Online Bible Commentary
Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." 10 He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." 13 To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (NIV)
The writer of this letter to the Hebrew Christians is unknown. However, early Church tradition attributed this writing to Paul, to which I agree. This passage is a continuation of the writer claiming the superiority of Christ over angels. Angels were held in high esteem by the Jews and the goal of the writer is to ensure that these new Jewish Christians do not elevate angels over Christ.
Since Christ “loved righteousness and hated wickedness” (v.9a) during His stay on earth God the Father “set” Him “above” His “companions”, fellow believers, by “anointing” Him with “the oil of joy” (v. 9b). Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth. He hates sin, wickedness. Since He was without sin He was the spotless lamb, without blemish. This qualified Him as the only one who could be the Savior of all believers. The “anointing” is a picture of a crowning at a royal banquet. The “oil of joy” represents the anointing oil that was used on occasions of gladness. All of this points to a Sovereign Lord and Savior, one who is superior to angels.
Through Jesus all things, “earth” and “the heavens”, were created (v. 10a). Verses 10-12 are a direct quote of Psalm 102:25-27. They speak of Jesus as the Creator and Ruler of this world. They also speak to His second coming and His destruction of this world. This world will “perish”. It has a shelf life and will ultimately “wear out”. But Jesus is eternal and will “remain” (v.11). The world will be rolled up “like a garment” (v. 12a). The world will be like a used piece of clothing, rolled up and put away. Christ will exchange the old earth and heavens for a new earth and a new heaven, just as one would change a garment (Rev. 21:1). The world will be replaced, but Christ will always remain the same, and will live for eternity (v. 12b).
In verse thirteen, the writer continues his comparison of Christ to angels by referring to Psalm 110:1. The scripture was from the Father to the Son, never to an angel. To sit at the right hand of someone meant you were sitting in a place of honor. The “footstool” was a reference to the ancient custom of the victor placing his foot on the neck of his fallen enemy.
After declaring what angels are not, the writer turns to what they are. Angels are “ministering spirits” (v. 14a). They are servants of Christ, not equal to or greater than Christ. They are sent by Christ to serve believers or those who will be believers, “those who will inherit salvation” (v. 14b).
Christ knew us before we were ever born (Jer. 1:5). He knitted us together in the womb (Ps. 139:13). He knew if we would receive Him and “inherit salvation” before we were born. He knew whether we would be believers, or not. And to those whom he knew would receive Him, he gave a special angel, a guardian angel. Our guardian angel has been with us from the time we were in the womb.
The Lord sends His guardian angels in fulfillment of Scripture: “He will guard the feet of his saints” (1 Sam. 2:9). He preserves His own, for Himself. We need fear nothing, for He has us in His hands. Nothing will happen to us that is outside the will of God. He has a plan for us and He will be faithful to work that plan. He loves us and He works all things together for our good (Ro. 8:28).
These promises from Scripture only apply to His saints, Christians. If you are not a Christian you can not claim these promises. You do not have a guardian angel. Becoming a Christian requires confession of sin (agreeing with God that your sin is wrong and does not fit a child of God), repentance (turning away from sin), and acceptance (accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior). When you pray this prayer to God, you will instantly become a Christian and the Holy Spirit will indwell you, enabling you to live a godly life. The next step is baptism by immersion, the announcement to other believers that you are a Christian.
In my hospice ministry I have known many people who have seen angels. This is always a comfort to them, and to me, because we know that they WILL inherit salvation, they WILL go to Heaven. Praise be to God!