Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 1

The greatness of angels

Hebrews 1:7

We might imagine Hebrews 1:7 to mean that angels (Godís special servants) are not important. They are only like wind or flame. However, our imagination is not a good way to understand the Bible. A much better way is to read and to study what the Bible really says.

We will find that the author of Hebrews is referring to Psalm 104:4. The subject of Psalm 104 is the greatness of God. And in Psalm 104:1-10, there is a word-picture that describes a storm. It is as if God is riding on the wind (Psalm 104:3). His voice is like the noise of the storm (Psalm 104:7). He reaches across the skies (Psalm 104:2).

And in the middle of that passage is the verse that the author uses. God makes his angels as powerful as the wind on which he rides. He makes them like fire. Perhaps that means lightning, which flashes between heaven (the sky) and the earth.

People in Israel knew about terrible storms. The Bible mentions storms that cause boats to sink (Mark 4:37). And there are storms that destroy whole houses (Matthew 7:27). The Bible speaks about winds that break rocks apart (1 Kings 19:11).

But the wind that carries God must be greater and more terrible than any of these (Job chapter 37). Isaiah saw angels that appeared as flames in front of Godís throne (royal seat) Ė Isaiah 6:1-7. (The Ďseraphimí means the angels Ďof fireí.) Isaiah was so afraid that he felt completely hopeless.

So, Godís angels are great and powerful. They are greater and more powerful than anything that we can imagine.

But they are not as great as Godís Son. They are only like the winds that carry his royal carriage. Or, they are like the burning lamps in front of his throne.

Next part: The rule of Godís Son (Hebrews 1:8-9)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.