This study guide examines some of the interesting and profound verses that give insight into these invisible servants of God, who serve “those who will inherit salvation”.
Angels impact the world in ways we can’t begin to imagine. Angels can also affect your life. The Scriptures have much to tell us on this fascinating subject.
Sometimes people want to give angels extra credit. It’s as if people want their own angel to lift them from adversity or to do their own bidding in personal affairs. They often look to angelic aid without ever calling on God for help. Some people look to angels almost as their own personal genies.
Some have taught that a set of scriptures in Genesis 6 refers to fallen angels interbreeding with human women to produce half-demon giants. But there’s a more rational explanation.
Of the many Old Testament references to angels of God, there are a few where One called “the Angel of the Lord” is also identified as “the Lord” (Genesis 16:10-13; Genesis 22:11-12; Exodus 3:2-6; Judges 13:3-22). But how can an angel of God be God Himself? This is evidently the same figure referred to as “the Angel of His Presence” in Isaiah 63:9, as well as the “Angel” God sent to lead the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land (Exodus 14:19; Exodus 23:20).
Are all angels alike? Scripture reveals several different kinds of angels, including cherubim, seraphim and several other kinds of spirit beings. What are they like?
The derivation of the Hebrew word cherub (keroob or krub), referring to a kind of angel, is uncertain. Some have proposed that it simply means “figure.” Others have said it comes from a root meaning “mix,” in reference to combined features. Still others look to similar ancient terms. The Akkadian word karibu, which some say refers to intercessory beings and statues of such, seems related to the Assyrian word karabu, meaning “great” or “mighty,” and a similar Babylonian term meaning “propitious.”
A common misconception is that when people die (and especially infants), they go to heaven and become angels. Yet angels have existed far longer than people have, being present at the creation of the earth (Job 38:7).
The scientific field of archaeology has not only confirmed the existence of many people and places mentioned in the Bible, it has also proven the Bible to be correct in many details large and small. A recent scientific analysis of 15 seasons of excavation at a site in the Jordan Valley appears to be stunning verification of one of the Bible’s most remarkable stories— the sudden and catastrophic destruction of Sodom as punishment for its heinous sins. This issue covers that remarkable story and what we should learn from it. It also shows how other evidence from archaeology shows that the Bible is indeed an accurate and trustworthy historical document—a book we can and must believe! Read about this and other fascinating topics in the pages of this issue of Beyond Today.