Monday, November 19, 2012

Angel watchers

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Daniel 4:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "'I saw in visions of my head while on my bed, that there was a watcher, a holy one coming down from heaven. He cried aloud and said thus, "... This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will and sets it over the lowest of men.'" Daniel 4:13, 14a, 17.

Who or what are these "watchers" that our reading refers to?

My Bible's study notes identify them as "Angels on special assignment of the Lord" Cox Phillips Coleman, notes on Daniel, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1126. It seems that here an angel—"watcher"—communicates to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream a decision made in heaven by many angels ("the watchers").

When we read on in Daniel, we discover that the decision has to do with a lesson Nebuchadnezzar needs to learn. The dream is a foretelling of events that will take place to teach him that lesson. For he will soon be like that tree, cut down and humiliated as he descends for a time into madness. Though his words exalt God (Daniel 4:2-3), "His own heart is still filled with pride. He has not submitted the rulership over his own kingdom  to the kingdom of God" - Coleman.

Back to those watchers. Their role here reflects what Wayne Grudem says about angels in his Systematic Theology:*
  • They are powerful: "Angels are seemingly greater in might and power than rebellious human beings (2 Peter 2:11, cf. Matthew 28:2)" Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 400.
  • They carry out some of God's plans.
  • They glorify God. Most of the time we see them glorifying God directly. But here they work in the background to bring a king to the place where he will glorify God.

What does this intervention of angels in Daniel have to say to us? Grudem again:

"We should be aware of angels in our daily lives" - Grudem, p. 405

1. We can realize that when we worship we are joined by not only the company of believers that have died but also a great throng of angels (Hebrews 12:22-23).

2. We should be aware that angels are watching our daily obedience or disobedience throughout the day:
"We should be sobered by the thought that perhaps even hundreds of angels witness our disobedience and are grieved. On the other hand, when we are discouraged and think that our faithful obedience to God is witnessed by no one and is an encouragement to no one, we can be comforted by the realization that perhaps hundreds of angels witness our lonely struggle daily 'longing to look' at the way Christ's great salvation finds expression in our lives" - Grudem p.  406.

3. We may minister to angels without knowing it when they take on human form (Hebrews 13:2).

4. When we are suddenly and unexpectedly saved from disaster, we may be right in our suspicion that God has sent an angel to help us—and be thankful.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this glimpse into the realm of angels and Your plans which include them. Help me to be aware of these watchers cheering me on and guarding my way as they play their part in Your plans. Amen.

MORE: The Watcher

Canadian author Sara Davison, in her novel The Watcher tells a contemporary story through one such angel watcher. It is an intriguing and worthwhile read! My review of The Watcher is HERE.

* Information about angels is from the entire chapter on Angels  (pages  397-411) in Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology

Bible Drive-Thru

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...