“While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.” As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.” While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.”
Daniel 8:15-18 NIV
“While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:”
Daniel 9:20-23 NIV
“Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.””
Luke 1:8-20 NIV
I have been busy. Yes I am one of those who put up Christmas before Thanksgiving. Partly because I love it. I love to listen to Christmas music. I even have a playlist entitled “Christmas.” I have downloaded every Hillsong Christmas Album, Point of Grace, Avalon, and many other Christmas Albums. My playlist is long and distinguished. My son and middle daughter have a hard time with this. They firmly believe no Christmas decorations til after Thanksgiving. My oldest daughter has inherited her mom’s excitement and enchantment with Christmas. We like to have our decorations out as long as possible.
I am equally enchanted with the people involved in the very first Christmas. I have been studying their stories for many years now. They are like good friends who only visit once a year, but every year I invite them into my home. I love to hear their story as they recant for me what it was like that first Christmas so long ago. During the month of December, I am going to invite you also as they retell their testimony of what they withnessed “One Starry Night” when the King of Glory entered our world one “Silent Night.”
I now begin with Gabriel, the messenger angel.
Do you ever wonder? Dow you ever ask? Do angels question the path of God? If they do I can surely tell you Gabriel must have.
Author Robert Morgan says this about angels, “Angels are intelligent beings created by God as part of His spiritual realm. The word angel means messenger, and they were created to serve and glorify their Creator. The Bible refers to them as “ministering spirits,” “heavenly hosts,” and “holy ones” (Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:21; Jude 1:14).”
Excerpt From: Morgan, Robert. “Angel Answer Book.” Thomas Nelson, 2015-08-01. iBooks.
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Gabriel, God’s messenger Angel was summoned to appear before the Most High. He quickly dropped all he was doing so that he could make an appearance before the Majesty of Heaven and Earth. He was a messenger Angel. He had delivered the LORD GOD’S message to earth upon many occasions. He was a trusted delivery agent for the MOST HIGH. Now he was summoned once again. All of heaven had awaited this glorious message. The electricity of the news was apparent in the heavenlies. A grand salvation plan was the buzz among the cherubim and seraphim. They had seen the twinkle in His Majesty’s eyes. The Son of God was preparing and readying himself for departure. The angles weren’t quite sure of the details but they knew the fate of all mankind rested upon The Majesty’s Son.
Gabriel was given his first message. The mighty angel never blinked, he never questioned; he just instantly flew to do the Creator’s bidding.
I am glad God didn’t create me to be one of his angels because most definitely I would have asked, “Are you sure I should go to that ordinary priest down there? Isn’t there a more miraculous and spectacular plan than this? Why are you going to use this old priest and his old wife to become involved with the entrance of Your Son into this dark world?”
Gabriel, this messenger angel, had been called upon once or twice before. In those instances he had delivered God’s message to a great prophet of God. A devout Jewish leader among the exiles in Babylon, the prophet Daniel. Daniel had been disturbed about some dreams he had been having while being a captive is Babylon. He had been agonizing many days over these dreams. He had fallen to his knees in prayer and fasting to discover the meaning to the dreams. Gabriel had been sent to Daniel to deliver God’s message about his dreams.
But now he stands before this aged priest who was performing the of burning incense in the Most Holy Place. Gabriel flew swiftly to do God’s bidding. He stood before Zachariah, ready to deliver the message of the LORD. He stands at the right side of the alter of incense. Zachariah’s eyes are opened to Gabriel’s presence. Zachariah’s initial response – fear. In fact he was girpped with fear. This tells me Gabriel’s presence is awe inspiring. Gabriel is not the picture of cute little cherubs shooting love darts on Valentine’s Day. His presence invokes fear in the ones he is sent too.
I have a few figurines of angels amongst my Christmas decorations. As I put them out I am reminded of Zachariah’s reaction on his encounter with the messenger angel Gabriel.
What would my reaction be if God determined that my eyes be opened to see His Angelic beings that are part of the Spiritual Realm surrounding me?
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
2 Kings 6:15-17 NIV
I think my reaction would be the same as Zachariah’s here. I would also be gripped with fear.
But I know my reality is, “there are unseen forces at battle all around me.” My God is for me. I know those who are with me are greater than those who oppose me. God is the Lord of the Angel Armies. He does have a message He needs me to understand. It is all written down for me in His word.
God tells me, “What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What is whispered in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear.” Matthew 10:27
Do you have angels amongst your Christmas decorations? If you do, as you set them in the place of your choosing, reflect on what it must have been like for Zachariah to see the angel Gabriel on the very first Christmas. What would you do if your Christmas decoration angels sprang up before you filling up the very atmosphere of your home to announce a very important message from the Most High God?
After you awaken from you deep faint reply back with what you assume your response would be.