Angels, Part 4 by Allan McGuirl
We are continuing our study week by week on angels, and we have discovered certain facts about angels and their encounters with people. We have learned that angels are spirit beings, although they can assume a human appearance. They can appear in many forms, and we will look more at that in the weeks to come. They are eternal beings who live with God and are His messengers, except for the fallen angels, including Satan. These fallen angels have been banished from heaven. They are referred to as demons. Satan and his demons are opposed to God and His eternal plan; they are constantly seeking to deceive humans and lead them against God and His purposes. We know that Satan cannot ultimately succeed and that God will, in His good time, mete out judgment against him.
Angels, because they are essentially invisible, can be in our midst without our knowledge. In some instances, they are visible to one or more people but not to others. One passage of scripture, in II Kings 6, is truly amazing. The King of Aram was planning various surprise attacks on the Israelites from different locations. However, each time he showed up with his chariots and soldiers, he would find that the Israelites were not surprised at all but were armed and ready to defend themselves. This happened so many times that the King was sure there must be a traitor in their midst tipping off the Israelite army. In frustration and fury he demanded to know who it was. However, instead of a traitor in their midst, there was an informant in the Israelite camp. His men revealed to him, as we see in II Kings 6:12 that, “Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”
The King of Aram instructed his men to find out where this Elisha was. They returned with the news that Elisha was in the city of Dothan. So the King encircled the city under the cover of night with a huge army of chariots and footmen. What is interesting is that when Elisha’s servant woke up early in the morning he looked around in every direction and saw they were surrounded by an army with horses and chariots. He cried out to Elisha, “What shall we do?!” Elisha seemed unperturbed and simply replied, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. There is not time now to tell you the rest of this amazing story, but you can read it for yourself in II Kings chapter 6.
This chapter reminds me of a true story that was told to me about a missionary serving in a field hospital in Africa. Regularly he travelled by bicycle through the jungle trails to a nearby city for supplies. This journey would take two days and required camping overnight at a halfway point. So on one of these trips he arrived in the city where he would collect money from the bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin the two-day trip back to the hospital. Upon arrival in the city, he observed two men fighting and recognized one of them as a man he had treated previously and had witnessed to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. After completing his business in the city, he started back home and arrived there without incident.
Two week later, he repeated the journey. Upon arrival in the city he was approached by that same young man he had seen fighting on the previous visit. The man told him that he was aware of the money and drugs the missionary was carrying and, with some of his friends, had followed him into the jungle. Their intent, of course, was to overtake him at the halfway point and kill him for the money and drugs. As he continued his story, he said in amazement, “Just as we were getting ready to move into your camp, we saw you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.” The missionary laughed and assured him he was definitely alone at the campsite. However, the young man pressed the point and said, “No, sir. I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.” The missionary was obviously perplexed since he knew he had been travelling by himself.
Sometime later, when he was on furlough speaking at his supporting church, he related this incident to the congregation. As he was finishing the story, one of the men jumped to his feet and interrupted him asking him the exact date when this happened. The missionary thought back and told him the day. Then the man related this amazing event: “On the night of this encounter, it was morning here and I was preparing to go and play golf. I was about to tee off when I felt the strong urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong that I called the men of the church to meet me in the sanctuary to pray. We gathered together and prayed on your behalf, not really knowing why but realizing that somehow you needed to be upheld in prayer.” The missionary asked all of the men in the congregation who had met that day to pray to stand up. He wasn’t looking at their faces or who they were, he was busy counting. There were 26!
Folks, this story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious ways, putting His guardian angels in place just at the right time to protect His children. Thank you, Lord, for your guardian angels and for answers to prayer. We will share more about angels next week. God bless you.