Reflections – 2023.03

All Things for Good: Angels

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

The highest angels take care of the lowest saints. – Thomas Watson

Angels are a bit of a mystery.  I don’t know anyone personally who has claimed to have seen one or spoken with one.  I do know that angels are real and present.  I do know that when people in the Bible encounter angels they are usually quite terrified and tempted to offer them worship because of their majesty.  And I know that angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, and that Gabriel (a chief angel) announced the birth of Jesus to Mary.  We have just been considering together during morning worship the temptations of Christ and it was the devil who reminded Jesus of the promise of Psalm 91, that it would be angels who would “bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”  It is clear that protection of the saints is one of the chief roles of the angels.  Jesus Himself spoke about having legions of angels ready to fight at His command.  Elisha and his servant saw that in action when angel armies surrounded the Aramean army and blinded them before Elisha could be captured or killed.

The mysterious creatures have been sent as messengers to God’s people, they have provided food (e.g., Elijah in the wilderness) and protection, and they are always ready to serve at the LORD’s pleasure.  It is true that the devil is understood to be a fallen angel, even as his demons are fallen as well.  But the key word there is “fallen.”  The LORD has great plans for his angels, but many fell and so do not enjoy or experience the great joy that goes along with those plans.  For it is the angels that rejoice when one sinner repents.  It is the angels that longed to look into the mysterious plan that came to its fulfillment in Christ.  Now that this plan has come to pass, they rejoice in Jesus and all he has done, and they come to minister to God’s people. 

Thomas Watson, in his book All Things for Good, speaks of the good things working for our good, and makes sure to include angels in that list.  He would have us “see here the honor and dignity of the believer.  He has God’s name written upon Him (Rev. 3:12), the Holy Spirit dwelling in him (2 Timothy 1:14), and a guard of angels attending him.”

I don’t know much about angels, but I know enough to know that they are on the LORD’s side and that their actions are always for the believer’s blessing and benefit.  Praise the LORD that these creatures of mystery are a part of His marvelous creation and that they rejoice in the LORD’s marvelous plan of salvation, even as they take care of His marvelous people, those who are united by faith to our marvelous Christ.