This issue looks at the ministry of angels as they serve God’s elect.
SINCE YOU ASKED
I recently posted an article on a dream of Jacob (taken from Genesis 28). In the dream was a ladder (extending from earth to heaven) with the angels of God ascending and descending on it. The story is a beautiful picture of man reaching heaven by way of the ladder, which, according to John 1:51, represents Christ. But what about the angels? What do they represent, and what are they doing?
We know from other passages that angels are messengers who have been sent to minister to us. More specifically, we know from Hebrews 1:14 that they are ministering spirits sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation. Since salvation is what Jacob’s ladder is all about (see 12/9/10 post), the angels in Jacob’s dream represent real angels carrying messages from man to God and from God to man. Those angels going up the ladder represent angels delivering our prayers to God (through Christ).
AS I SEE IT
I now see several other passages of Scripture in a different light. In Daniel 10, we learn that the answer to Daniels’s prayer was delayed in reaching Daniel because the angel who was delivering it had to battle against spiritual forces of wickedness on the way, namely the prince (demonic) of the kingdom of Persia. The battle raged for 21 days, but eventually, God’s messenger was victorious.
We can learn something important about angels from this and other passages. Every biblical description of an angel pictures it as an adult male. While cute pudgy little angel babies make for interesting greeting cards, they are unbiblical. Angels don’t marry and have little angel babies. They are created fully mature and capable of carrying out their mission. They are also awesome in their appearance. Why else would every angelic appearance result in the need to say, “Fear not”?
There’s also a powerful lesson for us to learn regarding prayer. In order for God to hear our prayers, we must be rightly related to Him. For those of us who are, we have a new reason to be persistent in prayer. If we know we are praying according to God’s will, perhaps the reason the answer is not coming is because of a battle raging in the heavenlies. We need to learn to keep praying for angelic victories in heaven against the spiritual forces of wickedness that will do anything to see that the answers to our prayers, especially those with kingdom implications, do not reach us.
Consider how awesome it is that angels are deeply involved in our prayer lives. It makes me want to make sure that every “letter” I send is worthy of a heavenly battle and has the proper postage, so to speak.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Notice in a farmer’s field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES