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3: On the Third Day of Christmas

The Third Day: Morning

The Christmas Joy of the Angels (1)

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!

 Luke 2:13,14

Read Luke 2:8-14

We know the angels are capable of joy. The book of Job tells us they shouted for joy as they watched God perform His work of creation (Job 38:7).

The joy of the angels on that occasion must have been very great indeed. How amazing to hear God speak a mere word and then see something pop into existence! Perhaps the angels exclaimed, “Oh!” and “Ah!” as they witnessed one act of creation after another. Perhaps we do not go too far astray if we imagine them conversing as they watched. A particular act of creation may very well have caused one to say: “Wow! That was a good one!” Another act may have caused yet another angel to say: “That’s the one I like!”

How did the angels respond when they saw the first man, Adam, spring forth as a result of God stooping down, taking a handful of dust and breathing into it? (Gen. 2:7). There must have been some “Ohs” and “Ahs” then. This man, a little lower than the angels themselves (Heb. 2:7), was God’s special creature. He was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), crowned with glory and honor, and set over all the works of God’s hands (Heb. 2:7).

And what of the angels when man, that special creature of honor and glory, suddenly turned upon his Creator and sinned so grievously against Him (Gen. 3:1–7)? Is it safe to say their joy turned to sorrow?

After Adam and Eve’s sin, the Lord stationed cherubim at the entrance of the Garden of Eden. They, with their flaming sword, were to “guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen. 3:24).

Did those mighty heavenly beings look with sorrow and wonderment first at the tree of life there in the garden and then at Adam and Eve sadly walking away?

So what was there about God creating that would cause the angels to rejoice? What was there about man’s rebellion that caused them to grieve?

We know the angels are utterly devoted to God and to His glory. They find inexpressible joy in anything that brings glory to God, and sorrow in anything that robs God of His glory. They rejoiced over God’s creative work because it brought glory to God. It put His wisdom, His omnipotence, His sovereignty, and His grace on display.

Conversely, they sorrowed over man’s sin because the very essence of sin is falling short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). It is the creature thumbing his nose in the face of the Creator and saying: “I will not have you ruling over me. I will be God myself.”


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