“Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of his vision” (Daniel 8:16 NLT).


It is interesting to see the angel Gabriel mentioned in our Old Testament reading on this first day of December. For he will also be of great interest to us as we read the gospel accounts of Christ’s birth during this Christmas season. There are only two angels named in the Bible (excluding the fallen one, Lucifer). They are Michael, the archangel of God and Gabriel, who acts as God’s messenger. The name “Gabriel” means “Strong Man of God.” He described himself to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, like this: “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news” (Luke 1:19). Gabriel is recorded as bearing God’s messages to Daniel (Dan. 8:16, 9:21), to Zechariah (Luke 1:19), to Mary (Luke 1:26), and although his name is not given, to Joseph (Matt. 1:20).
There was something about Gabriel’s presence that struck fear in each human encounter. Perhaps it was the lingering presence of God that still clung to his person as it once did to Moses after he came down from Mt. Sinai. His purpose was specific each time. Give the addressee the message and make sure they understand its meaning.
What did Gabriel explain to Daniel? He explained the meaning of Daniel’s second vision, which offered more detail concerning two of the coming kingdoms that both Nebuchadnezzer and Daniel had seen. For Gabriel even identified the two-horned ram as Medo-Persia and the one-horned goat as Greece. The earlier visions had not been so clearly identified.
Gabriel even mentions one called the Prince of princes, who I believe refers to the coming Christ, who is the Son of Man of Daniel 7 and the one named Jesus as Matthew and Luke record. Surely Gabriel must have a close connection to Christ. For he is like a herald that always goes before the king to announce his coming.
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You that You not only provide revelation of Yourself to us, but also interpretation of what those revelations mean. Throughout the centuries You have spoken to us through Your angels, prophets and in these last days, through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Now we have Your written Word and Your Holy Spirit to teach us. And You have gifted Your Church with apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to further equip us for maturity and ministry. Thank You Lord for doing everything necessary to make sure we can know you. In Jesus’ name, amen.