Of Angels and Of Men23 September, 2021
I’ve just finished reading the Book of Daniel. In my opinion, it’s the most exciting of all the books among the Major and Minor Prophets. The visions are at times mesmerising, and others, horrifying.
The death-defying escapes by Daniel and his three friends get speckled between the visions, leading us on a constant ride of action, lessons, and confounding utterances.
It’s also in the Book of Daniel that we’re first introduced to two princes – archangels by the names of Gabriel and Michael. Their mention in Scripture is sparse, but their roles seem most defined.
Gabriel appears five times only in the whole Bible – thrice in Daniel and twice in the Good News of Luke. In almost a measured proportion, Michael is mentioned five times as well – thrice in Daniel, once in the Letter to Jude, and once in the Book of Revelations.
Gabriel’s role is that of a messenger. His every mention shows him conveying a message to an addressee of the Divine – to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary. Michael’s function is associated with warfare and combat. He appears in the most dire of moments, at the climax of spiritual belligerence, becoming the primary adversary to the devil himself.
I don’t believe this to be allegorical but a reality of the unseen. Yet, the revelation of their presence and function must also not merely be informational – there must be truth alluded to that, pertaining not to the unseen but to the material in which we as Christians function.
This duo of princes is of course incomplete. There is, in all likelihood, a triumvirate as we consider the third prince who fell from grace – Lucifer.
The discourse and details given to this prince are much more extensive, especially in the Book of Ezekiel 28. Lucifer is concealed as the King of Tyre but, so that we do not miss the disguise, we’re told the subject was in fact a Cherub (verse 14), an angelic being.
His beauty is depicted by precious stones, intellectual superiority, his participation at the genesis of mankind’s destiny, and his situation on the very same planes that God Himself would traverse upon. Could he had been the first among the trio?
What’s of intrigue is that his workmanship comprises timbrels and pipes – musical instruments. It’s for this reason many suggest that Lucifer was the worship leader in heaven prior to his descent and degradation.
There are ongoing arguments concerning this. Put that aside, consider the construct of this triumvirate – a messenger, a warrior, and a worshipper. Does this not also constitute the fundamentals of what Christians practise in their own experience of faith and relationship with God? The Word, prayer, and worship – a trinity of actions on which our walk with Jesus is constructed.
Here’s another thought – mankind is much constructed in like manner to Lucifer – inbuilt with the instrumentation that enables us to make melody.
Contained within each of us are the three main categories which all musical instruments fall into – wind, string, and percussion. Our vocal cords are strings, we whistle, and we clap our hands. While we aren’t the only beings capable of worshipping God, our nature is surely imbued with the ability to bring worship to the Almighty.
It can only be to our detriment and disadvantage if we fail to comprehend that. while we’re aided by the angelic in our understanding and in our warfare, worship is something we must freely offer. Its power is no less, its integrity together with the Word and prayer is imperative.
We’re enjoined to sing and make melody to the Lord – our capacity to do so is undeniable whether you sing in tune or not. But the seat has been made available to us, a seat vacated by Lucifer. It’s not a seat of status but a privileged position to worship the One. Shout for joy, sing a new song, make a melody, hum a hymn, clap your hands – worship the Lord.
Pastor Lim Lip Yong