Angel Longings

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:10-12

. . . things into which angels long to look! (v. 12 NRSV)

Peter's conviction that there are “things into which angels long to look” intrigues me. Most of the time we either don't think about angels at all or we think about them wrongly, as chubby little figurines or as a baseball team in California. But to Peter and all the other writers of the Bible, they are either fierce warriors of the Lord, like the one driving out David's enemies in Psalm 35, or valiant messengers doing the Lord's high bidding, like Gabriel announcing to Mary that she would cradle a king in her womb. Whenever they appear they always leave those who see them stunned and afraid.

But angels also have deep longings. According to Peter, the desire of an angel's heart is to think deeply, often, and exclusively about the Lord Jesus Christ, who brings “indescribable and glorious joy” to the hearts of all believers (1 Peter 1:8). And that makes all the sense in the world, doesn't it? The same company of angels who announced his birth and those who sat on his tomb stone after his death would surely have an appetite for the things of the One whom they love.

Some years ago the Lord gave me this verse as a way of fighting off discouragement in preaching. If it didn't appear to me as though people were much interested in my preaching, I could count on angels gathering to listen with rapt attention!


Give us hearts, Lord, to speak of the things “into which angels long to look.”