Lifelines October 18, 2020

The mention of angels usually brings to mind images of wings, halos and flying creatures.  Isaiah certainly saw that type of creature when he was in the temple in the year of the king’s death (Isaiah 6), and winged creatures of some sort are pictured in heaven around the throne of God (Revelation 4).  Although those are interesting thoughts, the word of God presents other forms in which these fascinating creatures known as angels are portrayed. 

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2).”  The words of the Lord to a disheartened group of Christians.  No halos.  No wings.  Simply an encounter with what appears to be a stranger.  Will we be aware of it when they cross our path?  Can we identify them by a glow around the head?  Will their shirts bulge in the back where their wings are tucked in?  Clearly not.  Our part is to show hospitality to people we do not know.  Have we missed them in our moments of discouragement?  Maybe, if we have failed to show them hospitality.

Angels abound through the unveiling of the events in Revelation.  They are mentioned in connection with virtually every incident, and an apostle is so overwhelmed that he falls down in worship before one of them (Revelation 22:8).  Even after all that he had experienced with the Son of God, John was thrown off track by the angel whose response was simple, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God (Revelation 22:9).”  If they are fellow servants, what are they doing?

The Son of God faced the devil in the temptations of the wilderness and fought Him off with Scripture, then angels ministered to Him.  Elaboration is lacking.  In what seems to be His most stressful moments in the garden of Gethsemane as Jesus prayed and agonized, an angel strengthened Him (Luke 22:43).  We are not provided additional details about that, simply that it did.  It seems that angels, at the direction of God, do what needs to be done.  And now? 

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14)?”  We have the same supernatural help that the Lord had, angels.  We are not told specifically what they will do or how they will help, only that it is their job to serve the saved.  They may come in the form of a stranger.  We simple do not know, but what we do know is that God created helpers for us that we may never know about.  Remember those strangers to whom we are to show hospitality?  This provides a good incentive to do so.  They just might be our angel.