The First Morning & Evening, Part 2

Boker, our Hebrew word for morning, also carries a number of additional meanings, and like Erev, these may point to a deeper truth within. Boker conveys a sense of becoming discernible, vision is clearing, distinction is occuring, entropy – or confusion – is fading. It’s the casting away of the dark by a flood of clarity, and it has become synonymous with dawn or morning.

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The First Morning & Evening, Part 1

Returning to our Scriptures, we read in verses 3 – 5: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” How many times have we read that? It’s a fairly familiar passage, but in its familiarity, have you ever noticed the order of the words? The phrasing does a good job at provoking curiosity when we do indeed ponder on it long enough to notice that it says “the evening and the morning” were the first day?

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Sights Unseen

Believers should have no doubt that angels are real, and that their presence in our world is one that can, and certainly does, have powerful ramifications. Even so, how often do we stop and consider their presence around us? Right now, no matter where you are, no matter what you find yourself doing, take a moment to ponder if you are truly alone. Is it possible that much activity is actually swirling around you in that quiet room? Could a battle of sorts even be underway? What are we missing right beneath our noses, just outside our range of perception?

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The Mysterious & the Weird

Beyond the archangels, there are a number of other celestial ranks that the Bible seems to note. Among these are the Principalities, the Powers, the Virtues, the Dominions, and the Thrones. While nothing is actually attributed to these ranks Biblically, commentators¹  have over the years inferred a number of responsibilities for each by looking to the scriptures for clues.²

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Ranks in the Celestial Army

In the world of mankind, we find that all well-organized gatherings have within their fold an established order of leaders, or otherwise a hierarchy of organization through which each individual knows his place. It appears that angels share this characteristic. While it may be simple enough for many believers to fall into the somewhat dismissive attitude of “an angel is an angel,” in truth the scriptures give us a bit of insight into their actual class or ranks.

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Celestial Misconceptions?

Knowing that they came before us leads to a particularly disheartening conclusion for some: Angels are not deceased people! I have encountered many individuals who have spoken of how loved ones who have gone on are now angels (oftentimes these people say they are in fact guardian angels, watching over them), and though the notion may be comforting, it is simply wrong. We do not ascend into the heights of heaven at death with silvery wings, halos, and golden harps. No, our future role is distinct and far different from that of angels, but that is a discussion for another time. What else do we often confuse concerning these creatures?

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Creating Angels

I suppose that, stepping right off into it, we should first address when the angels were created. It may surprise you to know that they are in fact created beings, just like us, that were made by God at some point for His purposes. After speaking with a number of people on this matter, I was astonished to find how many actually believed (perhaps having never really considered the matter much at all in the first place) that Angels, like God, were eternal and have always existed! While it is true that those angels which now exist will indeed exist forever, just as our own souls shall, the fact that they had an actual point of creation should not be overlooked.

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Angels: The Sons of God

Essentially every culture has beings that are equivalent to the Judeo-Christian notion of angels. Though by and large they are often believed to be spiritual beings of great power and knowledge, we in the west, thanks to generations of artistic license and marketing strategy, tend to think of angels as beautiful women with wings, or conversely pudgy cupid-like infants. Scripturally though, how does this hold up? What does the Bible have to say specifically about angels, and is there an insight to be gained about them from other sources as well? Check back Friday as the new series begins. God bless!

A Stranger on the Shore

Chapter 5 of Joshua opens by describing the fear that was in the hearts of the Amorites and Canaanites, the occupiers of the Promised Land, after they had not only heard of the conquests of the Israelites, but also because of what they had seen them do at the Jordan, their God halting the flow of those waters so that the Children of the Nation could pass across on dry land. After a few verses that testify to the Divine command for all of the men to physically and spiritually rededicate themselves to the Lord, we find in verse 13 how a stranger appeared to Joshua…

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