LESSONS FOR HOLY MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS - September 29, 2020
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Genesis 28:10-17 Jacob's Dream
10 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder[a] set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it[b] and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring.14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
1 Praise the Lord, O my soul, *
and all that is within me, praise his holy Name.
2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, *
and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgives all your sin *
and heals all your infirmities,
4 Who saves your life from the pit *
and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness,
5 Who satisfies you with good things, *
renewing your youth like an eagle’s.
6 The Lord executes righteousness and judgment *
for all those who are oppressed with wrong.
7 He showed his ways to Moses, *
his works to the children of Israel.
8 The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, *
long-suffering and of great goodness.
9 He will not always chide us, *
neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, *
so great is his mercy also toward those who fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, *
so far has he set our sins from us.
13 As a father pities his own children, *
so is the Lord merciful to those who fear him.
14 For he knows whereof we are made; *
he remembers that we are but dust.
15 The days of man are as grass; *
he flourishes as a flower of the field.
16 For as soon as the wind goes over it, it is gone, *
and its place shall know it no more.
17 But the merciful goodness of the Lord endures for ever and ever upon those who fear him,
and his righteousness upon children’s children,
18 Even upon those who keep his covenant *
and think upon his commandments to do them.
19 The Lord has prepared his throne in heaven, *
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 O praise the Lord, you angels of his, you that excel in strength, *
you that fulfill his commandment, and hearken unto the voice of his words.
21 O praise the Lord, all you his hosts, *
you servants of his that do his pleasure.
22 O speak good of the Lord, all you works of his, in all places of his dominion; *
praise the Lord, O my soul.
Satan Thrown Down to Earth
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers[a] has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you,[a] you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
GENESIS 28:10-17 Jacob meets God at Bethel
Personal crisis is often the occasion for deep spiritual experience. So it was for Jacob. Running away from home to a foreign country, he lay down and dreamed under the stars. In his dream the Lord himself reiterated the promises of land, descendants and blessing to the nations made first to Abraham and repeated to Isaac. But a fresh element was added, ‘I am with you … and will bring you back to this land’ (15). The promise of God’s accompanying presence was to be made to many leaders of Israel (cf. Ex. 3:12; Jos. 1:5; Jdg. 6:16), indeed, it is Christ’s promise to all his followers (Mt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5–6). But unlike many, Jacob was privileged to see his guardian angels (cf.Mt. 18:10; 26:53).
20-22 The psalm concludes with the psalmist calling on all heavenly creatures ("angels," "mighty ones," "heavenly hosts," and "servants"), serving the Lord on high, to join together with all creation in the praise of God. Those heavenly hosts are always loyal to the Lord, and he expects the same from his creatures on earth.
12:7-12 This passage begins an interlude describing Satan's role in stimulating persecution of the Church. The war with Michael and the good angels is usually interpreted to picture an event before the creation of the world. However, the context places it just before the end of the world. Satan has been accusing the brethren (v. 10), the Christians, and his downfall (see Lk 10:18) presages the consummation of the Kingdom (v. 10). Satan is overcome by Christ's self-sacrifice and that of the martyrs (v. 11)—those who did not love their lives to the death. The short time (v. 12) Satan has is the period of tribulation just prior to the end
JOHN 1:47-51 Jesus' comment on Nathanael suggests that the latter had been reading of Jacob's experience at Bethel (Gen 28:1-17). Jacob was filled with guile and had been forced to leave home because he had lied to his father and had swindled his brother. If under these circumstances Jacob was eligible for a revelation from God., would not Nathanael be even more worthy of such a blessing? Jesus said that Nathanael was free from "guile" (KJV) and then used the imagery of Jacob's dream to describe the greater revelation he would give to Nathanael. Jesus implied that he himself would be the medium of that revelation, and his order of the angels' procedure implies that they rose from earth to heaven with their inquiries and then returned to earth with the answers. His mission is to answer human need and to make sure that the answers are proclaimed. The term "Son of Man" is used here for the first time in John's gospel (see comments on Mk 8:31).
1:51 The title Son of Man is a title of the Messiah that had a level of mystery in its meaning, indicating a man of heavenly origin who would usher in the Kingdom of God (Dan 7:13, 14). In an OT prophecy, Jacob dreamed of a ladder connecting earth to heaven, upon which the angels of God were ascending and descending (Gen 28:12–15). Jesus is this “ladder” who unites earth to heaven, and therefore is this Son of Man.