Angels; December 5, 2018

Hebrews 1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

This whole first chapter of Hebrews focuses on the differences between Christ and angels, because obviously some people in the 1st Century were getting pulled into some form of angel worship, so it is ironic in the extreme that this particular verse is dearly loved by those who are obsessed with angels today. It’s not at all that angels in general are bad, and the TV show of a few years back, Touched by an Angel, probably encouraged a lot of people in their faith. It was certainly a refreshing break from some of the other rot on TV! However, our only object of worship is to be the Godhead, and nothing less. I’m sure the reason we are encouraged by the world to focus on angels is that Satan and his demons started out as angels, and are adept at presenting themselves to people today as though they had not fallen, but were still pure and holy. (Revelation 12:9, 2 Corinthians 11:14) The point, as this verse says, is that genuine angels are sent by God to serve us, but our focus is not to be on the angels, but on God who sends them. We often forget that every time genuine angels reveal themselves to people in the Bible, the first reaction of the people is fear. Angels are a far cry from the little cupids we see in paintings! Interestingly, there’s a current cartoon that catches that pretty well. It’s called Rose is Rose, and a recurring character is an angel that only the little boy can see. Most of the time he appears as a little character about the size of the boy, but when the boy tries to take him lightly, he reveals himself as a towering figure with a shield and sword. God’s angels can indeed be mighty on our behalf, but our focus isn’t to be on them, but on the One who sends them, who is mightier than everything else put together.

I’ve never seen an angel, but my wife has been given that privilege several times. That’s why I can say that the Rose is Rose depiction of a towering warrior is pretty accurate. Thinking back, I’ve given my guardian angel plenty of work to do! (Matthew 18:10) I am frequently reminded that I have no power or ability to protect myself, so I am very grateful for God’s provision, but I’m not to take it for granted. I am to be totally fearless in obeying my Lord, but I’m not to do stupid things that would require Him to act. That’s why Jesus replied to the devil quoting Scripture at Him the way He did. (Luke 4:9-12) I am to be aware of the spirit realm, but never to the exclusion of the physical, and especially never to get so distracted by it that I lose sight of God. My angelic allies are real and my demonic enemies are real, but God is over it all, and I am called to be His child.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s not a subject I think about very often. Help me be gratefully obedient to You for all Your provision, spiritual and physical, so that You may receive all the glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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