Angels in the Word of God
Before writing this, I need to acknowledge my qualifications. I have none. I’m not a theologian. I’m not a deep thinker or detail person. I’m a big picture kind of gal who loves the Word and my Saviour.
As I wrote the story, and Curly struggled, I found myself drawn to Curly needing help. Curious, I explored angels helping him.
Often I’ve read about angels in the Bible and glossed over them giving little thought to who angels are, their place in the Kingdom and in our lives.
I think all my life I’d had this vision of plump little cherubs with fluffy white wings. I remember the shock when I found out that God placed Angels higher than man. Surely if God created Man in his own image, man would be more important than little fluffy angels. At fault here was my understanding of angels. At this stage of my life I’d read through the Word, one chapter a day, for ten years. I should have understood about angels more deeply. But I didn’t.
The more I looked into angels the more fascinated I became with them.
And the more I started thinking about angels, they started popping up all over the place as I read the bible. When I did a search, the word angel came up 346 times in the version I was reading.
In Exodus 23:20 – 23 an angel walked ahead of the Israelites, to guard them along the way and to bring them to the place God had prepared for them.
The Israelites were told to pay attention to the angel and to listen to what he had to say. They weren’t to rebel against the angel. And they sure were a rebellious and contentious group of people.
I had thought of angels as messengers and warriors (as in Daniel 10). And once we received the Holy Spirit in the new testament, I thought maybe angels were no longer required. They were just in the Old Testament beings, and heavenly hosts to be met when we make it to heaven.
Which led me to Acts and the early church.
In Acts 12 I read James, the brother of John is killed and Peter is imprisoned. As the Christians were persecuted, their leaders were jailed and put to death, Herod saw he pleased the Jewish leaders.
Once they were imprisoned, there was no hope of getting them out of it. A cut and dried case. Peter was in prison waiting for his own death. But earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church meeting at Mary’s house (Acts12:5).
Just before Herod was about to kill Peter, his rescuer came. I wonder what battle the angel had to go through to get to Peter?
Peter is in prison, bound by chains, asleep between to guards. He was having a pleasant dream. About escape. Peter thought he was dreaming. Until the angel struck him on the side and told him to wake up and get up quickly. The chains fall away. Peter is told to get dressed and put on his sandals, wrap his cloak around him and follow the angel.
Peter is wondering if the angel is a vision, is he still dreaming? Is this real? They walk past guards. The gate to the prison opens for them of its own accord. Once they get out into the street, the angel leaves Peter, knowing he’s safe and he can manage the rest of the way on his own.
Once Peter realised he was free, he hurries to the house of Mary where the church is gathered praying for his release.
He knocks on the gate to the courtyard. Rhoda the servant girl answers. But she doesn’t open the gate. Instead, she hurries into the room where people are praying (for Peters release) to tell them Peter is standing out there knocking.
The people tell her she is out of her mind. They said it was his angel, not Peter. So I wonder, do we have our own angel and does our angel look like us?
Also of note was the acceptance of angels. The church was praying for Peter’s release and an angel appeared. I mean, wouldn’t that be headline news? But nah, it’s just his angel. Did the early church easily recognise Gods messengers? Are they here today? Do we see them? Or do we see people who might be angels?
More Questions than Answers
I don’t have any answers, but the cool thing about being an author you can write whatever you want, for the joy of it. For entertainment. For exploration.
In the story, I thought about Maddy, alone in her hospital bed, on life support. Would she be safe? Did her close family need reassurance that she was in the best possible hands?
I wondered who would see an angel? Would I? And if I did would I recognise an angel?
We’re told to entertain strangers because we never know when we will be entertaining angels (Hebrews 13:2)
I thought about young children who are faith-filled. No theology has gotten in the way of their faith. They would be likely to see angels. And accept them as a matter of a fact.
All in all, this has been an interesting story to write during Camp Nanowrimo.
Exploring the possibility of angels in our everyday life will continue. Exploring angels in Gods Word will continue as well. Will angels appear anywhere else in the series? I don’t know.
I’m looking forward to publishing the book about October 2019 (there’s still two books ahead of it, crying out to be released).
I would love to read your thoughts on angels. Please leave a comment below.