By Dale R. Starks
The Purpose For God's Angels
The angels were created to serve God--and man! The "angel" means "messenger." While we do read many verses of Scripture where angels are pictured as worshipping God, this is not their only function. A messenger is someone who is "sent forth."
"But to which of the angels said he at any time, sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:13-14).
The following are some examples where God sent angels to minister unto those who feared Him and served Him:
1. Abraham: Because of this man's intercessory prayers, God sent two angels to the wicked city of Sodom, who literally dragged Lot and his family out of the city before it was destroyed (Genesis 19:15-16).
2. Jacob: Before Jacob received the news that his brother was on the way to kill him, a whole host of angels appeared to him on his journey. (God often precedes a severe trial with a special blessing.)
3. Elisha: The king of Syria had sent his army to capture Elisha. (Elisha had disclosed every military plan that the king of Syria had made to overthrow Israel.) The next morning, Elisha's servant awoke to discover that the whole Syrian army was surrounding the city where he and Elisha were. With fear, he woke up Elisha, and Elisha did see the Syrian army. But he also saw hundreds of God's angels surrounding the Syrian army (II Kings 6:14-17).
4. Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego: These three young men refused to give up their belief in the one true God of Israel, and were cast into a furnace of fire. However, God sent them some company--an angel of God (not Jesus!). Only their clothes that had been used to bind them were burnt in the fire. They came out of the fire without even the smell of smoke--or a singed hair! (Daniel 3:23-28).
5. Daniel: Daniel was faithful in his prayer life, even though the price for his faithfulness seemed sure death. He was cast into a den of lions (not just a lion's den, as some say). A heavenly visitor, an angel of God, came and shut the lions' mouths, and evidently tamed their nature, because there is more than one way a lion can kill a prophet (Daniel 6:19-22)