Some people believe that angels sing — and I am among those. In looking through traditional hymnbooks I find I am not alone. Fanny Crosby, the beloved poet wrote:
Why do the holy angels sing?
Why do the heav’nly arches ring
With anthems sweet from seraphs bright,
With glitt’ring crowns and robes of white?
But, say some, there is no Biblical evidence that angels sing. How can we be sure?
No Biblical evidence? I think there is. Take a look at Job 38:1-7:
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: ‘Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man: I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?'” (The word “stars” is Strong’s Concordance #3556 and one of its definitions is “heavenly power (that serve God).” Thus, a star could be an angel. Many theologians agree, stating in commentaries that “morning stars” as used in this verse are indeed angels.)
In the wonderful sermon by C.H. Spurgeon, The First Christmas Story, he says of angels, “They sang the story out, for they could not stay to tell it in heavy prose. They sang, “Glory to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men.” Methinks they sang it with gladness in their eyes; with their hearts burning with love, and with breasts as full of joy as if the good news to man had been good news to themselves.”
I love this fictional accounting of how the angels sang on the night of Christ’s birth: “Have you ever heard a really big men’s choir? Start with that idea, but imagine them not in choir robes, but girded for battle. Not grim draftees, but soldiers terrible in joy. Not so few you could count them if you tried, but thousands and thousands. Not bare, four-part harmony, but every voice with a slightly different song and all the voices fitting together like a million pieces of a stained-glass window into the glory of heaven. Not singing with weak human lungs, but sounding eternal chords like the ones that we used at the creation of the world. Not a song with a few words and a chorus, but a song that could not be contained even if you knew all the greatest words from all the languages of your earth. And this song, if you tried to sing it, would say, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom the Commander’s grace rests.” That is the kind of song the shepherds heard!”
Wow! If that doesn’t enlarge your thinking about angels, nothing will. Some will say it far-fetched of me to believe that when the angels go into battle against the enemy’s evil forces, they swing their swords and attack with a joyful song of victory as their battle cry. I think it is not far-fetched, but a biblical theory. Historically, when the Chosen People of God (The Israelite’s) went into battle the singers were often sent out in advance of the warriors. Wonder where they learned that secret of victory?
Do angels sing? I am convinced they do. Not in the sweet, child-like music of fairy tales and children’s stories. Rather, I think they sing joyfully, forcefully, with a crescendo of sound that will climax when our Lord returns to earth with the greatest of battle cries: Behold He comes! Prepare the way of the Lord!