10-2 The Angel Michael and Israel
It would appear from Michael being described as "the prince which standeth for the children of thy (Daniel's) people" (Dan. 12:1) and because 'Michael' elsewhere in Daniel refers to an Angel, that Michael is the Angel especially responsible for Israel, and therefore one of the most powerful Angels- "Michael one of the chief princes" (Dan. 8:13), "the great prince" (Dan. 12:1). The LXX renders Dan. 12:1 as “the great Angel” (AV “great prince”). Under Michael's control there are many other Angels similarly dedicated to the affairs of the people of Israel- Dt. 11:12 describes the land of Israel as "a land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God (i. e. the Angels) are always upon it from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year". In passing, does the phrase "the LORD thy God" refer to the Angel which led them through the wilderness? The Angel Michael? Remember Moses was speaking to the people of Israel at this time, and as we saw earlier, they very much conceived of the "the LORD thy God" in terms of the Angel of the presence going with them. Thus God was promising that His Angels would physically be present in the land and would be especially sensitive to the events there. The degree to which God wanted Israel to conceive of Him in terms of Angels is shown by carefully considering the command for Israel not to have chariots (Dt. 17:16 cp. Is. 2:7). As this form of transport became increasingly popular, it must have seemed as crazy as Christians being told not to possess motor cars. There must have therefore been a highly significant teaching behind it. Was the purpose of it to make Israel look to the Angel-cherubim chariots of God? The word for 'cherubim' carries the idea of a chariot; the notion of horsemen corresponds with the Angel horseriders of Zechariah and Revelation.
Zech. 1:11 describes the Angels as walking "to and fro through the earth (Heb. 'eretz'- the land, of Israel), and behold, all the earth (land) sitteth still and is at rest". "They are the eyes (Angels) of the LORD which run to and fro through the whole earth" (Zech. 4:10). It may even be that the satan Angel of Job was walking to and fro through the land of Israel (going up and down in the "earth"- land) rather than through the whole planet, inspecting the true worshippers (who would only have been located in the area around Israel in all probability). Perhaps it is to the physical presence of the Angel in the land that Ezek. 35:10 refers " Thou (the Arabs) hast said, These two nations and these two countries (Israel and Judah) shall be mine, and I will possess it; whereas the LORD (the Angel Michael) was there". Yet this same Angel ministered judgement on Israel- Ezek. 7:14 and 20:17 describe God's eye (the Angel Michael) not sparing or pitying, and in so doing goes back to the language of Is. 63 where we see that the Angel was capable of showing pity, but ceased to because of Israel's sin (v. 9,10). Ps. 83 also speaks of the Arab aggression towards Israel and therefore Michael in the last days: "They have taken crafty counsel against Thy people" (v. 3)- Israel are Michael's people. They say "let us take to ourselves the houses of God" (v. 12)- i. e. the Angel's dwelling place in the temple. They will be punished by a mighty theophany involving " a wheel. . . the wind. . the fire. . . Thy tempest. . . Thy storm" (v. 13-15)- all of which is the language of the Angel-cherubim and God manifestation in the Angels (e. g. Ps. 104:1-4).
The Angel Michael Standing Up
The closeness of association between the Angel Michael and His people Israel is shown by the fact that when He 'stands up' in the last days many of the people of Israel ("thy-Daniel's-people") also 'stand up' in resurrection (Dan. 12:1-3).
Both Isaiah 63 and Habakkuk 3- which appears to allude to Isaiah 63 and be commenting on the work of the Angel leading Israel through the wilderness- imply that God through Michael will suddenly become aware of His work for Israel in the past and decide to "revive (the) work in the midst of the years" (Hab. 3:2), or "remember the days of old, Moses, and His people, saying, Where is He that brought them up out of the Sea. . that led them through the deep?". Notice the language of limitation in the idea of the Angel remembering things and stirring Himself up. This leading was the work of the Angel Michael- as if the "Angel of His presence" (Is. 63:11-13) is reminding Himself in the last days of His previous manifestation for Israel, and resolving to revive such work.
However, at present it seems that for almost the last 2,000 years there has been little Angelic activity on behalf of the land of Israel. Hence the Angel Michael is described as "standing up" for Israel in the last days; and Zech. 12:4 says significantly "In that day, saith the LORD,. . I will open Mine eyes (the Angels responsible for Israel- notice the references to them like this earlier in the prophecy) upon the house of Judah", as if Angelic activity on Israel's behalf revives in the last days. The "hand of God" is associated with causing the latter day revival and repentance of Israel, and we have shown that this is an Angelic phrase: "I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin; and I will rebuke thy judges. . " (Is. 1:25,26). "In that (last) day, the Lord shall set His hand. . . to recover the remnant of His people. . He shall shake His hand over the river. . and make men go over dryshod" (Is. 11:11,15). Compare also how the hand of the Lord purged Isaiah and the people he represented (Is. 6:5) from their sin (Is. 6:6).
Ez. 20:35 shows how the 'second Exodus' of the Jews from their dispersion at the time of the second coming will also involve the activity of the Angel Michael. "I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face". It must be through the Angel Michael that God pleads with them face to face (cp. Ex. 33:10).