“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14, KJV 1900)
In 1984, Christian singer Amy Grant introduced a song titled, “Angels.” The initial lyrics give the record of Herod sending Peter to prison after he, Herod, saw how the killing of James brother of John had pleased the Jews. Peter’s life seemed doomed and yet the church earnestly prayed to God for Peter. The night before Herod was to bring Peter out before the people, while Peter was sleeping and chained between two guards, an angel of the Lord appeared in the cell. The angel woke Peter and miraculously rescued him by causing the chains to fall off his hands and escorting him out to freedom. (Acts 12:1-19)
In the record of Peter’s release, we see a vivid picture that illustrates the truth the author of Hebrews brings forth regarding the ministry of angels. They minister for the sake of the believers.
In the song, “Angels,” the chorus goes, “Angels watching over me, every move I make.” The song then goes on to speak of life’s precarious situations and how the angels are somehow active in the believer’s life. They are watching over the believer and providing protection without the believer being aware.
There are many incidents of angels intervening in the lives of those whom God has chosen throughout the Bible. There are a couple of things to note regarding how God uses them to minister to us. First in the story of Peter’s release, we will see that the church was praying to God not to the angels for Peter. Remember this, we are to pray to God and not to angels. Oh, I guess we may ask the Father for angelic intervention if we wish, but the Father knows how to handle our situation and He will choose the best means anyway.
Second, angels are created spirit beings that are sent forth by God. As such they normally operate in a realm that is unseen by human eyes. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, we read of a time when the king of Syria was warring against Israel. The king of Syria decided to seize Elisha the prophet so that he would not be able to warn the king of Israel regarding Syria’s intentions. So, the king of Syria sends a great army to Dothan to get the prophet. In the morning Elisha’s servant woke and saw the city surrounded by the Syrian army. He panicked. A very calm Elisha then prayed that the servant’s eyes would be opened to see into the invisible spiritual realm. The servant then sees into this spiritual realm, horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. This is the realm in which the angels normally function.
Third, sometimes angels will be manifested in visible form and yet, we will not know they are angels. Later in Hebrews we will look at this verse, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2, KJV 1900) People might have contact with a physical manifestation of an angel but will never know it.
The point of this is that all around us there are powerful spiritual forces. We know that there are spiritual forces of evil that wage war against us (Eph 6:12). Yet, the great news is that the spiritual forces that are for us are more than those against us. Thus, we should be of courage. God has His hand of protection upon the believer and He uses these spirit beings for this purpose. “Angels watching over us.”