UNKNOWN WEAVER, German - St. Michael - 1156-90 - Tapestry - Liebfrauenkirche, Halberstadt
Sunday of Christ's Guardian Angels
September 29, 2019
St. Michael and All Angels
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We believe in one God, the Father,
the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
During the six days of creation, days that had evenings and mornings, the Lord God created the angels. Angels are not gods; they are created beings.
And at some point between Creation and the Devil's tempting of mankind, the Devil rejected the will of his Creator. A portion of the angels followed the Devil in his sin and they all remain God's enemies to this day.
A glimpse of the Devil's sin might be seen while the prophet Isaiah is speaking about the king of Assyria. Since Paul spoke of the Devil disguised as an angel of light, Christians have seen a connection with the opening line:
Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground. You said to yourself, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly, in the remotest parts of the North. I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit.
ISAIAH 14:12-15 CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE
The first stage of this war took place in heaven. Even though Satan was God's enemy, the Lord God allowed him to be present in heaven at least once. We catch a glimpse of these events, mostly unseen to us, in Job.
One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered Him, “From roaming through the earth, and walking around on it.”
JOB1:6-7 CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE
But God finally said enough and sent His holy angels led by Michael to send the Devil out of heaven.
There was also a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon. The dragon fought back along with his angels, but he was not strong enough. There was no longer a place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down—the ancient serpent, the one called the Devil and Satan, the one who leads the whole inhabited earth astray—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
REVELATION 12:7-9 EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION
How does this fighting happen? Not with literally with swords and spears, but don't forget the words of Paul that the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. Google images of St. Michael and the Dragon and you'll see him stick lots of swords and spears in that old evil lizard. Michael in reality is using the Word of God. He's speaking the Words of his Creator. Another glimpse of this war is seen in the short letter of Jude:
Yet, in the very same way, these dreamers are defiling the flesh, despising authority, and blaspheming glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael was disputing with the Devil and arguing about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a blasphemous condemnation against him. Instead he said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
JUDE 8-9 EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION
And this brings us to where the war rages today. The Devil is accusing and lusting after us. He wants to devour us like hungry lion. He knows where he's going and he is determined not to be alone in Hell.
But God's children are not alone in this fight. God sends us protection in many ways, one of them being His messengers, angels.
If you make the Most High your shelter, evil will not overtake you. Disaster will not come near your tent. Yes, he will give a command to his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra. You will trample the young lion and the serpent.
PSALM 91:10-13 EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION
The Devil and his demons are not almighty, and neither are Michael and the good angels.
The Devil and his demons cannot read our minds, and neither can Michael and the good angels.
But the holy angels of the Most High God have something—someone really—whom the Devil does not. They have the living Word of God, who is Jesus Christ, who has already won the victory for all on the cross. Jesus died in shame, bearing our sin, to drive a stake through the heart of the Devil, if he had one. He says as much when He reports to His called preachers:
I was watching Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Look, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing will ever harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names have been written in heaven.
LUKE 10:18-20 EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION
This is what gives us joy: that we belong with Jesus because He has plucked us out of the Devil's hand and now nothing can pluck us out of His. Jesus said:
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
JOHN 10:28-29 EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION
Michael, all holy angels, and all of God's baptized holy people enjoy the same confidence based on the same gift: our future is secure because the Lord has promised it to us. No demons, no Devil, no nothing can change that, try as they might. Satan has fallen; Christ is risen up. And so shall you.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Boehringer has been preaching Christ and Him crucified to himself and to his congregation at Gethsemane since 2009.