Saint Hilda was born into the Royal Family of Saint Edwin and so, when his arch rival Oswald came to the Northumbrian throne, Hilda believed her life in the north of England had come to an end. Saint Aidan however, had other ideas and, on hearing that she was already on her way to join a convent in France, sent some monks to bring her back.
There is a story of a preacher who once asked during a sermon, "What is a Saint?" There was silence for a short time, and then a child offered an answer; "Sir, a Saint is someone who the light shines through." They were obviously inspired in their answer by the stained glass windows where, every day the light shines through the saints. Nevertheless, this simple child-like answer reveals a deeper truth. A Saint is someone through whom the light of God shines.
Although he is not a saint in the same way Aidan and Oswald and others are, Michael is an Archangel, and he is certainly one through whom the light of God shines. Michael's very name reflects away from himself as it asks the question "Who is like God?"
There are only two Angels named in the Scriptures, Michael and Gabriel and of the two, Michael is specifically noted as a warrior. Whilst Michael may be very handsome, paintings of him as a young boy, or even slightly more female than male, hardly do him justice. In the Book of Kings we are told how a lesser angel killed 185,000 trained Assyrian troops in a night. Michael is an Archangel.
Michael is first named in the Book of Daniel where he is sent to help another angel who had been sent in response to Daniel's prayers. This angel had been caught up in a spiritual battle and, although not overwhelmed, found progress difficult. It was Michael's job to protect God's people.
Jude also mentions Michael, who had been sent by God to take care of Moses' body after he had died on Mount Nebo. Deuteronomy tells us that the Lord was responsible for Moses' burial but, as Michael carried out his duties, he came up against the devil himself who presumably wanted to claim Moses' body because he had killed an Egyptian. The devil is only a fallen angel and, as a warrior, Michael could have challenged him, but all he said was, "The Lord rebuke you." In this he exercised great restraint, especially when we consider the third mention of Michael, in the Book of Revelation.
Although the Book of Revelation is the last in the Bible, it speaks of events across the full spectrum of time, and in chapter 12 it tells us of a battle even before time began: the battle between Satan and those who would follow him, and Michael. Michael proved the stronger and Satan was cast down to the earth. It is this victory over the devil that is often recorded in artistic representations of Michael but, as we see him victorious, we must also remember that, as well as a time to fight, there is also a time for restraint.
Daniel 10:10-15, 12:1
How does what you learn from Michael help you in your walk with God?