What do angels do? Do they fly about beyond the Milky Way and polish the stars? Maybe that’s written into their job description, but it appears to me that their primary duty, their supreme purpose and pleasure, their calling from now into eternity, is to worship the King. They attend His royal throne. They serve His Majesty. They sing praises to His Holy Name.
Isaiah “saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth” (Isaiah 6:1–3).
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the angel choir took the celestial stage. A group of lowly Judean shepherds were in the audience and heard the choir director introduce the anthem. “Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord!” The “multitude of the heavenly host” sang, “praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!” (Luke 2:8–14).
John witnessed it too. The hosts of heaven “fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp... And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth. Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands. They said with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing! I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say, Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:8–14). “All the angels stood around the throne, and ... they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 7:11–12).
God gave Moses a complete set of detailed blueprints for the construction of the Tabernacle. In the Holy of Holies, the Most Holy Place, Moses fashioned the Arch of the Covenant and its lid, the Mercy Seat. God told Moses to “make a mercy seat of pure gold, forty-five inches long and twenty-seven inches wide. Make two cherubim of gold; make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end. At its two ends, make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat. The cherubim are to have wings spread out above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and are to face one another. The faces of the cherubim should be toward the mercy seat ... I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there” (Exodus 25:17–22). These cherubim were not to be worshipped but were God’s symbol of worship.
One thing makes Heaven’s occupancy ring out in glorious worship. “There is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).
When we gather each Sunday morning to sing His praises, we’re just practicing for the fast-approaching day when we’ll join the angel chorale bowed before the glorious throne of our Rescuer and Redeemer, our Master and Maker, our Savior and Sustainer as we sing for an audience of One!
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.