Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Time Devotionals from October 17-23 are provided by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Devotional Thought for Today
Having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5 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”? 6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 7 Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
C.S. Lewis, in preface to his book Screwtape Letters, complains about the progressively distorted picture of angels that has come down to us through religious art. He says: “Fra Angelico’s angels carry in their face and gesture the peace and authority of Heaven. Later come the chubby infantile nudes of Raphael; finally, the soft, slim, girlish, and consolatory angles of nineteenth century art, shapes so feminine that they avoid being voluptuous only by their total insipidity…. they are a pernicious symbol. In Scripture the visitation of an angel is always alarming; it has to begin by saying, ‘Fear not.’ The Victorian angel looks as if were going to say, ‘There, there.’” Perhaps, Lewis was a bit exaggerating, but his portrayal was certainly in line with some of the encounters recorded in Scripture. For instance, when the prophet Isaiah saw the angel hovering around him, he was traumatized and in awe at the sight (Isaiah 6:1-6).
So, who are angels and what are their main functions? In short, God created angels as incorporeal beings (Heb. 1:14) endowed with free will whose main tasks are: first, continuously worshiping and praising God (Revelation 4:8); second, communicating God’s message to man (Acts 7:38, 53); third, ministering to believers (Psalm 34:7). For instance, in the book of Acts (5:19, 12:6-11), we see them delivering believers from difficult circumstances; fourth, being God’s agents in the final earthly judgments and Second coming (Matthew 24:31).
So then, what is the point of the writer of Hebrews in writing about angels? It goes back to the theme of the book, that Jesus is greater than even the angels who, as Lewis points out, often brought fear because of their holy and solemn presence. This is important because some earlier believers might have thought that Jesus was just an angel or the highest of angels, but the Hebrews is very clear on this point: Jesus is far superior than any angels.
What does mean for us? We ought to respond in worship as “all of God’s angels worship him” (v.6). Often, we do not worship or feel like our hearts are in a state of worship because we forgot how superior He is. Christ is greater than our circumstances, trials, material possessions, people in power, nations and all of creation! How big is God to you this morning? As you start this day, ask the Lord for a heart of reverence and worship.
Prayer: Lord, remind me again that you are greater than all things! There is no one like our God. I pray that my heart would worship properly in response to who you are. Amen.
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 95: Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. 10 For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.” 11 Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”
Questions to Consider
- How does the Psalmist respond to God in this Psalm?
- What kind of God do we see in v. 7?
- What does this Psalm teach us about worship?
- This Psalm is one of worship. Notice the words that are used to describe worship: sing (v. 1), joyful noise (v. 1), bow down (v. 6.). He is responding to the greatness of God.
- God is our great Shepherd who cares for us and leads us. He loves and cares for His people personally.
- We see that worship flows out of heart of joy and thanksgiving. Worship starts with acknowledging His presence as the great King (v.3) and Maker (v. 6). Let’s us respond in the same way!
Today, we focused on the topic of worship. One simple application is to worship Him in whatever form you feel comfortable. You might want to go out in nature and look at His creation. Another way may be to worship Him through song and the Word. Whatever you do it, let’s worship with all of our hearts!