“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about the that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7
I really had a rough time thinking about this one. There are so many stories in the Bible of the interactions between those of us on earth and the host of heaven, who are sent to us, I believe, more often than we could ever imagine.
And it is truly hard to write for six years dealing in the same subject matter and not get redundant, and redundant I do not wish to be, so this post with be heavy laden with golden links that can be clicked on for more posts concerning heaven meeting earth.
But we have all experienced those moments in life, usually near fatal accidents that somehow, miraculously we were spared and stories upon stories that can have only one explanation divine intervention carried out by servants of the most Divine.
We can get into the mindset of this by recalling the stories of old.
One my personal favorites the angel that visited Hagar not once but TWICE.
Daniel whose life was spared through his faith in God as God sent an angel to “shut the mouths of the lions” which I believe this meant that the lions were calmed and lulled they knew the angel was there as we know from the story of the beaten donkey , the donkey that kept stopping because she saw what her evil rider could not… the angel whose compassion toward that donkey almost brought an even earlier end to Balaam.
The angel Gabriel proclaiming blessed news to Mary, and again angels coming to proclaim to simple shepherds that that blessed promise had been fulfilled.
Other births had been foretold as those of the angelic realm paid visits also to Samson’s parents, his mother first and then at the prayer of Manoah, God sent the angel again to clarify how this child should be raised.
Not to mention Zacahrias, the father of John the Baptist was also visited by Gabriel as he performed his duties in the temple.
There are stories of encounter after encounter with everything from bring prophecy and good news, to warning of danger ahead and assurance that the future will be brighter as in Hagar’s case.
An angel fed Elijah when he was so discouraged he could no longer continue. Jacob wrestled with the angel before becoming Israel, Joshua was given comfort meeting the captain of the host that were for them.
Stories of the Lord sending his angels to fight against those that were to strong for his children to fight and opening the eyes of the servant of Elisha to allow him to see just how many were really there for that fight if needed. Other times he sent them forth in judgment to destroy those that sought to destroy his chosen or defiled his temple.
They announced his birth, his resurrection, and spoke to the disciples at his ascension assuring them that he would indeed return just as he went away and they will continue to watch over us and do his will until that day.
So when I think of God and I think of love it is very difficult to not think of the angels and his beauty, grace,and kindness in sending them to watch over us and when I think of all the times in life all of us could have encountered an angel and not have ever even known is even more amazing to me!
“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:1-2
Our gentle warning to always respond in love (I fail this one often!) and a bigger warning that we should always be very careful how we treat others because we can actually be talking with an angel.
I want to point out something here, if you were to ever encounter an angel posing as human to check your true usage of the golden rule you would probably never even know that you had but just know that an angel would never test you on anything contrary to the word of God.
They would never request anything of you that is wrong or illegal or immoral. And they are NEVER to be worshiped.
“And I John saw these things and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings (words) of this book: WORSHIP GOD.” Revelation 22:8,9
I love “angels”. I have angels on almost anything you can imagine and love giving Christmas cards with scriptures of “Glad Tidings” and art work of the same.
When we think of all the beautiful cards with truly inspirational sayings and thoughts of love and peace with gorgeous illustrations of what we perceive the angels to be, lets always bear in mind one thing.
These thoughts and sentiments that we have came to cherish are actually a reflection of the love God has sent to us, the only difference is his angels ARE real!
So I want to give you some of that good news, the words from God concerning those of the heavenly host that he does in deed give “charge over you” to watch over you, comfort you, protect you, and be there in the loneliest, most barren place of hopelessness .
Much like the place Hagar found herself in, through no fault of her own and just when she thought EVERYTHING was hopeless and she truly believed that she and much worse her son were going to die in that wilderness, God sent his angel with not only words of comfort, words of hope, and the PROMISE of a future for her son but also he miraculously sent them water so that they could physical continue on that journey.
God know all of our needs emotional, spiritual, and physical and he addressed all these for Hagar, taking care first of the emotional, then the spiritual, by giving her reassurance delivered no less than through an angel, and then her physical need was met.
And he does the same for us, we just have to believe and be open and mindful that even when we feel alone and it looks like there is no one on our side, Jesus is and he sends his angels as proof of that.
John was told to not worship them because they are workers together with us for the kingdom of God. Which is so important to say in a world that wants to worship everything except the one true God and always be careful of media posts and sites that touting messages from angels or connect with your angels.
We don’t connect with them… God sends them to us, they are ever present.
There is always the question that if God is real and angels are real why does bad things happen?
That is explained quite simply as being on this earth, being human, God never promised this earth would be easy, it is not our eternal home, we are not in the realm of immortality and the pain and heartache felt by one is surely felt by another.
And the best way to be mindful of that, especially when we are going through particularly painful seasons is remembering a very crucial lesson, Jesus was Mary’s firstborn son and he was also God in human form and will for ever be and Jesus who was the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God DIED for us so that we could live.
The Bible is also full of stories of heartache and blessings given for the generations by those near the end of their own.
The apostles Peter and Paul both writing of the deaths that were soon to come and yet both of these men spared, miraculously rescued by the angels and not just once.
Peter after having been arrested and chained between two guards had this encounter as recorded in Acts 12:7-10: “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him (stood by), and a light shined in the prison: and he smote (tapped) Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly, And his chains fell off from his hands.
And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put on your shoes), so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
And he went out, and followed him; and wist (knew) not that it was true (real) which was done by the angel; but he thought that he saw a vision.
When they were past the first and second ward (guard posts), they came unto an iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them on his own accord (meaning the gate miraculously opened): and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”
Paul as he was in the midst of the storm while a prisoner on a seemingly doomed ship, had the to speak of his encounter and what they must do to survive:
Acts 27:22-26: “And now I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship (the ship would be destroyed).
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast (run aground) upon a certain island.”
The angel reminding Paul, bringing God’s words and promises over his life back to his mind, assuring him that no matter how dark it was not quite time.
It was not yet time for them to go to that eternal home but when the time started to come they knew and they never questioned God’s love for them.
The one common thread that weaves it all together is this, it is only temporary and the entire reason for our faith is believing that there is so much better, in the life yet to come.
Lets actually just quickly look at what they both said concerning their inevitable deaths.
Paul wrote this ending his directions to Timothy concerning what he must do to be a successful minister for the Kingdom of Heaven.
2 Timothy 4:6: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.”
And Peter, also giving instructions as his last words before saying this:
2 Peter 1:13-15: “Yea, I think it meet (is right), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:
Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (die), even as our Lord Jesus has shown me.
Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (death) to have these things in remembrance always.”
How could they have such comfort and such peace? Because they knew, they had the Lord and they knew had the angelic host and we never alone.
They are with us from birth, through childhood, just as Jesus said concerning the children when he gave this warning from Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”
When we have ran amok, wasting our inheritance like the prodigal sons and daughters that we are, hanging out with the wrong people and as messed up.as we are he still loves us.He still watches over us and still his angels watch over us and Jesus said this about the moment that they are observing as we come into the truth.
Luke 15:10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repeneth.”
These are they who cease not to praise the Lord and there are those who are night and day around the throne and the only time we are told they are silent is just before judgment is began against earth. They are with you in life and they will be with us in death as again Jesus relays the story of Lazarus.
Luke 16:22: ” And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man died and was buried.”
Quite a contrast the rich man died and was buried (we know that he also lifted up his eyes in hell, never have accepted salvation) but Lazarus carried by the angels.
Start to finish, God send us his messengers and when we have doubt and fears, loneliness and grief we should always rest in that comfort, as they have been with us silently and invisibly here, one day we will be with them there, we also we be part of that host of heaven but until then rest assured knowing that they are always around!
Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev Nina Brown Johnson
Posts in series: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro