Many years ago, my wife was in a near-fatal car accident. She was making a turn onto a busy street and thought that the traffic was clear, but she didn’t see a truck until just before it struck her on the driver’s door of her car. Her pelvis was broken, a rib was broken, and her spleen was ruptured; she was bleeding internally. She was taken to the hospital and ministered to by doctors and nurses. Her pain was intense. She especially remembers one nurse with red hair who would lay his hand on her and the pain would subside. After a while, he addressed her by name and said that he needed to leave to help someone else, but he would be back. He did return and helped her a second time. After she had a couple of surgeries, she began to heal. When she was released from the hospital, she wanted to go back and thank the nurses that had helped her. She especially wanted to thank the red haired nurse that had ministered to her. When she asked to speak to him, they said that no one that worked there fit that description. Was it an angel? My wife believes that it was an angel that helped her.
In the Bible we read that Abraham encountered angels. Genesis 18:2-5 “So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, ‘My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.’ They said, ‘Do as you have said.’” Later, we are told that two of the men were angels and one was the Lord. The angels traveled to Sodom where Lot met them. He initially didn’t know that they were angels. Genesis 19:1-3 “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, ‘Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.’ And they said, ‘No, but we will spend the night in the open square.’ But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.” Possibly referring to these encounters, the writer of Hebrews encouraged us in Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
You and I have likely encountered angels but we didn’t know it. An angel can look like a regular human being. But some may say “Don’t angels have wings?” The Bible nowhere says that angels have wings. Cherubim and Seraphim are described as having wings (Exodus 25:20, Isaiah 6:2) but not angels. In the book of Revelation there are descriptions of angels flying (Revelation 8:13; 14:6) but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have wings.
Angels are greater in power than people. 2 Peter 2:11a “Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might…” People are lower than angels. Psalms 8:3-5 “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.” The job of angels appears to be to glorify God and to do his will. Psalms 103:20-21 “Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure.”
It is not clear all that angels do. But the word angel means messenger. For example, Cornelius received a vision of an angel with a message. Acts 10:3-5 “About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’ And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.’” Another time, an angel came to Peter when he was in prison. Acts 12:7-9 “Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, ‘Arise quickly!’ And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, ‘Gird yourself and tie on your sandals’; and so he did. And he said to him, ‘Put on your garment and follow me.’ So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.”
Angels will be involved in the end time. Mark 13:26-27 “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”
Angels are spirits. Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” They are sent by God to minister to us who are saved. Jesus implied that children have angels that minister to them. Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” Given these descriptions of angels, I conclude that we, as Christians, have angels who serve us. We may or may not see or know the angels around us, but God sends them to serve us. How many times might angels have done something for our good without our knowing it?
Angels are servants of God sent to minister to us. I encourage you to praise and thank God for His ministering spirits.