Probably one of the most beautiful creatures ever created, Gabriel could have stepped right out of a romance novel with flowing hair, fine features and a commanding presence. The meaning of the name certainly invokes an importance worthy of someone’s attention.
The strength of God
Gabriel is called by name four times between the Old and New Testaments. My guess is Gabriel appeared many other times as well, but as part of a larger company of heavenly hosts.
Sometime around 165 BC, Gabriel appears twice to Daniel to help interpret troubling visions about the future, and tells him, the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
In Rabbinic and Christian writings, Gabriel is one of the angel orders called the Seraphim. They, together with the Cherubim, are heavenly creatures hanging out nearest to the throne of God. Gabriel is the one who runs between the throne room and earth delivering divine messages.
Many centuries later, Gabriel announces to Zacharias, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God and tells him that even though his wife, Elizabeth, has been barren, she would give birth to a son. Through this son, many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Christians know that son as John, the Baptizer.
Pretty heavy stuff. Messages of revelation that could only be entrusted to the highest order of angelic being; an archangel.
A few months after breaking the news to Zach and Liz, Gabriel appears to a young woman named Mary to announce she would become the mother of a baby boy who shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Christians know this as the annunciation of the Messiah, Jesus.
But as powerful as Gabriel is among the heavenly hosts, I’ll bet the wings trembled when entrusting this scared, young, unwed teen-age girl with the news she was to be the mother responsible for raising the One who would forever change the world.
Submitted for ABC Wednesday