Why Study Biblical Angels

Why Study Biblical Angels I find it appalling that the modern-day church doesn’t discuss angels more often. The Bible gives us a record of encounters when angels showed up before Jesus’ birth, during His years on this earth, and after His ascension. If the Bible is the holy written Word of God and if angels are in it, then they must be a point of interest God wants us to study. Of course, the study of angels should never precede our study of Jesus. Just as there are recorded in the Bible an archangel and a messenger angel, I believe angels hold different jobs and offices. Here are some of the different types of angels I have encountered. Warning Angels Warning angels are simply that! They are angels sent by God to warn His people. In Genesis 19, two angels show up to warn Lot of the terrible destruction that is about to fall on Sodom and Gomorrah. “Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it” (Gen. 19:12-13 NIV).18 Now, why would the Lord care to warn Lot? If He was planning on wiping out an entire city anyway, why would He send angels to warn a specific family to leave before the devastation hit? In His mercy, because of His relationship with Abraham (Lot’s brother), he saved Lot and his family (see Gen. 19:29). Another well-known angel that comes with warning is Joseph’s angel. The King Herod had been on a rampage to find and destroy Jesus, the child who was prophesied about who would rule the people of Israel. An angel comes to Joseph in a dream. “‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him’”(Matt. 2:13 NIV). So once again we see God intercepting and sending a warning angel to change the course of history. Messenger Angels God also sent angels that carried a message in the Bible. Gabriel the archangel comes to Mary at a pivotal time in her life. Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end (Luke 1:30-33 NIV). Wasn’t that wonderful of God to send an angel to Mary at what could have been the scariest time in her whole life! Gabriel came and delivered a message of hope and encouragement to Mary. The Lord so lovingly knew she would need hope and encouragement to face carrying the Son of God in her womb, not to mention having to go back and explain her pregnancy to her family and Joseph. Warring Angels The Bible also describes angels that fight or war on our behalf. In a despairing time and at the end of a twenty-one day fast, Daniel has a crazy vision and encounters a brilliant angel. In Daniel 10, the angel tells him: Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia (Daniel 10:12-13 NIV). 19 This scripture brings so much comfort. Its contents show us that God hears our prayers even if we can’t see His answer to them yet. God hears our prayers! Isn’t that awesome? Michael is described as an angel that came and helped Daniel’s angels fight off a demonic power. This was no little demon either! It was so strong that it kept Daniel’s angel detained for a twenty-one day battle. The archangel Michael must have been one giant angel! Thankfully, the Lord sends us angels to battle for us when we are weak! Explanation Angels Then there are those angels that show up in the Bible just to give revelation to people. You can imagine the disciples of Christ scratching their heads, thinking, “Huh? What just happened?” as Jesus leaves in a cloud up to heaven. Jesus ascends and the disciples are standing there “looking intently up into the sky as he was going” (Acts 1:10 NIV). They are still staring up into the sky when two angels show up behind them to explain it all. Isn’t it refreshing that even the disciples, who spent all their time with Jesus, often just didn’t get it! It brings us hope as we sometimes miss all that God has for us in the Scriptures. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts1:11 NIV). “Ahhh!” they responded. (No, I just added that in.) It’s like revelation sunk in! The Lord was so gracious to send them angels to explain everything. I wonder if He was sitting in heaven watching them staring at the clouds, and He looked at His angels and said, “Geez! Would you guys go down there and explain it to them?”

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