I traveled past the famed Anaheim Angels Stadium hundreds of times while living in Southern California. When I was twelve, I played Little League Baseball and chose to play for the Little League Angels because Nolan Ryan came to the California Angels in 1972. The big league Angels finished at .484 that year, but we were league champs!
One of my favorite movies is “Angels in the Outfield” –the 1994 remake, not the 1951 original. It’s probably because one of my favorite character actors, Christopher Lloyd, plays “Al” the chief angel and Danny Glover plays Angels coach George Knox. Disclaimer; the movie is inspirational and entertaining but I don’t watch it for a biblical understanding of angels. That being understood, I do love Al’s last words “We’re always watching!” as he leaves Roger’s house.
This time year is off-season for Anaheim Angels fans, but prime time for lovers of the Heavenly Angels. We’re singing “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. We’ve got light-up angels in our yards and angels topping our Christmas trees. We treat angels as holiday novelties or symbolic characters from bible stories. But – consider Alabama’s song “Angels Among Us” written by Don Goodman and Becky Hobbs, and released in December 1993 as a Christmas single from the band’s 1993 album “Cheap Seats”. Are there really angels among us?
The English word “angel” comes from the Greek word “angelos” which means “messenger”. In the Old Testament, the most common Hebrew word used for angels is “malak” which also means messenger. The Prophet Malachi got his name from this word and he was indeed a messenger as he prophesied about the coming of Jesus Christ, the messenger of God’s covenant. This brings us to an interesting concept. Both Malachi and Jesus were men, but they were also malakim. Some say a way to tell men apart from Heavenly Angels is that the Heavenly beings do supernatural things. However, so did Elijah, Phillip, Moses and many others through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. So as to not leave us in a conundrum, the Bible does specify differences in creation, strength, power and immortality that place the Heavenly Angels above the earthly malakim.
So then – how do we know when, as Roger and Coach Knox would say in the movie, “We’ve got an angel with us”? Psalm 91:11-12 says “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Hebrews 13:2 says “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Remember Al’s words – “We’re always watching!”
I’ll finish with a short “angel story”. Four years ago, when my friends Kevin Hanna, Chad Ubry and I made a Christmas run to Joplin, Mo. after their devastating spring tornado, a resident asked if we had an angel tree topper. Hers had been taken away by the tornado when her home was destroyed. We looked though the boxes of donated decorations that filled the back of our truck. When we emerged with a brand new, still in the box, ceramic angel, the woman broke into tears. The angel was identical to the one she had lost. God knows when you need an angel. Trust Him.
© 2015 Curt Savage Media