Gabriel is one of the two angels named in the Bible. His name means "man of God" or "strength of God."
We first read of Gabriel in the Old Testament book of Daniel. He appeared before Daniel in the form of a man. Daniel fell prostrate as Gabriel approached but the angel touched him and raised him to his feet and gave him insight into an important vision of the end ties. (Daniel 8:16)
Later, Daniel was praying, confessing his sin and the sin of the people of Israel and requesting the God turn His anger away from Israel. Gabriel came to him again. He told Daniel that as soon as he had begun to pray, an answer was given, and Gabriel was sent to deliver the answer for Daniel was highly regarded. (Daniel 9:21)
The next mention of the angel Gabriel is in the New Testament book of Luke. A priest named Zechariah was serving in the temple. He and his wife were old and had no children. Gabriel was sent to tell Zechariah that his wife would become pregnant and have a son whose name was to be John. In his visit with Zechariah, Gabriel revealed that he stands in the presence of God and was sent to deliver this good news. Zechariah's son, John, would become the man we call John the Baptist and would prepare the way for the Messiah. (Luke 1:19)
Gabriel is mentioned by name one more time in the Bible. Again, he was delivering an important message. When Zechariah's wife, Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy, God sent Gabriel to a small town in Israel, to a young peasant girl named Mary. He greeted her by saying that she was highly favored and proceeded do deliver his most important message. She was to be the mother of the Son of God. She was to bear the child that all of Israel had been waiting for since Eve had received the first prophecy in the garden. (Luke 1:26)
These three instances, in which Gabriel is mentioned, were very important events in our history. Each time, the message he delivered gave a mortal person insight into what the Almighty God had planned. I believe that the angel Gabriel still stands before the throne and still delivers messages for the Lord God, but let's not be confused. The importance of each instance lies in the message, not the messenger. The glory belongs to God.
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