Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘angels’

Angel Appearances

A few days ago a startling headline appeared in the secular news:  ‘Angel’ priest visits Missouri accident scene.  You can read the article here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/07/angel-crash-missouri/2630227/ 

Who doesn’t love these accounts of God breaking through the gauze curtain and letting people like us see something truly amazing?

Speaking of angels–The story of Balaam and his donkey is both funny and amazing.  He’s riding along on a dubious errand when all of a sudden the donkey starts taking evasive maneuvers.  Balaam’s foot gets crushed against a wall, and then the donkey just lies down and refuses to go any farther.  Balaam is so upset as he beats the donkey, that he doesn’t seem to notice that the donkey is actually speaking!  Listen in on their conversation and see if you can keep a straight face:

     “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.
      “You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”
      “But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?”
     “No,” Balaam admitted.
Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.  (Numbers 22, especially verses 21-31,  NLT)

It’s fascinating that an angel can look like an ordinary person or an intimidating warrior—or be totally invisible.  I am comforted by reminders that God intervenes in the affairs of ordinary life and reminds us that it’s not ordinary, after all!  He is there and He cares!

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Angels Visiting

An angelic visit could be a terrifying experience (as people like Mary, the shepherds, and the women coming to Jesus’ empty tomb can testify)—unless they came incognito. Two such visits occur in Genesis 18 and 19.

Three “strangers” visited Abraham (Genesis 18) to bring the long-awaited news that he would finally have the son God had promised him 24 years before.  This was a visit of blessing to a man who was known later as a “friend of God.”  No, he wasn’t perfect, but his heart was God-ward.

Two of those strangers proceeded on to visit Lot (Genesis 19) to bring a message of doom.  Everything would be taken away from him who had gravitated to the city of Sodom with its wealth, avant-garde lifestyle, and easy living (Genesis 13:5-13).  He was in the wrong place at the wrong time when God decided He’d had enough.  And though his family was forcibly ushered out of town by their angel escorts, the attraction and worldview of that place had made such an imprint on his wife and daughters that he “lost” them, too.  His wife turned back and was frozen forever in that pose, and his daughters, well….

Interestingly, Lot himself is given credit for being a “righteous man” who was distressed by the life of his townspeople (2 Peter 2:7-8).  When he protested their assault on his guests, notice their verbal attack:  They accused him of being judgmental, intolerant!  Hmmm—sound familiar? 

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