Exodus 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the
way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
A Message to Young People
Sometime ago I spoke to my grandchildren somewhat as follows.
"Here is a picture of a guardian angel. (It was holding a picture of an angel standing over two children at play.) Do you know anything about guardian angels?" (No.)
I began by telling them about a time when I was traveling in the car. I was driving. My wife and six children were in the car. We were doing about 60 on a bridge passing over the Rio Grande River. Suddenly a loud commanding voice said, "Change lanes, the hood is going to come off that car!"
I was startled and immediately changed lanes. There was only one car in front of us and a moment later it's hood came off. Had I not changed lanes quickly that hood would have came right through our windshield. I was the only one in that car that heard the voice.
So how can that be explained? And how could I prove to anyone else that I did indeed hear a commanding voice? The probable explanation for the voice is that a Guarding Angel spoke. I certainly can't prove to anyone, even those in the car, that I heard anything.
A friend had told me several years earlier that he was traveling at night. He was going up a hill. He reported that he heard a loud commanding voice say, "Pull over!" He told me that he was so startled that he pulled to the side of the road and stopped. Immediately two drag racing teens came flying over the hill. One of the cars was in his lane. Had he not pulled over, he would have been hit head on.
So I continued talking to the children as follows. "So, you see a Guarding Angel saved our lives because that hood would have killed some or all of us.
Obedience and Protection - A Bible Principal
Now I have told my wife that she is not to go to a connivance store after dark. Asking a child, "Do you know why?" One child answered. "Because there have been several robberies at night and people have been shot by the bad guy."
So I continued to explain the Bible's doctrine of Obedience and Protection.
Obedience and Protection
Exodus 23:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, (the angel's voice - verse 20) and do all that I speak (God's commandments as delivered by Moses); then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
The marriage contract is one of Obedience and Protection. At Mt. Sinai God married Israel. God promised to Love, Honor and Cherish while Israel promised to Love, Honor and Obey.
"Cherish" has to do with protection. A man protects his wife. That is his duty. The wife cherishes her children while the husband cherishes his wife. He also cherishes his children. In trade for this protection children are to obey their parents and wives obey their husbands.
Husband protects (cherishes) wife in trade for his protection.
Question: What was the husband doing when he forbid his wife from going to as convience store after dark?
Answer: He was protecting his wife.
But this protection depends on obedience. The husband might be at work. He cannot always be at home to 'force' his wife's obedience in this matter.
Now, what if the wife does go to the connivance store after dark? The answer, she has removed herself from his protection. She is now on her own.
Now, again, speaking to the children. "When your mother tells you not to play in the street. What is she doing?" The child answered correctly. "Mom is protecting us since it is dangerous to play in the street".
(Question to the child) "You remember that I told my wife that she was not to go to the connivance store after dark. If she did, would her guardian angel go with her to protect her, or would the angel stay home?"
The child answered, "The angel would probably stay at home and she would be on her own".
"Exactly". Then I asked, "If your mother tells you not to play in the street, and if you do play in the street, have you removed yourself from her protection?" (Yes)
Now, if there were a Guardian Angel, that you cannot see, watching over you, and if that angel heard your mother tell you to stay out of the street. Would the angel stay in the yard or would he go into the street with you?
The child answered, "The angel would stay in the yard. He would not go into the street with me."
I asked, "Then you would be on your own. Your protection by a guardian angel depends upon your listening to your parents doesn't it?" (Yes.)
Exodus 23:21 Beware of him, (the angel) and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.
Question: When the wife goes to the connivance store, or the child into the street, doesn't that have to do with "provoke him not;"? (Yes.)
Question: And the angel not going with the wife to the forbidden store and not going with the child into the forbidden street ,doesn't that have to do with "for he will not pardon your transgressions"? (Yes, because, to go with you where you were told not to go would be the same as pardoning the transgression.)
(End of the conversation with the children.)
(1) Guardian Angels protect God's people when they are in obedience to him.
(2) Guardian Angels have rules that they must follow when carrying out their protective duties.
(3) Imprecatory prayer enforced by angels is authorized by Exodus 23:22. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
When we are in obedience to God and attacked by an enemy of God, then we can pray for protection. Our prayers may not even make it to heaven. (Why?) Perhaps God had delegated some duties to angels.
Think a moment. The President doesn't personally read or answer all his mail. He has staff to take care of it. The President's 'angels' deal with the mail using predetermined rules. What they can't handle they refer to him for a decision.
You pray to God but....
(A) The Guardian Angel hears your prayer.
(B) If the Angel determines that, by the rules God has set, he has jurisdiction or authority to act, and then the angel will deal with the problem on your behalf in answer to prayer.
(C) Your prayer request might be sent up the chain of command.
How do Guarding Angels manifest themselves?
The commanding voice.
The commanding voice. In this article above the commanding voice was mentioned as one manifestation of a guardian angel. There is a magazine titled Angels on Earth. The magazine presents it's mission as follows, ""A bi-monthly magazine from Guideposts, presents true stories about God's and humans that have played angelic roles in daily life. $18.00 per year. Angels, PO Box 1402 Carmel, NY 10512-9921
Here is part of one commanding voice story.
A woman was working I the kitchen when her husband called from the bathroom, the commanding voice,….
In the above story we have the commanding voice and a woman's obedience to her husband. It wasn't her husband's voice but she thought it was.
Two items in this Guardian Angel situation:
(1) The commanding voice. (2) Obedience to those to whom you are to obey. Christians obey God, Children obey Parents, Wives obey Husbands.
Helpers out of nowhere not seen by everyone.
Psalms 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Many reports of angels mention people and animals who suddenly appear and are seen by some but not others.
These angel stories have common features.
(1) Prayer - "call upon me in the day of trouble" and
(2) A rescuer or protector.
Pastor Peters, in a sermon, told of a person shipwrecked. He found himself surrounded by sharks. He could hear the cries of his fellows as they were being attacked. But in his case a white shark circled and protected him from other sharks until he was rescued.
In another situation a man was saved out of grave danger. Later he discovered that relative had, at that exact same time, awakened in the night and felt a need to pray for him. She did. What cannot be proved is the following.
(1) Did God hear and answer the "call upon me in the day of trouble" prayers?
(2) Was the strange acting shark a Guardian Angel?
I felt strong hands lifting me
That is the title of an Angels on Earth magazine story. Here are portions of that story.
A man was about to make repairs to a dump truck. The story continues;
The question is, the two mechanics ("I saw two men in green denim overalls. Mechanics. The brims of their caps obscured their faces.")
The two mechanics that were seen by Ted saw but were not seen by Jack and John guarding angels? Were they Guarding angels who came in response to Ted's prayer? ("I felt myself drifting away, slipping into a painless haze. From deep in my memory, the words of a Psalm came to me: “Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you.” I prayed. Only you are strong enough to help me, Lord.")
The above report has these features.
(1) A prayer in the day of trouble.
(2) Guarding angels appeared from out of nowhere. (The mechanics in green uniforms.) The angels were not visible to some people at the scene of the accident. (Entertain angels unawares.)
Pastor Peters, in a sermon, (mentioned in this article above), Peters told of a person shipwrecked. He found himself surrounded by sharks. He could hear the cries of his fellows as they were being attacked. But in his case a white shark circled and protected him from other sharks until he was rescued.
Here is an animal story in the Angels on Earth magazine. May-June 2003
Recall the story above of the man at sea protected by the shark while a friend prayed for him. Here we have a woman protected by a dog while her mother prayed for her. Were these guarding angels in animal form responding to a prayer?
In another sermon Pastor Peters told of a woman leaving work at night. She passed a suspicious man. She reported her suspicions to a police officer. The man was found and it turned out that he was a wanted rapist.
The women identified the bad guy at police headquarters and in the process ask him, "That night, why didn't you rape me?"
The startling answer, "What about the two men who were with you?"
Helpers out of nowhere not seen by everyone.
Recall the mechanics in green uniforms that helped rescue the man trapped by a fallen truck bed. The mechanics were not visible to the other rescuers.
Here we have the guarding angels (two men) and the protected person did not see them. The protected person did not even know she was being protected.
Here again we have a prayer connection. As with the man lost at sea, there was a person in a safe place praying for the person in a dangerous place.
Colonel Jack Mohr, a U.S. soldier reports that, at the very same time he escaped a North Korean firing squad, back home a relative was praying for him. She was disturbed in spirit a felt a sudden need to pray for Jack. Did a guarding angel protect Jack in response to that prayer?
How the Guarding Angel system works. (Just speculating)
In many factories breakdowns must be fixed quickly. The factory assigns maintenance men sit around waiting for breakdowns. The skilled tradesman can read books, drink coffee, play cards, whatever. But they must immediately respond to any breakdown in their area.
Sometimes a signal horn will be provided for production people to call for help. Two toots might call for an electrician. Three toots for a mechanic and four for a pipe fitter.
Automated machines might be designed to let out a cry whenever anything goes wrong. The cry is a horn or other signaling device. Upon hearing the signal tradesman hurry to the machine to see what is wrong.
When a cry for help is initiated two parties are aware of the call. (1) Management. (2) The maintenance person assigned to respond promptly.
All across America there are fire departments. Firemen, like the maintenance men in a factory, sit about killing time waiting for a call. Upon hearing the alarm they respond promptly.
If there is no call there is no response. (No Prayer - No Response) Someone must turn in the alarm. The fireman do not leave the station looking for fires. While it can happen, the factory maintenance men do not wander about the factory floor looking for work. They would rather read the newspaper and wait for a call. (Prayer)
Is this how prayer and guarding angels work? Like maintenance men and firemen, they are assigned to stand by and respond if needed.
If there is a call (prayer) guardian angels respond if it is their job. To explain; electricians do not respond to a call for a pipe fitter. Mechanics do not respond when the call is for an electrician.
Perhaps angels do not respond for a disobedient wife who goes to a convience store after dark contrary to her husband's instructions.
Or Guardian Angels do not watch over rebellious teenagers who defy their parent's instruction to be home by 9:00 P.M. It's the obedience / protection rule. And the principle of Exodus 23:21
Exodus 23:21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.
The convience store might be outside of the angel's jurisdiction since the husband forbid the wife going there at that time of day. She has removed herself from his protection and is on her own. (This would be a case of 'not his job'.)
The angel might just be 'off duty' with regard to the teenager away from home beginning at 9:00 P.M. After nine PM the rebellious youth is on his own. By disobeying his parent, he has removed himself from God's protection.
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Do not provoke God or his angels.
Teenagers: Don't die young in a car wreck because your rebellion against authority and your parents removed you from God's protection.
Wives: 1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; ..... (Comment - If you wives insist on 'wearing the pants' then family protection is no longer the husband's responsibility or God's or the Guardian Angel's responsibility.)
Exodus 23:20 Behold,
I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into
the place which I have prepared.