I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing . . . on his right and on his left.
1 Kings 22:19
Anne Rice is most famous for her books about vampires. But in a more recent series, Songs of the Seraphim, she focuses on angels. Many authors like Rice have speculated about the nature of angels, but our only reliable source of information about them is found in Scripture.
According to Hebrews 1:7, angels are God’s servants. They are created beings, but they are not made of flesh and blood. Instead, angels are spirits whose function is to serve God; the angels were created to do God’s bidding. Gabriel is an example of this. He stands in the presence of God and serves as God’s messenger (Luke 1:19; cf. Dan. 8:16; 9:21).
Michael is another angel mentioned in Scripture. He is described as a “great prince” who “protects” the people of Israel (Dan. 12:1). Michael is an archangel, one of highest orders of angelic beings, who disputed with Satan (Jude 1:9). Michael may also be the archangel who announces Christ’s descent from heaven when the dead in Christ arise and those who are alive are caught up to be with him (1 Thess. 4:16).
Their appearance is sometimes accompanied by God’s own glory (Luke 2:9; cf. John 20:12; Acts 1:10). Their presence usually provokes a sense of fear in those who see them (Luke 1:13, 30; 2:10). As God’s messengers, they are fellow servants along with us, “ministering servants who serve those who will inherit salvation” (v. 14).
Today’s passage is a stern reminder that Jesus is far superior to the angels. Although angels are powerful servants, Jesus is God’s unique Son (v. 5). He can do what no angel is able to do because He is God in the flesh. Jesus sustains all things by His power and only He can redeem us from sin.
Apply the Word
The Hebrew Christians who originally read today’s passage had a high regard for angels. But our regard for angels should never be greater than our regard for Christ. This is idolatry. Only God is worthy of our worship (Rev. 22:9). Do not let your regard for God’s servants, whether human or angel, distract you from the devotion you owe to Christ.