Three years ago, I was serving in the youth and young adult ministries of First Baptist of Fort Worth. During that time, the Youth Pastor would ask me to write on differing topics that were relevant to what the youth ministries were currently studying. After writing the drafts, Jon (the Youth Pastor) and Adam (the seminary student/renaissance man who helped with tech among many other things) would edit them and distribute them. Here is something we worked on called Just Words (Or Are They?), a seven-part series that breaks down different Biblical words and their meanings throughout Scripture. Today’s study: the meaning of the word “Angel.”
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:26-27 ESV)
Word: Angel. Hebrew: “mal’akh,” Greek: “Angelos,” meaning, “messenger.”
These verses in Luke basically sum up the duty of an Angel: to be sent by God with a message. To present the recipients with what God desires to be heard; to do the will of God. An Angel in the Bible has several different meanings:
It refers to heavenly beings who worship day and night before the throne of God. Who are given distinct purposes, and even have a hierarchy. An example would be Michael, who is called an “Archangel.”
Sometimes the word “Angel” is used distinctly to refer to parts of creation as the messengers of God. Psalm 104:4 says, “He makes his angels winds, his ministers a flame of fire.”
The Bible also often uses the words “Angelos” and, “Malak,” to refer to people as “Angels” or messengers of God. John the Baptist is called the Messenger of God in Matthew 11:10, and Luke 9:52 says Jesus sent “messengers” to certain towns.
The word can also refer to Satan’s demonic army, as Demons are called the “messengers” of Satan in Matthew 25:41.
The nation of Israel was led by a “cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.” And this cloud/pillar is also called the “Angel” of the Lord.
Heavenly Angels also played an important role throughout key moments in the Bible. We are told that Angels helped deliver the Law to Moses, and ministered to Jesus after his exhausting forty-day journey in the wilderness. However, although Angel’s delivered the message of God, Jesus is greater than all Angels. God sent His Son to deliver the greatest good news (i.e. the gospel). Trust in Him!