritual powers, but over earthly rulers and governments as well. All human lords owe their authority to Him as the ultimate King.
During the period of the judges, the Israelites were surrounded by nations like the Canaanites, Philistines, Moabites, and Ammonites. Though these peoples had their own kings and nobles, the book of Judges makes clear that the LORD sovereignly directed the affairs of these nations as well as Israel. He raises up judges and kings – and removes them – according to His providential purposes.
Likewise, in the books of Kings and Chronicles, events unfold under Yahweh’s guiding control. He grants power and takes it away, working through the rises and falls of nations like Israel, Judah, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. The LORD of lords uses both good and evil rulers to accomplish His plans.
A clear example is Cyrus, king of Persia. Though Cyrus does not know or worship Yahweh, God calls him “His anointed” and says, “I hold his right hand to subdue nations before him. . . . I will go before you and level the exalted places” (Isaiah 45:1,2). God even refers to Cyrus as a “shepherd” who will fulfill His purposes for Israel (Isaiah 44:28).
These accounts clearly portray the LORD as Lord of lords who directs earthly realms according to His sovereign will. He presides over the kingdoms of this world and providentially guides their rulers. All authority derives from Him alone.
Even the greatest human rulers are still subject to the King of kings. Those who defy Him will answer for their rebellion. The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson the hard way. After boasting of his power and achievements, God humbled and judged him until he declared, “His dominion is an everlasting dominion” (Daniel 4:34-35).
4. Jesus Shares Fully in God’s Supreme Identity
In the New Testament, the title “King of kings and Lord of lords” is applied directly to Jesus Christ. This remarkable truth declares His co-equality with God. The Son shares fully in the identity, glory, and authority of His Father.
The apostle John records this name in Revelation 17:14, describing Jesus as “Lord of lords and King of kings.” It attributes to Christ the same universal sovereignty over all other powers – earthly and spiritual – ascribed to God in the Old Testament.
In Revelation 19:16 Jesus receives another exalted title: “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Here, the heavenly warrior-king Jesus rides forth to defeat God’s enemies and establish His everlasting kingdom. His supreme authority is on full display.
By taking on these divine titles, Jesus claims equal reign with God Himself. The early church understood these designations as affirming Christ’s deity. He is one with the Father, sharing absolute sovereignty over all creation. Every knee bows to Him.
This truth sets Christianity apart from religions that treat Jesus as merely a prophet or teacher. The Bible reveals Jesus as God incarnate, possessing the very essence, attributes, and glory of Yahweh (Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 1:3). He holds supreme power over all – and under His feet all foes will be subdued (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
5. Every Knee Will Bow to Him
Because Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, Scripture promises that one day every knee will bow to Him. He will receive the worship and submission He deserves from all peoples, nations, and powers – whether willingly or unwillingly.
Philippians 2:10-11 says that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This fulfills the Old Testament visions of God’s universal reign through His anointed King (Psalm 22, Psalm 72).
This truth should motivate us to worship and serve Christ with deepest reverence and humility. He is not merely a great teacher or admirable example for life. Jesus is the exalted King before whom every ruler and authority in heaven and on earth will fall prostrate! We must approach Him as supreme Lord of all.
The call to bow the knee applies to believers as well. If Jesus is our Lord, then our lives must display complete submission to His authority. We owe ultimate allegiance to the King of kings. This requires turning from sin and idolatry to pursue holiness and undivided loyalty to Christ.
One day the whole world will acknowledge what Scripture declares: Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords! May that day come quickly.
6. His Kingdom Shall Stand Forever
The sovereignty of God provides great confidence for believers facing turmoil and uncertainty in this world. While human rulers and governments come and go, the LORD reigns forever. His purposes cannot be thwarted. As Psalm 145:13 declares, “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.”
In Daniel’s vision of the Ancient of Days taking His throne (Daniel 7:9-14), he sees a mighty river flowing from God’s presence, signifying the outpouring of His eternal kingdom blessing His people. Daniel is told: “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.” The LORD’s reign is undefeated and unending.
Even when wicked rulers speak blasphemy against God and persecute His people, ultimately the Lord of lords remains on the throne accomplishing His good purposes. The arrogant schemes of those who ignore or oppose Him amount to nothing. The LORD overrules evil to prepare the way for His Anointed King and eternal kingdom.
That’s why worshipers declare in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ.” All earthly powers reign only temporarily and secondarily to the King who has already won the ultimate victory through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
As believers, we can have full confidence that the risen Christ is even now “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21). Though we face trials and uncertainty in this age, Jesus reigns supreme over every earthly power. His purposes will prevail, and His kingdom will stand forever.
This truth anchors our hope in times of turmoil and difficulty. The God of gods is our firm foundation, now and for eternity. “Your kingdom, O LORD, endures forever and ever . . . The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises” (Psalm 145:13,13b). Glory be to the King of Kings!