Angels Watch in Wonder

Angels Watch in Wonder BY Daniel Darling  for Core Christianity

Angels watch in wonder as God unfolds history. They see the work of Satan as he assumes control as prince and power of the air, and they see and engage in God’s unfolding plan to rescue His beloved creation. It’s a twisting, often agonizing story with only small light rays of redemption. The angels watch sin overwhelm the human race with corruption while God rescues and restores through the single faithful family of Noah.

The angels observe God pursue an idol-worshipping pagan named Abraham, who follows with threadbare faith into a journey unknown. Out of Abraham, he builds a people, who at times follow and at times flout his direction. From this nation, he plucks an obscure shepherd boy, the least of his brethren. From this fragile and fierce warrior-king would emerge the seeds of a new kingdom, bigger than Israel.

But the angels also see the dark fingerprints of Satan. Generation after generation, the people of God face both foes internal and external. Cycles of idolatry and repentance lead, eventually, to the judgment of conquerors. Kings and queens channel the spirit of Lucifer and attempt to snuff out the promise, but God keeps his promise and preserves a remnant. The angels listen as the prophets warn of judgment but promise a future king and kingdom, one in which the curse of Eden will be folded back and God will do a new thing.

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They watch as God scatters Israel to the nations and gather a remnant back in the land. But when the final prophet speaks, silence fills the centuries. God’s people become pawns as the nations war. False messiahs appear on the scene, teasing a weary and cynical people with faint and false salvation.

And then, they are summoned, first Gabriel, to announce a new thing. They can hardly believe or understand what is about to unfold. The Creator wouldn’t just rescue his creation. The Son would become . . . human. And he wouldn’t appear in dazzling robes and white-hot splendor. He wouldn’t blind eyes like on Sinai or boom from heaven like in Eden. God would enter the world as a vulnerable, dependent, fragile baby. So they announce to Zechariah and Mary and Joseph. They flood the earth with a celebration to the shepherds. They warn the Magi.

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