Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Angels We Have Heard on Earth

People have a lot of different ideas about angels. For some, angels are people who have died and gone to heaven, and God made them a guardian angel. For others, angels have wings and fly around. And still for others, angels don’t exist. The Bible actually tells us a lot about angels. Angels belong to a uniquely different dimension of creation than we can fully comprehend. They don’t have many of the same limitations that we do on earth. God has given them higher knowledge, power, and mobility than us. Because you or I have probably not met or seen an angel, we might doubt that angels are real. However, angel visits do happen even though they are very rare.

The truth is, we have difficulty believing in what we don’t or can’t see. This is true of so many things in life. EX. Think for a moment if you were raised in a jungle. In this setting you are oblivious to most of what exists in the world. You feed yourself by eating what is around you. You make crude tools. You travel by walking or running. You only know what you see. Then one day you meet a stranger from the outside. He tries to tell you that there are cars, and planes, and telephones and computers. You hear the words, but it is difficult to believe. Then the stranger takes you out of the jungle, and you see for yourself all that was told to you. You watch the television and drive in the car and talk to someone far away on a telephone! At this point, you believe.

This is true of believing in something like angels. We hear people talk about it, we read about them in scripture, but do we really believe they are real? What does the Bible say about angels? Angels did not come into being until God created them. As we are told in Colossians 1:16, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible.” Angels are among the invisible things made by God.

The empire of angels is as vast as God’s creation. They are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible nearly 300 times. We do not know how many angels were created, but some think that it could be in the millions, since Hebrews 12:22 speaks of “an innumerable company of angels.” And King David, in Psalm 68:17, said: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.” In another passage, Deuteronomy 33:2, we are told that 10,000 angels came down on Mount Sinai to confirm the holy presence of God as He gave the Law to Moses.

Angels are in essence an extension of the arm of God.

The Bible tells us that angels speak. They appear and reappear. They are emotional creatures. While angels may become visible, their normal state to us is invisible, just like the dimensions of a nuclear field, or the structure of atoms. Our ability to sense them is limited.

Angels are real, and they are nearer than we might think. Angels are vigorous in their efforts to deliver up God’s people to salvation, and to help protect them from evil. As Psalm 91:11-12 says, “(God has given) his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Let us take courage and know that God has created angels to not only serve Him, but to do His work, and to help His Kingdom come. When we believe and trust, we can find strength in this knowledge.