“While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.” (Daniel 9:21 NIV)
“The angel answered, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you [Zechariah] and to tell you this good news.’” (Luke 1:19)
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:26-27)
God calls us to walk by faith—and that’s not always easy. Not seeing, simply believing. I have my share of Thomas moments where I just want to see, to feel, to touch the One whom I believe in my heart to be true.
In studying the Gospels this semester, my prof pointed out how adamant mankind is about what they believe, in the face of evidence to the contrary. In Jesus’ time, even the demons testified to who Jesus was—the Son of God. Though truthful, that wasn’t the kind of press Jesus desired, so He shushed them. Still, throughout Scripture, we have not only the testimonies of the patriarchs, but that of the angelic host too.
The perspective of the angel Gabriel stretches me. Daniel’s stint in Babylon began in 605 B.C. and lasted into the 530’s. Gabriel’s appearances to Zechariah and Mary occurred a good 500 years later.
Does time pass quickly for Gabriel and the angelic host? Do the doors of heaven spin as one-by-one God’s children enter, or does time trickle by? Did Gabriel know and understand the details of the visions given to Daniel or is he, like us, watching things unfold in real time?
Is faith a concept difficult for Gabriel to grasp? How about unbelief? Unthinkable for one who stands in the presence of God.
How fickle we humans are. We have much to learn from those who have gone before us—those who literally walked with God and those who presently stand before Him.
Read Luke 1:5-20 where Gabriel speaks to Zechariah regarding John the Baptist. Focus on verses 18-20. I can almost picture Gabriel saying to Zechariah, “Dude, really? You’re going to question this? God Himself sent me, and you don’t believe my message? You want a sign? You got one, buddy. No speaking or hearing until the kid gets here. How’s that? Take the next nine months and work on your faith.”
We humans are a hard-headed, hard-hearted bunch. May God soften our hearts and help us to believe, fully and actively, what the angelic host has always known.
How much of Scripture do you really believe? So much so that you actively apply it?
What things in Scripture do you see more as suggestions than commands?
What things about God do you find difficult to wrap your head around?
What would strengthen your faith?
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