And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:13-14, ESV.
From the considerable number of Old Testament references used, it seems that the author of Hebrews was writing to a predominantly Jewish audience. Thus, his early focus is on explaining why, even though God had spoken through various spokesmen in the Old Testament, it was time to hear the message He has spoken by His Son. God is telling those who might be tempted to return to a religion of laws and rituals that Jesus is a better way. Though few of you are likely to be converts from Judaism, it is likely that you might share their struggle. We just cannot get away from the temptation to chase after the tangible—to give up on a life where we depend on the work of an unseen God and replace it with a life of self-righteousness and religious ritual.
In Hebrews 1:13-14, the author wraps up his first point: we need to listen to the message God has spoken by His Son because Jesus is the ruler of heaven. His ultimate point is simple. Quoting Psalm 110:1, he observes that we can search the Scriptures all we want, and we will never find that God the Father makes angels kings over their enemies. God only does that for His Son.
These angels are not only less-than-kings in heaven, but their role in the universe is that of a servant. They serve under Jesus the King and “for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.” Jesus is ruler over the angels and has assigned them tasks that are intended not for the benefit of the angelic community, but for the benefit of the saints, the adopted sons and daughters of God who will inherit the blessings of Christ’s kingdom.
In our Christian culture, it seems that most people are of one extreme or the other on angels. Either they see angels behind every corner and talk about people becoming angels when they die, or they don’t think much about angels at all until the annual Christmas play. These two verses give us a better perspective. Angels are spiritual. They are ruled by Jesus. They work for the good of the saints.
These are trying days. We are isolated. There is a new disease out there. There is a threat of economic calamity. Most of us are growing weary of the news. Some people are scared. Other people are angry.
For you, Christian, there is ample reason to take heart. Your Savior, Jesus Christ, is the king over heaven and He is not an indifferent or inactive king. He has employed the creatures of that realm, whose primary duty from the beginning has been the worship of God, to minister to your soul. I cannot pretend to know just how they do that. Do they avert your gaze from things that tempt and cast it on your Bible? Do they bring to mind that memory verse you learned in Sunday School? Do they motivate you to pick up the phone and call a Christian friend who is in deep distress? I cannot be sure. But His angels are at work and they are working for your sake.
My prayer for you today is that you will take courage in the fact that God has deployed His angel armies to bring about good in your life.