THE GOD OF ANGEL ARMIES - December 8, 2022
Thursday, December 8th
Advent Devotional #12 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton
THE GOD OF ANGEL ARMIES
Have you ever considered that the shepherds to whom the angels appeared were the only people not given any time to prepare for that amazing night?
Mary and Joseph had months to prepare for the birth of Jesus. The Wisemen had years to study the sky and prepare for the birth of a king. The prophets proclaimed centuries before Jesus’ birth that he would come to pave the way. The religious leaders knew of the prophecies.
Not the shepherds, though—they were given just minutes to react to the news that the Savior had been born.
The shepherds had gathered their flock and were settling in for the night, hoping it would be a quiet one. Instead, they got the surprise of their lives. The sky suddenly lit up, bright as the noon-day sun. That in and of itself was enough to startle them. But what startled them the most was the appearance of an angel right before their eyes. The sudden presence of the angel terrified them. The angel told them not to fear and then delivered the news that changed everything.
“A baby has been born, and not just any baby. The Messiah. Here’s how you will know it’s him. He will be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Before the words had left the angel’s mouth, the entire sky exploded in a cacophony of sound and sight. There was no longer just one angel in the sky; the sky was filled with angels singing God’s praise. As one, their voices lifted to heaven, echoing across the hills of Judah and resounding in the Shepherds’ ears.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)
Then, as suddenly as the angels arrived, they departed, leaving an eerie stillness. The shepherds looked at one another, trying to comprehend what they had just experienced. The shepherds stumbled over themselves, hastily rising to their feet. “We have to go find this baby; we have to go now.”
The urgency of their mission propelled them forward. With the angels’ words still ringing in their ears, they journeyed to Bethlehem, to a stable, to a baby. Falling to their knees, they worshiped Jesus, the Messiah. These simple shepherds had mere moments to respond to Jesus and respond they did.
I wonder—would we have done the same? Or would we have gotten stuck on the logistics? Would our unbelief have stood in the way of what God was trying to do that night?
God, the same God all those years ago, is still trying to work in our lives today. He’s the God of angel armies. His army of angels may not be visible in the way it was the night Jesus was born, but you can know with certainty that he is still actively working in your life today. The Mighty God surrounds you with his angels every moment of every day!
Today: Don’t let your unbelief stand in the way of what God, the God of angel armies, wants to do in and through you.