Supernatural beings are a staple of pop culture, especially angels. And we’ve developed some pretty interesting ideas about them. If all we had to go on was movies, TV, and books, we’d likely think angels were departed loved ones or gentle beings looking to comfort us with a hug or a pat on the head, and possibly a bagel with cream cheese. But when the Bible describes angels, it gives us a very different picture.
The Scriptures depict these created beings as something other than human, entities created distinctly from us, but are nevertheless very real and active in the world.
They’re often called “sons of God,” “holy ones,” “spirits,” “principalities,” and “powers.”
They appear as messengers of God, which is the meaning behind the word “angel” in both Hebrew and Greek, acting as His agents throughout history by:
- Guarding the gates of the garden;
- Giving visions to prophets such as Ezekiel and Daniel;
- Telling Zechariah that his son would be the forerunner to the Messiah;
- Announcing to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus;
- Declaring Jesus’ resurrection on the third day;
- Showing John a vision of the final days and the glorious return of Christ.
Angels are very different than other created beings, and to see one would likely cause us to fall down in sheer terror or be tempted to worship it. But like all other created beings, angels ultimately exist for one purpose: to bring God glory and to carry out His plans and purposes. Though they often remain hidden, their existence reminds us that we live in a supernatural world.