“At this I fell at his (angel’s) feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!” (Revelation 19:10, NIV)
I think that we have been led to believe that angelic appearances were common occurrences in biblical times. Instead they were quite rare. In fact, when the angel appeared to Mary to tell her she would birth God’s Son, there hadn’t been an angelically-delivered message in several thousand years. It would be no different than an angel showing up in my living room at this very moment…the same amount of shock and disbelief due to the rarity of the event.
When in the presence of an angel, a human’s instinctive reaction is to bow down and worship the being. I was recently told that this is true of every angelic appearance in the Bible. It was also explained to me that in every case, the angel instructed the human to stop worshiping the angel and instead worship GOD. I haven’t personally checked into each account to see if this is accurate so please don’t hold me to it. It would make an interesting study though…one I may look into this holiday week.
So what if an angel DID appear to me at this very moment? What would I do? I’ve been pondering this for a bit. I honestly don’t think I would worship the being but I probably would fall down out of sheer shock or fear. After regaining my composure I’d listen (with fear and trembling) to the message the angel had for me. But the imaginary scenario that follows will give you some insight into the bizarre way my mind works.
As I played out this pretend angelic visit, I imagined that the angel gave me the opportunity to send a message back to God which the angel would deliver for me. What would I ask Him? What shocked me was my response. I wouldn’t need to ask Him anything. He has already revealed everything I need to know: I already know about salvation; I’ve been informed how to live for Him; I’ve been told that LOVE is the recipe for living and that my relationship with HIM is the main ingredient; I know that the whys, how-comes, and what-ifs are all answered by “because I AM” and everything is part of HIS plan and for HIS glory. So at the end of the day (or at the end of an angelic appearance) there is nothing more I need to ask of God.
Is this arrogant? Quite the opposite… it is mortifyingly humiliating. Because the bottom line is…I already know what “to-do” yet I don’t do it. It’s as though God has said, “I’ve already told you all you need to know. Now if you would just live it.”
God, I don’t know how You put up with me. I think I must be the epitome of a two year old who needs to be told over and over again what to do and still doesn’t get it. I’ll never understand Your patience with me. But I am eternally grateful for it. Amen.