Diane Harrington, of Milwaukee, Ore., had just lost her job. Money would be very tight for awhile. When she returned to the copy store she was so relieved that an honest clerk had set her wallet under the counter with all her money in it. She left the store only to find her car missing. No one had seen it stolen. While she was on the phone with the police a couple hurried into the store, with big smiles they declared, “Your car is not stolen. Come out and see this.”
Diane followed them outside on a long walk to another parking lot. When they saw Diane’s reaction they said, “You had to see it to believe it! Your car rolled down the hill, swerved around the bank and the other cars in the lot, exited at the driveway, rolled through four lanes of traffic, then over an embankment at the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, hit a little tree and finally ended up in that parking lot. Another woman added, “Your car rolled peacefully around every obstacle in its way, almost as if someone were driving it!” Everyone who saw what happened knew who was sitting in the driver’s seat of Diane’s car, one of God’s angels.
Here are some of the many insights into angels we can learn from the Bible. God created angels like the rest of creation. Their number, once completed at creation, was forever fixed. This is assumed because we never read of God creating more of them and Jesus said they do not reproduce themselves. We read in Matthew 22:30, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Also, angels do not die. In Luke 20:36 we read, “…and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.” So we can conclude the original number of angels will never increase or decrease in size. For these reasons they must be considered a company of beings, and not a race. God uses the angels for many purposes. They worship and praise him (Isaiah 6:1-3; Hebrews 1:6). They are messengers (Luke 1:19, 26, Acts 7:52-53). Angels provide protection (Daniel 3 and 6) and protect people from danger (Acts 5 and 12). God uses angels to answer our prayers (Daniel 9:20-24; 10:10-12; Acts 12:1-17), and God uses angels to punish sin (Genesis 19, II Kings 19:20-34).
Angels are not to be worshipped (Colossians 2:18). Not all their work ends with happiness and good feelings like the opening story. They work for God. For example, Abraham bargains with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction if ten righteous people can be found. God sends two angels to Sodom, but the only righteous people there are Lot and his family. The rest of the town want to rape and murder the strangers (Genesis 18-19).
God uses the angels to show Abraham, and us, that God hates sin, and the sin of humans can become so great that judgment is necessary. God is serious about his people living righteous lives. Yes, we will sin, and yes, God forgives us of our sins. God also expects us to make changes in our lives to become more righteous and holy.
Also, God uses this event to draw Abraham and Lot closer to Him in faith and obedience. That is what is most important to God; His relationship with His faithful people. God is not concerned about our comfort. God wants us to learn to have faith in Him through his son Jesus in all things. God wants us to trust Him in all things. In God’s infinite wisdom He chose to use angels to help Abraham, and us, learn these lessons of faith.
Have you ever encountered God’s angels? Did you learn anything about God through that experience? Have you ever experienced God’s judgment on your sins? Have you ever experienced God’s forgiveness? Do you find that you want God to make your life comfortable more than anything else? Do you ever get angry at God when life gets uncomfortable? God wants us to trust our lives completely to Him. That often takes discomfort to get our attention.
To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, visit www.lagrangepres.com.