Have you ever walked down a street a million times and then, this one time, you see something you never saw before? And it shocked you? You stopped and thought, “How did I ever miss that before?”
I had that experience the other morning. I was reading my daily Bible verses (well, I was catching up on my thru-the-Bible-in-two-years reading plan… I was too much of a weanie to get through the one-year reading plan).
As I said, I was reading through my Matthew verses and came across this one. It was there all the time, but I had never noticed it before (not that I have read through the Bible a million times). Well, here it is, a quote of Jesus (Matthew 18:10):
Beware that you don’t despise a single one of these little [children]. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father. (New Living Translation)
This translation says it even better:
… their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (New King James)
Wow. That stopped me in my reading tracks. I immediately thought of the girls you see above. I thought of these gorgeous creatures, “their” gorgeous creatures, standing in the presence of the Father, able always to see His face. To see His face! Can you imagine? The glory, the wonder… to see the face of God! Without being slain, without falling prostrate. These angels always see God’s face. And they are the angels of children, they are “their” angels.
I honestly don’t know what this means. But it sure gave me a sense of wonder, that the angels of children never stop beholding their God, the Lamb that was Slain, the King of all Kings, sitting on the throne of the Universe. What a privelege for these angels. What a measure of God’s prioirities: “the first shall be last.” What comfort it gives me to think of these angels assigned to my children, seeing His face day and night.
… if you haven’t figured this out yet, I am rather committed to orthodoxy, so I had to check to make sure I have things as Biblically right as I can get them. So I did some research and came across the following section from an online course on angels by a fellow named Robert Jones (I don’t know him, but he gave me permission to quote what he wrote — the bolding is mine):
One of the most cherished notions held by many people is the idea that each Christian is assigned a “guardian angel” to watch over them. While the Bible doesn’t actually use the term “guardian angel”, there are several references in the Bible to angels being assigned to protect human beings.
|Psalms 34:7||“…encamps around those that fear him…”|
|Psalms 91:11-12||Angels will “guard you in all your ways…”|
|Dan 12:1||Michael “protects your people”|
|Matt 18:10||Children have “their angels in heaven”|
|Luke 15:7,10||Rejoicing in heaven|
|Acts 12:12-15||Peter’s angel|
|Heb 1:14||Angels as “ministering spirits”|
The Protestant Reformers, while not necessarily accepting the idea of individual Christians being assigned individual guardian angels, certainly viewed that one of the main roles of angels was to protect the saved:
But the point on which the Scriptures specially insist is that which tends most to our comfort, and to the confirmation of our faith, namely, that angels are the ministers and dispensers of the divine bounty towards us. Accordingly, we are told how they watch for our safety, how they undertake our defense, direct our path, and take heed that no evil befall us. (John Calvin, “Christian Institutes”, p. 196)
They may prevent our falling into many dangers, which we are not sensible of; and may deliver us out of many others, though we know not whence our deliverance comes. How many times have we been strangely and unaccountably preserved, in sudden and dangerous falls!…And who can hurt us while we have armies of angels, and the God of angels, on our side? (John Wesley, Sermon on “Good Angels”, p. 406, 408)
Note: For more of this course on angels, see www.sundayschoolcourses.com/angels/angels.htm
I hardly think about angels at all. Maybe I need to more often.
Oh, Lord: How amazing to think that the angels of children always see your face. The angels of children! How amazing that you have sent angels to minister to me. To me! When I get down and depressed and wonder when things will change, help me to remember that there’s a battle going on around me, that I am engaged in that battle, and that your angels are on my side! Wow!! Amen.