Michael Protects Us in the Worst of Times
Revelation 12: 7 - 12
Although angels appear in the Bible from the days of Creation, they do not have individual names until the Jews return from the captivity in Babylon. The archangel Michael is called by name for the first time in the book of Daniel.
Michael appears in both Daniel and in John the Evangelist's book of Revelation. Both books are called apocalyptic (not prophetic) literature - that means they talk about the present, those things that were happening exactly at the time they were written.
Both books were written separately and circulated hand-to-hand (often secretly) as a comfort to the believers during times of great persecution toward the people of God.
Michael is always pictured as a fierce warrior, and the Jews of Daniel's time and the early Christians of John's day saw him as their protector. The truth of both books is that God 's people would survive and that their persecutors would be punished.
Some elements of both books seem to be written in code, but the words and images were a kind of shorthand that would have been easily understood by the people who read them at that time.
And even though some Christians today go through terrible ordeals when they proclaim their faith, hardly any of us can imagine how bad things were for the early Christians of John's time: they lived under constant threat of torture and death.
Some Christian fishermen believe that Michael is their special protector. They sing, Michael, Row the Boat Ashore, when they are caught in bad storms at sea.
Today would be a good day to sing that song, as we give thanks to the God who protects us in so many different ways.
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