Jim Denison: What Are Angels?

There are 306 biblical verses containing specific references to an angel or angels.

A singular angel is mentioned 210 times; angels are found together ninety-six times.

An angel is first mentioned in Scripture when God sends angelic help to Hagar (Genesis 16:7). Angels are last mentioned in Revelation 22:16 when Jesus says, “I have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.”

Sixteen of the thirty-nine Old Testament books contain references to angels. Judges and Zechariah tie for the most references with twenty-one each.

Seventeen of the twenty-six New Testament books contain angelic references. Revelation contains by far the most such references with seventy-nine.

(Biblical statements that probably refer to angels but do not state so specifically, such as the “three men” who visited Abraham in Genesis 18, are not included in these numbers or the following survey.)

Surveying the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, here’s the angelic ministry promised to us by the word of God. When you need such help and hope, turn to one of these references and make its truth your own.

Angels help us

What are angels?

Angels were created by God to be “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1:14). All through God’s word, we find them serving his people.

Here is the earliest reference to such angelic ministry: “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur” (Genesis 16:7). Hagar was running away from her home to a certain death before God’s angel found her, saving her life (cf. Genesis 21:17).

God sent his angel to bring his people out from Egypt (Numbers 20:16).

An angel fed Elijah as he fled from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:4-9), saving his life and enabling him to anoint Elisha his successor before he ascended into heaven.

Angels exist to help God’s people fulfill God’s will for our lives.

Angels protect us

Perhaps the most powerful way angels help us is to protect us from our enemies. Long before an angel kept Daniel from the lions, we find angelic guardians extending the power and protection of the Lord to his people.

The first reference to such protection in Scripture is found in the tragic episode of Sodom and Gomorrah, as angels worked to protect Lot and his family. Two angels arrived at evening and were able to save Lot and his daughters from the catastrophic judgment soon to befall those wicked cities (Genesis 19).

An angel delivered Jacob from harm (Genesis 48:16), the Hebrews from Egyptian armies (Exodus 14:19-20); and the Israelites from their enemies in Canaan (Exodus 23:20-2333:2-3).

An angel saved Hezekiah and his people from Assyrian annihilation (2 Kings 19:34-362 Chronicles 32:20-21Isaiah 37:36). In fact, his angels protected his people across their biblical history (Isaiah 63:9).

An angel rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:2528). Daniel was protected from the lions by angelic help (Daniel 6:21).

Angels guard children (Matthew 18:10) and rescued the apostles from prison (Acts 5:17-19) and Peter from death (Acts 12:6-11). God promises the same protection to his people today (Psalms 34:791:11-12).

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jim Denison