December 16, 2012
The Hebrew word for angel is malak, and the corresponding Greek word is aggelos/angelos. The words mean messenger, envoy, attendant. It is used in scripture to indicate one who acts as an agent or courier who transmits an announcement or, message. We often read about “an angel from heaven.” Therefore, they were sent by Yahweh. They are his messengers!
Two angels were sent to Sodom, where Lot and his family lived, to announce the destruction of the wicked city because of the gross sexual immorality. (Gen. 19) An angel of Yahweh called to Abraham from heaven and told him “do not lay your hand on the boy (Isaac) or do anything to him.” (Gen. 22:11-12) An angel of Yahweh appeared, to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a burning bush. (Ex. 3:2)
In the New Testament an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Immerser to announce the birth of John. (Luke 1:11-13) An angel appeared to Joseph to announce the birth of Jesus the Savior of the world. (Mat. 1:20) Angels were ministering to Jesus after he had been tempted by the devil. (Mark 1:13) An angel descended from heaven to announce the Lord’s resurrection on the first day of the week. (Mat. 28:2-6) An angel of God appeared to Cornelius, and told him to send to Joppa to get Peter to come to his house to tell him words by which he and his family would be saved. (Acts 10:3-7) An angel of the Lord rescued Peter from the hands of Herod. (Acts 12:7-10) An angel of the Lord struck Herod down and he was eaten by worms and died! (Acts 12:23) The writer of the letter to the Hebrews said, “some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Heb. 13:1) According to Paul, angels will accompany the Lord from heaven on the last day of human history! (2 Thess. 1:7) All this shows that angels have been very active throughout man’s earthly life.
Two angels have special prominence in scripture; Michael and Gabriel. Gabriel is introduced to us in the book of Daniel. (Chapters 8:16; 9:21) Michael is mentioned in (Jude 9) Michael is presented as a warrior, the champion of Yahweh against evil. He disputed with the Devil himself! Gabriel was a messenger of peace! It is he who brought the news of redemption, mercy, and salvation! There was and is a place for both angels in God’s plan for humanity.
The scriptures say much about angels both explicitly and implicitly. In the words of the Hebrews writer, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those are to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)
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