After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
The cherubim were created by God, part of the angelic host who serve God continually. There is no description in the Bible, except when used in decoration. Golden cherubim adorned the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant, at God’s request (Exodus 25:18-22; 1 Kings 6: 23-28; Hebrews 9: 5) and are mentioned in the visions of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 10; and 11: 22). Nothing more is known about them, but there is no reason to doubt their existence. Hebrews 1:13, 14 refers to some angels as ministering spirits, “sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation,” commonly called guardian angels, and Hebrews 13:2 speaks of unknowingly entertaining angels.
Throughout the Bible, God dispatched angels for specific assignments, defending God’s people and delivering messages. In the case of Adam and Eve, there simply was no one else available. Similar to the angels inside and outside at Jesus’ tomb after His resurrection, or the angels that appeared to the 11 apostles still staring up after watching the ascension, God assigned special cherubim, and a flaming sword, or sword of fire, “to guard the way to the tree of life.”
The tree of life is used metaphorically four times in Proverbs: Wisdom, the fruit of the righteous, desire, and a wholesome are all called a tree of life. (3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4) But the tree of life of Genesis again appears in the book of Revelation, the complement to Genesis. “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” (2:7) In the New Jerusalem, God again provides the tree of life. “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (22:2) Ezekiel 47:12 also speaks of “all kinds of trees used for food; Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
Finally, in Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” This tree, wondrous and supernatural, is something God insisted on protecting. After Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, God designated two of His finest to safeguard the path until the appointed time, when again His people will be ready to receive the blessings and benefits of the tree of life
- Archangel Uriel Pendant Charm for Protection
- Uriel’s name means “Fire of God”
- He carries the Sword of Truth for Soldiers of Christ, which we become through this sacrament. Fire reminds us of the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost and the flames of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. It reminds us that our hearts should burn with love for God like the holiest of Seraphim, like the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. St. Uriel carries the scales by which we are to weigh our actions. It is also a reminder of the Scales of Perfect Justice by which our lives are weighed at our judgement.i
- Oh holy St. Uriel, come to our aid with your legion of angels! Intercede for us that our hearts may burn with the fire of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Assist us in co-operating with the graces of our confirmation that the gifts of the Holy Ghost may bear much fruit in our souls. Obtain for us the grace to use the sword of truth to pare away all that is not in conformity to the most adorable Will of God in our lives, that we may fully participate in the army of the Church Militant. Amen
chael the Archangel