People have always been interested in angels. I can think of three television series with the/a main character being an angel. Many misconceptions about angels are spread through the entertainment industry. I’m not trying to slam them for this because they are in the entertainment business. And entertainment does not have to be fact. We all know this but it seems without knowledge of reality, our entertainment becomes our view of reality.
In movies and TV, angels are sometimes portrayed as former humans, sent back to earth to do good deeds to, ”Earn their wings.” Images of angels with wings or halos or harps are common, and their personalities are very human, sometimes with dispositions that exhibit emotional thinking, uncertainty and tempt able weakness. Good stuff for entertainment but not for anything more than that.
The bible reveals quite a bit about them. Let’s start with the word angel. It means messenger. [This meaning is lost to us because sometimes words were not translated but transliterated. That is when a words’ pronunciation is transferred from one language to another. This is done by matching the letters of a word like Daniel or Canaan with the suitable letters of the receptor language to convey the proper sound. Only proper nouns should be transliterated. All other words, nouns, verbs and so on must be translated, that is when the meaning of a word is transferred from one language to the other.] So as messengers they brought messages to communicate the will of God to people. Like the conception of Jesus and His birth, (Lk. 1:28-38, 2:9-14) and His resurrection. (Mt. 28:6)
But more generally angels are God’s servants. They do His will and were designed to do so. “He makes His angels winds and His ministers flames of fire”. (Ps. 104:4, Heb. 1:7) In the psalms, the poetry is not with rhyme, but by placing parallel concepts one after the other or side by side. ‘Angels /messengers’ equates to ‘ministers / servants’ and “winds” equals here to “flames of fire”. Like conceptual synonyms. To me this says they are invisible yet can be felt, full of energy and without fixed form.
Angels are innumerable, (Heb. 12:12) powerful yet they restrain themselves, (2Pet. 2:11) obedient to God, (Ps. 103:20) and just one can kill an army. (2 kg. 19:35) There are orders among angels. There are Archangels, (1 Thes. 4:16) Seraphim, (Isa. 6:2) and Cherubim. (Gen. 3:24) Two angels are named. Gabriel, mentioned in Daniel and Luke, and Michael, the archangel, mentioned in Daniel, Jude and Revelation. They reject worship and even consider themselves to be fellow servants with us. (Rev. 19:10)
Angels serve God’s people, (Heb. 1:14) and are interested in our salvation. (1 Pet. 1:12) They rejoice when a sinner repents. (Lk. 15:10) And when the righteous die, they are carried by angels to a better place. (Lk.16:22) And in some way, little ones have “their angles” (Mt. 18:10).
Angels attended Jesus’ birth, helped Him after the 40 days of trial in the wilderness, encouraged Him in the garden the night he was betrayed, announced His resurrection to Mary Magdalene and some other women, were with the apostles when he ascended and angels will be with Him when He returns.
Even without fanciful embellishment angels are interesting, mysterious and cool. Angels are also very busy doing what God wants them to do. Delivering His message and serving His people. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?