ANGEL OF THE LORD
Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is often a representative of God or God Himself to communicate with a human being. Some examples of the Angel of the Lord’s appearance are to Hagar (Gen 16:7-14), to Abraham and Sarah at Mamre (Gen 18:1), to Abraham on Mount Moriah (Gen 22:11-12; 22:15), to Jacob (Gen 31:11; 32:25), to Moses (Ex 3:2), to Joshua (Josh 5:13-15), to Gideon (Judg 6:22), and Samson’s parents (Judg 13:21-22).
“The angel of the Lord” differs from regular angels. His presence manifests a divine presence along with the glory of the Lord.
ANGELS AND HUMANS
There are differences between humans and angels. Though God created both angels (Col 1:16) and humans, only humans are recorded as created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26). Humans and a group of angels sinned. Jesus died for the salvation of humans. So, only they can receive forgiveness and not the fallen angels (2 Pet 2:4). Only humans marry and generate children. The angles have “superior strength and power” (2 Pet 2:11). They exist in heaven, which is a higher level of existence than the physical universe (Mt 18:10; Rev 5:11-12).
ANGELS, NAMES OF
There are three angels that the Bible specially mentions by name:
(1) Michael in Hebrew means “Who is like God.” Michael presides over the prayers and offerings of the faithful.
(2) Raphael means “The Medicine of God.” Raphael presides over the healing of human bodies. He restored sight to Tobit when he was blind (Tob 11: 7-15).
(3) Gabriel means “The Power of God.” Gabriel presides over the conflicts and wars of the faithful as in Daniel 12. He is also a messenger of God. Angel Gabriel appeared four times in the Bible communicating God’s message to His faithful servants: to Prophet Daniel (Ch 10), to John the Baptists’ father Zachariah (Lk 1:5-20), to mother of Jesus, Mary (Lk 1:26-38) and to Evangelist John (Rev 1:1-2). Out of these, only Zechariah’s vision happened in the Temple. Though not specified in the Bible, according to the Jewish tradition, Gabriel is one of the seven archangels.
Though God created humans inferior to the angels, God showed mercy to the humanity and sent his Son to redeem them. The fallen angels have no hope of a restoration of their graceful state. Let us thank the Lord for redeeming us and follow the directions of our guardian angles to defend us from falling into temptation.