ANGELS ON ASSIGNMENT
WALKING THROUGH THE 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Angels figure prominently in the Christmas story. The Word of God plainly shows they are not merely a figment of man’s collective imagination or a quaint means to depict an incorporeal force emanating from God. Angels are real and David briefly describes their activities in the 130th Psalm:
“Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.”
God specifically created the entire angelic population in a single creative act sometime after the heavens were created and before the earth was brought into existence (Gen.1:1; Ps. 104:2-5). (1)
Speaking to the patriarch Job, God declared that when He created the earth, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). In this passage, Hebrew parallelism describes the angelic host as both “morning stars and sons of God” emphasizing the reality of angels present to witness the creation of the earth.
Although the Bible refers to them consistently in the masculine gender, angels are neither male nor female (Mk. 12:25).
Angels inhabit the heavenly realm, which is the center of their being and activity, but Scripture demonstrates their ability to interact in the earthly realm as well.
In the Bible, angels are described appearing as men having, “a countenance like lightening, or wearing, shining garments” (Mt. 28:3; Lk. 24:4).
Despite the vast number, only two angels, Michael and Gabriel, are specifically mentioned by name in the Bible.
MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
Michael the archangel holds a position of great authority in the angelic order either as the highest-ranking angel or the leader of an enormous group of angelic beings. In Hebrew, Michael’s name forms the question—”Who is like God?”
References to Michael’s extraordinary influence and strength center in the defense and government of Israel.
At the end of one of Daniel’s visions, Michael is identified as, “the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people,” thereby associating his activity specifically with the nation of Israel (Dan. 12:1).
The book of Revelation predicts a great battle in which Michael will lead a vast angelic host to victory over Satan resulting in the expulsion of both God’s adversary and his demonic forces from the heavenly realm (Rev. 12:7-9).
GABRIEL THE MIGHTY ONE
Gabriel is also an immensely powerful being whose name means “The mighty one.” Although men traditionally describe Michael as another archangel, he is never given that designation in the Bible.
Gabriel holds a powerful position in the angelic realm and his appearances on the pages of Scripture are always connected with God’s Messianic program—which explains his prominence in the Christmas narrative.
Gabriel is the very angel that appeared to Zacharias and to the virgin Mary with the Good News revealing the events surrounding Messiah’s birth—a “set-time” in God’s unfolding Messianic plan (Lk. 1:19, 26).
At the Nativity, the mission of Michael and Gabriel intersected in the unfolding of God’s program for Israel and the fulfillment of His Messianic plan—not just for God’s Chosen People, but for the whole world!
The next time you see an angel figure—topping a Christmas tree, swinging silently above a Nativity scene or dizzily careening around in an angel chime—take time to ponder that God’s ministering messengers are not merely an ornament to the Christmas Story; they are integral to it!
(1) Henry Morris, The Genesis Record (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976), 57.
1) Walking to church (c. 1853). By George Henry Durrie (1820–1863) [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Seraph. By Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (1848–1926). [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via contact form. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.