Dan Mielke: A heavenly conversation

Published 5:23 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

What would an angel say to God? If you could listen in on a conversation between God and an angel, what might you hear? This is exactly the situation in Zechariah 1:12-13, where we find an angel having a conversation with God. This conversation takes place at the end of Israel’s 70 years of exile.

  In 1:12 an angel is asking God how long he will keep his people in judgement. “Then the angel of the Lord said, ‘O Lord of hosts, how long will you have no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which you have been angry these seventy years?”

In these short verses we can learn some amazing truths about God and how he invites us to interact with him.

First, notice how the angel refers to God. He addresses God as, “O Lord of hosts.” Literally the God of armies. The angel would have witnessed God directing the armies to overtake Jerusalem and bringing judgement because of their rebellion. The angel would have seen firsthand the Lord of Hosts condemn Satan and a third of the angels when they were cast out of Heaven for the same rebellious attitude. We can learn that God is serious about sin and powerful enough to bring judgement.

Secondly, notice how the angel is concerned about mercy and grace? “O Lord of hosts, how long will you have no mercy on Jerusalem?” What perspective on Grace would an angel have after watching God curse Satan and the rebellious angels instantly? The angel would have known that the 70 years of Israel’s captivity was prophesied and that it was a direct result of their rebellion, but why would an angel be concerned about what happens to talking dust specs? Why would an angel be concerned about mercy? In I Peter 1:12, Peter tells us that the working out of grace is something the angels want to know more about. We can see that God reveals his gracious character to angels through his interaction with humans and the angels get to watch the ‘movie’ of God through His interaction in humans.

How does God respond to the angel’s question in verse 13? “And the Lord answered gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.” God answered with gracious and comforting words. How incredible to think that in the midst of judgement, God answers his servant gently. Even in judgment, God desires to answer us with grace and compassion.

What can we learn from this? God is more than ok with us when we bring our questions to him. In fact, the lord of armies, invites his children into his throne room through prayer. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

God wants to show us His graciousness and power, yet He only reveals his grace to those who are submitted to him as Lord of Armies. I am thankful that an angel’s perspective can help me learn more about God’s grace, it makes me wonder, “How might a demon view the Grace of God?”