For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Hebrews 1, verses 5-6
Another quick dive into these verses; today we’ll talk more about the angels.
“Let all God’s angels worship him.” My Concordia NIV study Bible says this verse is a continuation of Psalm 97:7 which says “worship him all you Gods!” That Psalm talks about both angels and pagan gods, stating how the Lord is over them all. Really consider that last part. Take it to heart and remember it because it’s the wide umbrella that covers our entire existence even when we don’t fully understand it.
Over the weekend, I had an online discussion with an atheist friend of mine. He and I have known each other for decades, and he’s a pretty rabid un-believer. He posted a video of a young girl being slapped, and insisted that, because God didn’t intervene to stop it, God obviously doesn’t exist. We spent most of a day going back and forth trying to convince each other of our respective points (his that there is no God, mine that there is). In the end, I said my peace and walked away from it. Neither of us was convinced of much. Last night, I shared the account with a life group my wife and I attend. All I or anyone can really do is hope that my friend realizes the overture God is making to him through putting these matters on his heart.
Then I come here and re-read the verses and realize that the argument we had is moot. It’s moot because, argument or no, intervention or no, God is still over all of this. He was two thousand years ago and He still is today. One way I know this is because I believe in angels and this verse says even the angels worship God. I’ve shared my story about how I believe an angel intervened with my son and me. This verse says that even that supernatural creature, whoever he was, is lesser than God and that even he worships the Lord Jesus.
How amazing is it, then, to consider that God’s angels are more powerful than we are, that even they (like us) are under God’s dominion and love, and that even they worship Him despite their awe-inspiring power and ability. But Jesus didn’t come here to die for angels. Angels aren’t saved by Jesus’ resurrection and forgiveness. God didn’t sacrifice Himself for the angels. Indeed, He cast out of paradise those angels who rebelled against Him. There’s no salvation awaiting Lucifer and the angels who rebelled with him: for them, it is only the abyss. God gave angels the choice to love Him or leave Him and many left, and for them there’s no repentance and forgiveness of sins. But there is for us.
So consider, again, my friend the atheist. In this world, real problems really hurt, and whether we like it or not, there’s nothing in Scripture and nothing in Jesus’ words that says “believe in Me and I’ll make it all go away.” If you’re looking for that, you won’t find it in the Bible. After our day-long wordfest, I thing that was part of his point. It wasn’t just to spout his belief in unbelieving: it was to point out how there are terrible things in this world that still happen. That’s true; undeniable in fact. Yet these verses give me a little respite from that all too terrible fact. God is over those terrible things as much as He’s over the good things. He doesn’t always intervene in ways we want or even understand, and sometimes He doesn’t intervene at all. Yet He could if He chose to, and He could send His powerful angels to do His bidding any place, any time. In doing so, they’re subject to Him. Yet He loves us more than even them. He loves us all, believer and atheist alike whether we choose Him or not. What consequence will there be to our choice?
For more reading: Psalm 2:7, Matthew 3:17, 2 Samuel 7:14, John 3:16, Colossians 1:18, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 97:7.
Lord, thank You for loving me differently from how You love and provide for the angels. Thank You for the salvation You give, for sending beings I don’t understand to help here, and for being over all of it.