In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Last week we began to look at God’s work of creation in regards to angels. We saw that God created angels as spiritual, immortal and holy beings. This week I want to continue looking at how God created angels.
God also created angels as excelling in knowledge. This is affirmed in the Old Testament when a woman says to King David in 2 Samuel that angels know what happens on earth: ‘My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God–he knows everything that happens in the land’ (2 Samuel 14:20). Then in the New Testament Jesus says angels know a lot, but don’t know the day of judgement: ‘No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ (Matthew 24:36). This text may seem like it is only teaching the ignorance of angels. But it does also show that angels know an awful lot, so much that you would think angels know the time of judgement.
Secondly we also learn that angels are mighty in power. There are many examples in the Old Testament when the angels of God accomplish amazing acts of power. For example angels struck men with blindness to save Lot (Genesis 19:11); brought a plague on Israel that killed seventy thousand people (2 Samuel 24:15); killed a hundred and eighty five thousand Assyrian soldiers (Isaiah 37:36); kept Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from being burnt in a furnace (Daniel 3:28); and closed mouths of lions so Daniel wasn’t eaten (Daniel 6:22). But also in the New Testament we see angels displaying great power, including breaking Peter out of prison (Acts 12:17). Moreover Paul speaks of the power of God’s angels that will be displayed on judgement day: ‘God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels’ (2 Thessalonians 1:6-7). John also speaks in Revelation of the might of angels in the last days: ‘And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number’ (Revelation 9:15-16).
So do you believe in the God who created angels as excelling in knowledge and mighty in power? Or do you worship a different god?