As I stated in my previous blog, this is going to be an in-depth study into angels. Who are they? Why do they appear? What is their purpose?
In order to do that we need to start at the beginning…at the “fall of mankind” as it is generally put in biblical text.
In Genesis 3:1 (NIV) Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the world animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ” Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
This next part is paraphrase.
Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree and were cast out of the Garden of Good and Evil.
Genesis 3:24 (NIV) After He drove man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
And there it is, the very first mention of any kind of angelic creature in the Bible. What are the Cherubim and what is their purpose? Are they guards or something else?
***New Advent dot org states
The word cherub (cherubim is the Hebrew masculine plural) is a word borrowed from the Assyrian kirubu, from karâbu, “to be near”, hence it means near ones, familiars, personal servants, bodyguards, courtiers. It was commonly used of those heavenly spirits, who closely surrounded the Majesty of God and paid Him intimate service. Hence it came to mean as much as “Angelic Spirit”. (The change from K of Karâbu, to K of Kirub is nothing unusual in Assyrian. The word has been brought into connection with the Egyptian Xefer by metathesis from Xeref=K-r-bh.) A similar metathesis and play upon sound undoubtedly exists between Kerub and Rakab, “to ride”, and Merkeba, “chariot”. The late Jewish explanation by analogy between Kerub and Rekûb, “a youth”, seems worthless. The word ought to be pronounced in English qerub and querubim, and not with a soft ch. ***
Now at first glance it is simply a meaning of the word and it’s origin. However when we look closer, we see words like personal servants, bodyguards, courtiers and the actual meaning, to be near.
The word Cherub or Cherubim is mentioned in the Bible 69 times in the Bible. They are used for ornamental purposes such as in the building of the Covenant of the Ark. The place meant to hold the tablets containing the Ten Commandments of God.
In Exodus 25:18 – 22 (NIV) 18 And make two Cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one Cherub on one end and the second Cherub on the other; make the Cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The Cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The Cherubim are to face each other; looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant of law that I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant of law, I will meet with you and give you my commands for the Israelites.
Cherubim, to guard over, protect. The Covenant of law known as the Ten Commandments. The fact that they are so important to us as human beings that God commanded his cherubim be placed as symbols of protection on the lid that carried them.
To be near, to guard–cherubim. They are like the first line of defense against the evils of this world and have been sent to guard. Are they the guardian angels so many talk about having experienced in life? Are they guarding us against something or guarding us from something? Do cherubim ever shake their heads and wonder why God loves us so much when we consistently turn away from Him? Or do they stand like the ornaments described in the passages above, silent, obedient and unwavering?
In Numbers 7:89 (NIV) When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.
In this verse we are shown that Cherubim are more than mere ornament, they carry God’s voice to Moses. This is the way God communicated with us. It is evident that the golden cherubim provided a way for God’s voice to be carried.
Cherubim play an important roll in early Christianity. They are the beings meant to guard or keep safe the word of God and the voice of God as well. It is something to note because in a society filled with so much chaos and differing opinions. There is one single voice that can be heard above all others if we simply listen. It is the voice carried and given to us through the word of God. It is the voice cherubim carried. This places cherubim in a very important position. Even though we often think of guardian angels as important to us, I believe in the hierarchy of angels, they are the ones who stand guard.
In the Christian faith, cherubim is but one level of angels. There are several facets of angels and their jobs are all designed to carry out the will of God. If Cherubim are the guards, what are guardian angels and where do they stand in the hierarchy of the angelic society that exists in the pages of Biblical text?
That is one for next week.
May God be with you always.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV) Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Have a wonderful day.