Angels are never too distant to hear you. ~ Author Unknown
Would you like to have an army at your fingertips - extraordinary power to defend and protect you through every life challenge? Well, you do.
Angels appear in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. They aren't cute, little cherubs with tiny bows and arrows. And they don't sit on heavenly clouds, playing harps. Angels are God's messengers and warriors, sent to earth to protect and empower us, His children. Consider these verses:
- Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? ~ Heb. 1:14
- Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. ~ Ex. 23:20
- For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. ~ Ps. 91:11
- The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear Him, and delivers them. ~ Ps. 34:7
- Bless the LORD, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word. ~ Ps. 103:20
There are more than 280 references to angels in the Bible. Daniel said angels shut the lion's mouths. Jacob saw a ladder stretched to heaven with angels going up and down. They appeared to Abraham and Lot to warn of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. They helped Isaac get a wife, stopped Balaam from false prophecy, and protected the Israelites through numerous trials. There are dozens of examples of angelic intervention.
Psalm 68 tells us that the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels (v. 17). Often they are described with drawn swords, ready to do whatever was needed to protect God's people and fulfill His plan.
In the Old Testament, angels delivered God's messages to designated people. They often appeared disguised in human form, sent to deal with specific situations. Other times they manifested God's instructions as a thought or dream. Multiple verses say 'the angel talked with me' (see Zechariah).
Angels were not free to roam the earth, because it was still in the devil's hands. Instead, they were sent on specific missions, travelling to and from heaven at God's behest. When David prayed, looking for answers, he waited three weeks while angels battled through Satan's attacks.
Consider their involvement in Jesus' life. God's perfect timing brought Jesus to earth some 4,000 years after Adam and Eve's transgression. Since God's kingdom functions on spoken words, an angel spoke to Zacharias and Elisabeth.
But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John... And the angel... said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stands in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. ~ Luke 1:13, 19
A few months later, an angel talked with Mary, explaining what would happen to her and cautioning her to 'fear not'.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. ~ Luke 1:28,30
Shortly after Mary's angelic visitation, an angel came to reassure Joseph, telling him to 'fear not'. Fear weakens faith and draws us away from the protection and deliverance God provides.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost... Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the LORD had bidden him... ~ Matt. 1:20, 24
Oh the historic night of Jesus' birth, masterminded by God so that Joseph and Mary were in the right place at the right time to confirm the prophecies of His birth in Bethlehem, dozens of angels were present to herald the birth and protect the parents and babe from any possible harm. They also declared God's released mercy for mankind.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon [the shepherds], and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people... And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men. ~ Luke 2:10,13-14
Jesus' death and resurrection were still decades away, but God, calling things that be not as though they were, declared, through His angels, His intent. He was done with wrath and punishment, declaring peace and good will - unchanging mercy and love - toward all of us.
Angels were present at every stage of Jesus' life. He was a young child (Matt. 2) by the time the Wise Men completed their journey from the east. (Remember, Herod killed all children two and under.) They financed the family's trip to Egypt with expensive gifts. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were mentioned, but there probably were more. Nowhere does it say how many wise men were there; probably an entire caravan made the journey. Three men alone would not have undertaken such a treacherous and lengthy trip.
And when [the Wise Men] were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt... But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt... ~ Matt. 2:13, 19
Joseph and his family were well supplied for their stay in Egypt and for the return trip home. God always finances His plans - 'exceeding abundantly above all we can hope, ask or think' (Eph. 3:20). Psalm 23 says that your 'cup runneth over' - because God wants you to have more than enough.
After Jesus' baptism, Satan attempted what Herod could not accomplish. He even quoted scripture to Jesus in the wilderness, hoping to tempt Him to test His angelic protection.
And he [satan] brought [Jesus] to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. ~ Luke 4:9-11
During that trial, Jesus responded to Satan's temptations by quoting from the Torah, God's written word to the Hebrews. He understood the power of The Word.
And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. ~ Mark 1:13
Jesus had to withstand those temptations to become the perfect sacrifice needed to purchase our redemption. He knew angels were present however, and trusted in the love and mercy of God to keep Him strong. When Satan finally quit in frustration, angels appeared immediately and 'ministered unto him'. They made sure that Jesus' every need was met.
Even toward the end of His life, angels were present to minister to and strengthen Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, praying great drops of blood, He knew that He had a choice. He could have said, "Enough", and God's love would have removed Him from the agony that was to come. But Jesus' love for us was as great as God's.
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? ~ Matt. 26:53 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. ~ Luke 22:43
After Jesus' death, angels were present to attest to His resurrection. They comforted those who came to the tomb, seeking Jesus, ministering peace and hope to Mary and the disciples.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it... And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. ~ Matt. 28:2, 5
But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, And saw two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. ~ John 20:11-12
And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. ~ Luke 24:23
Angels were involved with Jesus from before His birth through His crucifixion and resurrection. Now they are free to roam the earth and minister to us, the heirs of salvation.
[Jesus] Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. ~ 1 Peter 3:22
Jesus is our High Priest, empowered to see that our words (His Word in our mouths) come to pass. The Word is called the 'sword of the spirit'. It is our best weapon against the devil's attacks and it releases angels to work on our behalf. They are ever-present, ready to move when they hear God's Word spoken from our lips.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ~ Heb. 13:2
Legions of angels are present on earth to protect, defend, minister to and show us God's plan. If you've ever been in a potentially bad automobile accident and walked away, know that His angels cushioned you. If you've ever had a healing or financial breakthrough, know that God's angels facilitated your miracle. They are here to minister for us, the heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14). We have a veritable army at our disposal. Deploy them with your words of faith and 'fear not'. They are commissioned to keep you in all your ways.