Angels are repeatedly in the Bible record. An angel was sent to Daniel in the den of lions. An angel rescued Peter from prison. An angel prepared food for Elijah. An angel stayed the hand of Abraham when he was about to take the life of his son. Angels led Lot, his wife, and two daughters out of Sodom just before the fire and brimstone.
But how much are the angels able to do for us? Are they really able to protect us? How much power do they have?
Let me answer it this way. On one occasion God’s people were threatened by the Assyrian army. And God sent a single angel—just one angel—through the enemy camp one night. In the morning 185,000 soldiers were dead! Evidently there is no lack of power. If angels are hindered in doing what they sincerely want to do for us, it is because they are restrained by God’s wisdom—or by man’s free choice. Angels cannot be expected to protect us from dangers that we deliberately choose.
But why you wonder—why is it that angels so seldom make themselves visible to men? Why do they keep in the background? Why don’t they come out in the open and let us see what they are doing for us.
I don’t pretend to know the full answer. But we might find a clue in the experience of the apostle John on the Island of Patmos as he was being given the book of revelation. “At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Do not do it!…Worship God!” Revelation 22:8, 9
Would we not be tempted, to worship an angel who revealed his presence to us? Could this be one reason why angels so seldom make their presence known? Of one thing I am certain. Angels are anxious that the focus of attention should not be upon themselves but upon the Lord Jesus. They want to stay in the background. They want Christ to have the throne.
Even so, we can know that angels are with us. We can have their companionship. And we can know that we have their full support in every attempt to lift up Jesus before a fallen world.
Harry Schrillo, a dedicated layman who loved his Lord, also loved to sing His praise. I am told he had a beautiful voice. And he used it for more than song. Let me share with you one little glimpse of his experience in working for the Lord.
He was studying the Bible with a fine young couple. They were sincere in their desire to learn, But they did not accept everything without question, They often brought up objections that must be met. On one particular evening the subject scheduled was one that Harry thought might be difficult for them to accept. He expressed his concern to his wife, Florence, and suggested that they pray about it. They went into the bedroom, knelt in prayer, and he left for his appointment.
That evening, to his surprise, everything he presented was accepted without question. The truth he presented from the scriptures met with no resistance whatever. He never knew why it had been so different that evening, except that he and Florence had prayed especially about it.
It was several years later-- after Harry died, I believe—that the wife in that house told Ruth Grunke, a friend of the Schrillos, what had happened. She said that when she went to the door to let Harry in, there was a halo of light about his head. And that halo of light remained through the entire study. His face seemed unusually happy and shining. Somehow everything seemed clear to them, and, with such an evidence of divine approval, how could they resist the truth that was presented?
Marjorie Lewis Lloyd