My mom loves angels. Growing up in her house, I saw angelic beings on a daily basis. She had statues, paintings, pictures, figurines, cross-stitched hangings, and trinkets depicting cherubim all over the house. Many of the angels were cute and chubby. Others were beautiful and womanly. Because of my mom’s angel collection, I had some assumptions about angels from a young age. When I began to study my Bible, I learned that they are different than we often assume. Let me share five roles angels fulfill, according to Scripture.
is one of the foremost functions of angels. In the book of Revelation, John describes the presence of God, speaking of “many angels around the throne” singing praises to God with “a loud voice” (Revelation 5:11-12). Isaiah paints a similar picture. When he was teleported to Paradise, he saw angels singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth” (Isaiah 6:3). Because our God is the One who deserves all praise, honor, and glory, He created angels to continually sing His praises.
is another function of angels. In Scripture, we see them showing up whenever God desires to perform a unique work among His people. When the Lord called Abram to birth a nation, He used angels as messengers (Genesis 18:1-2). He sent special announcements to the prophet Daniel through the same medium (Daniel 9:21). Both the birth (Matthew 1:20) and resurrection of our Lord (Matthew 28:2) were accompanied by angelic proclamations. God is a God who has intervened in human history to give real life to all who trust Him. At times, He used angels to advance His program of redemption.
Speaking of angelic beings, the author of Hebrews asked, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). In ways beyond our comprehension, angels serve God’s purposes for our good. An instance of this is seen in the life of Jesus. After He had been tempted in the wilderness, “angels came and began to serve him” (Matthew 4:11). Others like Hagar (Genesis 21:17-21), Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-7), and Peter (Acts 12:6-11) got angelic help. Thanks be to God that He has promised to meet all of our needs (Philippians 4:19)!
is another function of angels. After God expelled Adam and Eve from His presence, He protected Eden with cherubim (Genesis 3:24). The book of Revelation describes the way in which special angels have dominion over certain locales and regions (Revelation 9:11 and 16:5). God is a God of wisdom and order. He has ordained certain parameters and principles by which His world operates. He has created and stationed angels for His divine purposes.
All about us unseen, spiritual battles unfold. Demons and angels fight for territories and truth (Daniel 10:13 and Ephesians 6:12). Though we can’t speculate beyond Scripture, we can accept such things by faith.The spiritual world is real, and it is important for every boy, girl, man, and woman to know that they can have a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ!
Dr. Patrick Latham