Before Creation, The Angels Were...?

A dear, sweet girl emails me this morning and asks:

“Ok so I have a big question. It’s been on my mind for a few days and I never found the answer. And it might be a dumb question, but I’m learning. Ok, so the serpent that told Eve to eat the fruit from the tree, was that the devil? I thought the devil was an angel at one point that fell from the sky because he thought he was more powerful than God? I might have that wrong but my question is: The bible says in the BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth. So where did the devil come into the picture? I didn’t think there was existence before Adam and Eve because He says it was without form and it was dark. So how did all of this happen? I think I’m missing a piece of the puzzle. Can you help?”

There is nothing wrong with asking a question, and this one isn’t dumb! However, I do not have all of the answers and the things you are asking are pretty intense – these questions are dynamic at the very least. In a nutshell, your question appears to be: was there anything in existence before the earth and the heavens were created?

Fortunately, the Bible has an answer for both of us and you do not have to depend on me alone for an explanation. I’d worry about you if you did; I never trust anyone that attempts to answer my own difficult questions without first consulting their Bible. Our answer can be found in the Book of Job.

Job is an interesting book, and is considered to be one of the oldest books of the Bible, despite its location in the middle of the Old Testament. Job questioned God, so in return God questions Job. We can follow the dialogue in Chapter 38, beginning in verse 4: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Morning Stars and Sons of God are terms used in the Bible for specific angels and celestial beings. When God created the world (In the beginning) the angels were already present. These verses tell us that when God ‘laid the foundations’ of the earth, the Morning Stars sang together and the Sons of God shouted for joy. Now, I don’t know when they were called into existence by God, or where He created them, or how it all came to be. I also do not know how long they had been in existence before God decided to create the world and the universe in general. But these verses satisfy me with an explanation that not only were the angels around at the time, they were also very happy about God creating the world as we know it!

This also sheds some light on the Christmas carol we sing called Angels From The Realms of Glory:

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight oer all the earth.
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.

We can be certain that at some point in time the angels were all created by God, and from these verses we understand that they were already around and in existence before the earth was created. "In the beginning" refers to the beginning of the world we live in but does not equate to God as He has always been in existence. God is not bound by our time and how we understand the concept of it.

You are also right when you mention that the devil (Satan) was the culprit in the Garden of Eden as far as his tempting Eve and causing the fall of man. But we do not know all of the details surrounding the fall of Satan himself, or even when it actually happened. Notice, too, that the serpent was forever changed afterward. Before Satan used him, he was one of the most wondrous of God’s created animals. After the fall in the garden, he was cursed by God to slide on his belly and be despised by everyone. That’s another story and something I, once again, do not have all of the answers to.

I hope this helps. One day we will know everything about it and ‘we’ll understand it better by and by.’ But for now, we have the Word of God to help us understand all the things we need to know while we are here on earth. And thanks for giving me a topic to use in my blog today!

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