Luke 1:19, “…I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God…”
Gabriel’s name means “God is my strength” and “strong man of God”. It’s evident that he lives up to his name in delivering messages given to him from God to communicate with certain people. Unlike the Angel Michael, Gabriel is not referred to as an Archangel. The Bible doesn’t specify what his ranking is as an angel, but what he is called to do is more important than his title. He delivers sacred messages to the people of God from God Himself.
If I were to be visibly visited by an angel, believe me, I would immediately fall to my knees in fear and I would probably have a tendency to worship this heavenly being. However, the Bible is very strong in communicating that we are not to fear and NOT to worship angels. Worship God!
Gabriel is first mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Daniel. Daniel had been receiving visions from the Lord but was unable to fully understand what they meant. Gabriel is sent to Daniel by God to explain the vision of the ram and the male goat and the vision of the seventy weeks.
Gabriel appears to Zachariah in telling him that his prayer had been heard. Gabriel told Zachariah that his wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son and they were to call him John; John the Baptist. Zachariah doubted these words stating that he was an old man and Elizabeth was well along in years (very old). Gabriel makes it very clear that the message is from God and he is there to convey this message of joy and hope.
Then Gabriel appears to Mary with the joyful and critical news of the birth of Jesus. He assures her that she has “found favor with God”. He brought the news that she would be the one chosen by God to carry the Savior of the World, and the one to fulfill the prophecies promised years prior of the coming Savior being born of a virgin.
Gabriel is the messenger of hope that points to Jesus in every instance and with truth.
There are many stories from people who believe they have been visited by angels. Personally I haven’t actually seen them but I know that in many ways I have been protected by something, or someone, who is not of this world. I don’t have to see one to know that.
Psalm 91:11, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways”, Hebrews 1:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation”?, and Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares”, are just a few examples that show us that God has given us these angelic beings to protect and help us.
Gabriel stood in the presence of God making him a very special messenger to those that God knew could be trusted with these messages. They weren’t simply coincidences. They were direct and true messages that changed the course of history to align with the fulfillment of God’s will in the world.
The messages of Gabriel is available to us through the Scripture. They were to provide prophecy and promises that pointed to the Messiah.
But be careful of the angels that may appear before you, for the scripture says in 2 Corinthians 11:14, “…for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”.
I would love to hear about your experience with angels. Please feel free to share your story through my email below.
Answer from last week: Into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)
This week’s question: According to Nahum1:3, what is the Lord slow to do?
(Nancy Stoppe of Jenners is affiliated with Jenner Township Baptist Church, Boswell. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)
This article originally appeared on The Daily American: Inspiration Insights: The messenger of God