Advent 2022: Thu 1 Dec

Genesis 3:22-24

And the Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live for ever.’ So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the 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.

There are different types of angels, but not that many. The fat-faced cherubs of Rafael hanging around doing not much are nothing like the angels who have been placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to deny access to the tree of life. They are there to guard the place and to fend off anyone who’d dare to approach.

How do you imagine the size of these cherubim? Are they human-size, smaller, or larger?

God placed the cherubim (we do not know how many there were, though a few artists like to show one only) where he wanted them. The story is quite specific about their placement east of the Garden of Eden. Before Adam and Eve were banished there would not have been any need for an entrance/exit point! The angels might still be standing guard today. I don’t think they’d necessarily show up on Google Earth, though.

Angels do God’s bidding. They are not employees. They do not clock on or keep office hours. If a task needs doing, it will be done, however long it may last. Angels are unsalaried, and they do not have holiday entitlement. There are no angel breakout areas in heaven.

Does the tree of life still exist?

Are the cherubim still there?

Do angels need lunch breaks?

Do angels have freedom to choose?

Father God, I cannot imagine the awfulness of falling from your grace as Adam and Eve did, yet when I fall into sin you forgive my frequent fallings as I confess and repent of them, because you sent Jesus to pay the price of my sin, and allow me to stand before you as an adopted child of grace. Thank you, Father. Amen.