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God’s Messengers

God had His reasons for creating angels. And just like His reasons for creating you and me, those reasons spring from who God is. What can we learn from God’s holy angels?

Communication Channels

In the Bible, our English word “angel” translates the Hebrew word mal’ak in the Old Testament and the Greek word angelos in the New. The core meaning of both those words is messenger. That’s the essence of who and what angels are. They are couriers for Someone other than themselves. They’re Someone else’s ambassadors, Someone else’s agents. They represent only Him, and never themselves. They are channels to carry only His information. They speak and act according to His instructions and they bear His authority.

When angels give strength or enlightenment, it is God’s strength or enlightenment that they impart. Their encouragement is God’s encouragement. Their guidance is God’s guidance. Their protection is God’s protection. When they bring comfort, it is God’s comfort they offer, and when they bring wrath, it is God’s wrath they inflict.

The Message, not the Messenger

Suppose you received a letter today from a favorite friend who’s far away. What would you do with it first? Would you stare at the stationery for hours, to analyze and admire it? Would you obtain a chemical analysis of the ink, to learn exactly what it’s made of? Would you investigate where the paper came from, and how it was woven and cut?

No—paper and ink are simply the means of your friend’s communication. What you’re interested in is your friend and your friend’s message. The paper and ink fully serve their intended purpose by simply bringing that personal message to you.

The same logic applies in our approach to angels. While angels are a means of communication, it is God who communicates. Through what angels say and do, God personally expresses His friendship to us and His fatherhood and much more. What’s most important is the message angels bring—not the messengers themselves.

A Deeper Love for Christ

Remember that angels are always one-way messengers. They are God’s messengers to us, and never our messengers to God. No one in Scripture ever prays to an angel, and neither should we. They are not go-betweens or mediators between us and Heaven.

They are not mediators because there is Another who already fulfills that role—and praise God for that! “There is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Christ’s mediation brings us what any mediation of angels could never begin to accomplish: the freedom and eternal salvation of our souls. “He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15).

That’s why in the New Testament the mention of angels is so completely dominated by a focus on the excellence of Christ in every way. When Paul tells us to set our minds and hearts “on things that are above,” he points out specifically that Heaven is “where Christ is” (Colossians 3:1–2). Angels are there too, but Paul doesn’t put them in the spotlight. Before Paul warns against worshipping angels, he reminds us that true “substance belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:17–18).

Angels, men, and demons alike must all bend the knee someday to acknowledge the glory and supremacy of Jesus. Have you done so today?

—Condensed from Angels by David Jeremiah