“Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
Angels have been around for a long, long time – even longer than mankind. They were present at the time of creation, and shouted for joy when God “laid the cornerstone” of the earth (Job 38:6-7). Angels played an important role in the life of Jesus. Gabriel announced Jesus’ conception to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). When Joseph was disturbed by Mary´s pregnancy, an angel reassured him (Matthew 1:20). The same angel announced what name would be given to Jesus (Matthew 1:21). An angel announced Jesus´ birth to the shepherds, with a huge back-up heavenly choir (Luke 2:8-15). Angels protected Jesus and His family by sending them to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Angels ministered to Jesus both in the desert (Matthew 4:11) and at Gethsemane (Luke 22:43). And an angel announced His resurrection to Mary Magdalene, Salome and Mary, the mother of James (Matthew 28:1-7; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12).
Angels play an important role in the world in general. They are spiritual beings created by God to help carry out His purposes on the earth. They bring messages to people – like Mary and Joseph. They protect God´s people – like when they shut the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel (Daniel 6), and when they protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), and when they led Lot and his family out of Sodom. (Genesis 19:1-29) They offer encouragement – like with Hagar when Sarah had cast her out into the desert (Genesis 16:1-10, 21:17-18). They give guidance – like the angel that led the people of Israel in Exodus 14:19. They carry out punishment – like the angel in 2 Samuel 24:15-17. They patrol the earth – as told in Zechariah 1:9-14. They fight the forces of evil – as told in Revelation 20:1-2. When we die, they escort us to heaven and the presence of Jesus (Luke 16:22). One day, their entire purpose will be to praise God (Revelation 7:11-12..
They are very real. And they have incredible power. So powerful, that when Satan is bound and cast into the pit, it will only take one angel to do it (Michael is supposed to be that angel)! (Revelation 20:1-3) But they can also be delayed from their assignment, as happened to Gabriel in Daniel 10:10-14, yet another account that displays the incredible power God has given to Michael. (Note: It’s assumed that Gabriel is the angel in this account since he is God’s primary messenger.)
But a word of warning... For some time now, the world has been consumed by a fascination with angels. Everywhere you go, stores are full of books about angels, angel jewelry, statues of angels, angel dolls – angels, angels everywhere. If you have a fascination with angels, remember this… angels are created beings – created by God Almighty. They are NOT “former people”. They are an entirely different species from man, created as angels – adult angels. There are no baby angels, and since there are none named in the Bible, it can be assumed that there are no female angels. There are exactly the same number of angels now as there were when they were created. According to Daniel 7:10, there are 100 million angels standing before God’s throne worshipping Him! And that does not include all the angels that are busy carrying out God’s various assignments!
Angels are not to be worshipped. They do not have one-on-one continuing relationships with people (watch out for "spirit guides" disguised as angels!). They cannot do anything without God´s permission and His power. Their purpose is to serve Him and to glorify Him and to worship Him. Yes, they are glorious beings, and by all accounts, they are magnificent to behold. By some accounts, they are also terrifying to behold, as in Revelation 4:6-11.
Yes, angels are fascinating creatures. And it’s interesting to read about them and learn what their role is in God’s plan. But if our interest goes beyond that – to fascination bordering on obsession – then that so-called interest can potentially take your eyes off of God. So the question we must all ask ourselves is … “Is my interest in angels coming between me and God?”