May 9, 2014
READ: Genesis 28:10-22
As he slept he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway (v.12).
Jacob was on the run from his brother. Frightened and alone, he walked as far as he could, then grabbed a rock for a pillow. Dreaming that God was standing on the top of a stairway, Jacob heard Him promise, “I am with you and I will protect you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15). He saw angels ascending and descending the stairway—going out to patrol the world and coming back to report what they had done (Job 1:6, 2:1; Hebrews 1:14).
Jacob’s vision of the angels inspired him for his gruelling journey; and the presence of spiritual beings also encourages us. Scripture doesn’t tell us much about angels—they appear on the edges rather than in the centre of the story—but it does tell us some of the ways they serve God and us:
• They reveal God’s will. Angels spoke God’s Word to Joseph, Mary and the shepherds (Matthew 1:20-23; Luke 1:26-38, 2:8-15).
• They battle Satan on our behalf. Michael tangled with “the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia” and fought Satan for the body of Moses (Daniel 10:12-14; Jude 1:9).
• They execute judgement upon God’s enemies. Angels destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, the firstborn in Egypt and will one day destroy those who wear the mark of the beast (Genesis 19:1-13; Exodus 12:23; Revelation 14-16).
• They protect us (Psalm 34:7). This is particularly encouraging. Have you wondered if you have your own guardian angel? John Calvin wrote that it doesn’t matter, for all the angels are responsible to guard each one of us. And “if the fact that all the heavenly host are keeping watch for his safety will not satisfy a man, I do not see what benefit he could derive from knowing that one angel has been given to him as his especial guardian.”
Angels are watching out for you! —Mike Wittmer
365-day plan› Job 2:1-13
Read 2 Kings 6:8-23 to get a picture of the spirit world around you.
What does the reality that angels are watching over you inspire you to do today? Why do you believe God created angels?