Daniel 7:9-10 “…the Ancient of Days took his seat…Thousands upon thousands attended him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.”
These hundreds of millions standing before God and attending him are not the people gathered for the judgment. They are the angels. In other contexts they serve God mostly by serving us.
Their name means “messenger,” and often they serve as heaven’s heralds, the postmen of Paradise, delivering important news to God’s people below. Sometimes they are guardians, delivering entire nations from their enemies or wayward individuals from their own mistakes. On the Last Day they will serve as ushers and crowd control, making sure each man and woman is gathered and seated in the proper section of the courtroom for sentencing, whether they are slated for heaven or for hell.
Now Daniel sees them standing before God himself and serving him. Their very number and appearance together is enough to send chills up your spine. Have you ever been gathered in a stadium filled with tens of thousands of people, all making their presence known with their cheering? The mass of people and volume of their voices produces a thrill of emotion, a kind of perception of power and infectious joy. The very sight of so many people can stir the soul.
Now Daniel sees not ten thousand, but ten thousand times ten thousand–hundreds of millions of God’s holy angels gathered for this occasion. These angels are not the Ancient of Days himself, but their presence surely heightens his glory.
And their number inspires our comfort. There is a passage in Revelation chapter 12 that suggests God’s holy angels outnumber the demons by a margin of two to one. Sometimes we Christians feel like a beleaguered little minority in this world, an ever shrinking resistance movement to the forces of evil. We are weakened by defections and infighting. We struggle to hang on.
But “those who are with us are more than those who are with them,” as Elisha once told his servant frightened by the enemy army encircling them. “We are not alone” is more than a slogan for fans of science fiction or believers in UFO’s. We are surrounded by extraterrestrials. But these are the angel armies of the Ancient of Days, the ranks of heaven God uses to protect us. Their presence and numbers give us courage to fight God’s battles today.