Angels Watching Over Me

I’ve never really thought that much about angels. I guess I was raised in a church that left the impression with me that while God used to do miracles, he now does Bible. And if you aren’t going to do miracles, then you don’t need a bunch of angels hanging around. I assumed that the reason the angles are always around the throne worshiping in Revelation is that God really doesn’t need them much any more, so they have extra time to worship. Of course, the whole book of Revelation has angels buzzing all over the place. I just never thought about angels.

Well, guess who is teaching a class on angels on Wednesday nights? Yep. In fact, the main reason I chose to teach this class was that I really did need to think and study some about the topic. So I might as well share what I learn... right? In other words, take the guy who is totally ignorant on the subject and let him teach.

The first thing that struck me—angels are all over the Bible. I mean they are all over it (how did I miss that?) The English word “angel” appears 305 times in the NIV— Revelation (77x), Luke (24x), Acts (22x), Zechariah (20x), Matthew (19x), Judges (17x), Genesis (15x), Hebrews (13x). And that’s not counting cherubim, seraphim, heavenly hosts or a host of other words used for angelic beings. Whereas 63 of 73 uses of the word “demon” appears in the gospels, the appearances of angels are spread all throughout the Bible.

And they appear doing a lot of different things. The word “angel” in both Hebrew (malak) and Greek (angelos) means “messengers.” Angels are God's messenger service, and a lot of familiar angel stories indeed have angels bearing messages... like announcing the birth of Jesus and telling Lot to get out of Dodge (actually it was Sodom). But angels are said to do a lot of other things as well—

  • Provide protection during the exodus (Exo. 14:19)
  • Fight and defeat the Canaanite enemies (Exo. 33:2)
  • Prevents Balaam from going where he should not (Num 22:32)
  • Rescues Daniel by shutting mouth of the lions (Dan 6:22)

Angels are messengers, but they are also ministering spirits that serve us (Heb 1:14). I don’t know that I have ever received a message from an angel, but somehow angels are there to serve those who believe. And when the church assembles to worship, somehow we are there with a whole bunch of angels (Heb 12:22). I don’t know exactly how angels do their ministering thing, but somehow it makes be feel better that they do.

So maybe Amy Grant was right after all?