We have our first test tomorrow in my Gospels classes. We are still adjusting to laptop existence but it's becoming a normal part of the day to hear the music when the MACs come to life. Our exam will cover some introductory material and the birth of John the Baptist. complete with all the surrounding miraculous events. You may remember that John was born to a priest, Zechariah, and his wife, Elizabeth, who were old and she was barren. You might also recall that the good news of the impending birth was announced when the angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah as he was burning incense to the Lord in the temple. We discussed why Zechariah was very afraid; the appearance of angels at times meant someone was going to die and I brought up how Aaron's sons were put to death while they were burning incense. As we continue to look at the birth of Jesus, we'll see how angels appear to Mary and Joseph and the shepherds, playing a major role in the pageant of the Word becoming flesh. We noted how there are only two angels named in the Scripture (Gabriel and Michael) and how an angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 Assyrians at one time. We made the point that sometimes people infer more about angels than there is actually to know. Cydney agreed that sometimes girls can make up a whole profile about a boy just from hello and that's what has happened at times with our theology regarding angelic beings. By the way, Cydney wasn't the only young lady who agreed with the premise about the boys!
There are things we do know definitely about angels. Jesus said we'll be like them in heaven and we're warned not to worship them. We're told that angels have been among the population at times and have gone unrecognized. We learn that angels came to Jesus both in His testing by Satan in the wilderness and in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before the crucifixion. And to me that goes along with the verse that applies most to us as we regard these heavenly beings. Hebrews 1, verse 14 tells us this:
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Do you know what those fourteen words mean? If you do, you're considerably smarter than I am- no tremendous feat- because I don't have a clue. I do know and believe this: somehow the Lord uses angels in the sphere of my life. I wish I knew more but it's not my place to have that insight. But when I'm scared or threatened or baffled, I can rely on this promise of God that I'm not alone in my fright or danger or bewilderment. If we go back to Zechariah, we see in Luke 1 that he did not believe Gabriel's revelation concerning the soon to be birth of The Baptist and lost his voice for nine months. What a lesson for Zechariah....and for us to have faith in the scriptures. We aren't promised safety in every step of life but we have God's word we will never be abandoned on this side of eternity. And somehow and some way, angels are tied into that watchfulness. To me, that's our best security blanket when we lay down to sleep at the end of every day.
*The musical selection tonight has no scriptural validity but it's a really cool song and it has angels in the title!*
Applicable quote of the day:
"The soul at its highest is found like God, but an angel gives a closer idea of Him. That is all an angel is: an idea of God."
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