By Edd Sterchi
Ever wonder what causes the angels in heaven to shout for joy? There are several instances of angels proclaiming joy, and they all seem to have a common thread.
The first instance of the heavenly host expressing joy is during the creation of the heavens and the earth. Recounting the incident, God tells Job that when it happened, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:1-7). Most Bible scholars agree that the morning stars and sons of God are in reference to angels, who apparently were created prior to the earth. So in this instance, we see the angels being joyous because of God using His creative powers to make something that had never existed before.
Let’s look at another instance of the angels showing joy. When the proper time came (Gal. 4:4), God sent His Son to be born of the human race. It is at this time in announcing the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds that angels proclaimed it a time of “great joy” (Luke 2:8-14). So here the angels express praise and joy at the coming of the Christ-child, the God-Man, Jesus. As in the creation, they are expressing joy over something that had never before existed.
There is one more instance I can find in the Bible of the angels expressing joy – and this one directly involves us. In Luke 15:10 we are told that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Seeing a sinner come to God and becoming a new creation brings great joy to the angels.
From these three instances, I think we can clearly see that angels get excited over new creations. Think about it: when we have our lives made new through baptism into Christ and we continue to live each day renewed in the Spirit, the angels rejoice over us. What an encouraging thought!
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them!” (Rev. 12:11-12a)
- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.broadwaychurchofchrist.net/