Wednesday, October 19, 2016

“Angels - For Good Or For Ill”

"Angels - For Good Or For Ill"

   Scripture identifies three primary angels, Lucifer (Satan), Michael, and Gabriel.  They represent a host of spiritual beings that number at the very least in the hundreds of millions (Revelation 5:11).  Created by God, they exist to serve Him, and also to function as "ministering servants, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:14).  Two of the angels, Michael and Gabriel, remain faithful to this calling, while Lucifer long ago rebelled in pride and delusion.  Interestingly, the Bible seems to indicate that the angelic population reflects the same percentage of faithful and unfaithful angels as 1/3 of the spiritual host followed Satan in his rebellion (Revelation 12:4).

   Michael functions as what we might consider a warrior angel.  He appears in Scripture on three occasions, always fighting and contending for God and His people (Daniel 10:13; 21; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7).  Gabriel functions as a communication angel.  The Bible's four references to Gabriel find him conveying news, knowledge, and understanding (Daniel 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19; 26).  Of Lucifer, we find him throughout Scripture as the enemy of God and His people.  He seems to have been created as an angel devoted to the revelation of God's goodness and greatness, perhaps serving as the intermediary of grateful praises and adoration directed to His Maker and Lord (Ezekiel 28:12-14).  He fell from this high calling, somehow coming to believe that he himself originated the light and glory that shined within and through him (Ezekiel 28:17).

   This is written as general information about a host of beings of which know some, but in real terms, not that much.  We are not meant to know much, of course.  Angels, while much involved in our lives for good or ill, exist as invisible and largely unknown influences.  Michael and his host may fight much for us as the aforementioned ministering servants of believers.  We won't know it, however, and it's likely good that we don't!  Gabriel and his legion may still aid our understanding of God's communication, but we will not realize his role in any direct sense.  Of Lucifer, well, we know much more about his involvement, and are "not ignorant of his devices" (II Corinthians 2:11).  Still, we know little of the devil's machinations in real terms.  Angels greatly impact our lives, again, for our benefit and our harm.  God purposes, however, that we do not direct overmuch attention to their existence and involvement.  Indeed, if this happened, we would end up worshipping them, even as the devil tempted the Colossian believers (Colossians 2:18).

   I try to remember to thank the Lord regularly for Michael, Gabriel, and their hosts.  These beings, greater than humanity in power, nevertheless serve us in humility and devotion to God (II Peter 2:11).  Thus, they reflect the character of their Creator, the Lord Jesus, who Himself "was made little lower than the angels" for the purposes of service to human beings (Hebrews 2:9).  Of the devil, God calls us to be wary of him (I Peter 5:8).  We recognize the involvement of Satan and demonic host in our lives, pray accordingly, and seek to counter his lies, as did the Lord Jesus, by remembering and affirming the truth of God's Word (Matthew 4:1-10).  We resist him by submitting ourselves to God (James 4:7).  We live in the presence of an unseen host of millions of beings devoted to our best interests, and to our harm.  I for one am glad for the aforementioned percentage of twice as many angels devoted to our service than our hurt.  More importantly, I seek to remember that all angels ultimately serve God's eternal purpose in Christ, whether happily or unhappily (Job 1:8; II Corinthians 12:7).  Yes, when considering angels in the light of Scripture, we focus upon their Maker as we offer gratitude and maintain vigilance.

"Bless the LORD, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word."
(Psalm 103:20)
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness."
(II Corinthians 11:13-15)

Weekly Memory Verse
   As for God, His way is perfect.
(II Samuel 22:31)




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