For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Angels does not come up in conversation very often, even with Christians. Usually they surface when individuals have faced a significant crisis in their life and especially in times of being in harm’s way, like a car accident, do we speak of God’s intervention through angels.
Hebrews gives us a little bigger perspective of angels than we normally have. Notice that when it comes to understanding the true significance of God’s Son in relationship to his redemptive program, the writer of Hebrews compares Jesus to angels. That might take us back a little in that we might think that if we, humanity, was the “pinnacle” of His creative work as recorded in Genesis, why would the writer not compare the Son with humanity?
There are several reasons: first, much of Hebrews speaks of Jesus being made a little lower than the angels in becoming human (Heb.2:6-9). When considering all of God’s creation the angels rank pretty high on the magnificent spectrum. Secondly, since Jesus did become human, He is the best of who we are so there would not be much point in comparing him to the rest of fallen humanity; it is a bit of a step down in the comparison process. Thirdly, at certainly not least, we are dealing with the Second Person of the Godhead, not much to compare him to in any flow of philosophical thought except the Godhead or these other sentient beings called angels. After all, angels have a perspective and insight into the person and plan of God that we do not have.
The interesting aspect of angels is that we not only don’t think about them much we often do not see them as pervasively active in our lives and the affairs of our world. The key verse is Hebrews 1:14 where we are told that one aspect of their mission “to serve for the sake of those who will inherit salvation”.
We then know that angels are actively involved in the lives of God’s people. They are very much behind the scenes and it may be hard to recognize their work from what we might think will happen or from what we could imagine happening, but they do impact the events and circumstances of our lives. We know they have appeared to people in dreams (Matt. 1:20), and physically appeared to God’s people, Zechariah and Mary being the most notable (Luke 1:13). Satan tried to prod Jesus to elicit the help of angels to prove His identity (Matt. 4:6) and those same angels came and served Jesus after Satan left (Matt. 4:11). The will be very involved in the outworking of God’s purpose in the eschatological (end) time period (Matt. 13:39, 41). When Jesus returns He will return with a super-army of angels who will carry out His kingdom work (Matt. 16:27). They seem to care about those who are vulnerable (Matt. 18:10). Jesus even told us that we will become like the angels when we get to heaven (Matt. 22:30). The appeared to Abraham, and many others. They are an active part of God’s redemptive program to serve those who are under God’s care.
The point of Hebrews 1:14 is to say that angels are servants of the Most High God and he sends them out to serve His people while they are wandering their way through life, seeking to follow and serve the Lord. Many of God’s interventions may be credited to the activity of angels in our lives. They are deeply interested in God’s redemption plan and God utilizes them to accomplish to direct the events of human affairs.
God looks after us in various ways and means – even through angels.
Pastor Brad Little