“I send my angels to help you… not to be worshiped by you…”
Since the beginning of the semester, I’ve observed one student who has a very specific routine whenever she attends my class… her notebook comes out, something to write with, and then, she pulls out and sets up her angel statue, which remains out and ‘watching over her’ for the duration of the class. One day, while coming to office hours for assistance, I inquired about her routine when in my class and the topic of ‘the angel’ came up. She had shared that it was a long family tradition that an angel was ‘assigned’ to each member of the family and it was the angel that kept her safe. When asked what the role of God was in all this, the response was that ‘her angel’ was assigned to care for her, so that’s who she prayed to. Of course, as soon as you begin to hone in on something of interest, you begin to notice that same interest elsewhere… and the angel theme was not exception in one form or another. This got me wondering… Is this more the rule than the exception? Putting God aside, all in the name of a ‘thing’ or an item?
It’s interesting that part of the reading for today was Hebrews 1… it appears that even during Old Testament times, there was confusion of exactly who angels were and their place in the Kingdom. Angels are only servants; spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Angel paraphernalia such as angel pins, ceramic statues of angels, and even sightings seem to be everywhere these days. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get some clarification as to who angels are and how we’re supposed to view them.
Yes… angels are spiritual beings, but does that mean they are to be worshiped? I decided to do some investigation of my own on angels, and it was amazing to see just how many media resources were available on this subject! Amazon alone returned over 1.6 million results in the form of angel statues, books, etc. But let me be clear… this writing is not intended to be a bash session… anything taken to an extreme can be seen as an idol, keep us from God! The good news is that the Bible offers the clarification needed to understand who angels are and their role in the first chapter of Hebrews.
Angels are everywhere… and not just today… they’ve been around for some time; like when God created all things! As created beings, angels are certainly not gods. God never has called angels His children, as He calls Jesus His Son and believers His adopted sons and daughters. Nor has God called angels gods, much less God with a capital G, as He called Jesus. He also never invited an angel to sit in a place of honor next to Him, nor is His goal to humble their enemies under them.
An angel’s job is to do God’s bidding… not to call the shots in His place. Because there is no indication that angel’s are created in His image, as we are, we have no reason or cause to think that most angels resent being His workers instead of His prized heirs. We know from Luke 10:18 that Jesus saw the angel Lucifer, better known as Satan, “fall from Heaven like lightning!” So angels do have some form of will to choose or reject God… again, a sign of a created being and not the perfection of God.
No, we are not called to worship angels, but we are to thank God for them. They are important, though typically unseen, protectors and comforters on God’s behalf. I can even imagine God calling upon one of us to be one of His angels here on Earth to help comfort someone who is in pain… nothing is impossible with God! We don’t fully know how we will relate to them in eternity, but we can look forward to worshiping God with them.
Heavenly Father… thank You for all things You provide through Your grace… including the help of Your angels. As Your wondrous creations, they inspire us to worship You, to know in a better way the love You have for Your children. Thank you for all You do to continue to love us unconditionally in so many ways… Amen!