Angels: God’s Warrior Angels
Taken from my book:
God’s For-BEAR-ance With Bullies
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels; the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the Holy Place (Psalms 68:17). God Almighty is attended by a glorious entourage of ministering spirits who go forth to serve Him. Angels also look after the well-being of His children, who are joint-heirs with Christ Jesus.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them (Psalms 34:7). The Hebrew word for “encampeth” is chaneh, which means to “pitch a tent”, or dwelling place. Ask God to set up a celestial army bivouacs around you. How wonderful, to have heavenly hosts camping out in your own home and workplace, or wherever you go! Consecrate your own home to the Lord, that unseen angels will always feel welcome there. I have to chuckle about this, since my present home is so small that if you get more than three people in the place you feel crowded!
Hebrews 1:14: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
When Jesus was being arrested by His enemies, Peter tried to defend Him by using a sword. Jesus responded by telling Peter His Father was perfectly able to send more than twelve legions of to His defense (Matthew 26:53). In the time of Caesar Augustus, one legion of men equaled 6826. Jesus could have been rescued by roughly 82,000 angels! But it wasn’t in the purpose of the Father to save His own beloved Son from the death of the Cross; because His divinely preordained plain was to die to save US!
God’s Warrior Angels
Ask the Father to dispatch a contingent of mighty angels to fight against your foes in such a way that they are weakened and hindered from harming you; but are still spared to give them opportunity to be converted to Christ. In the Old Testament, the enemies of the righteous would often have been killed by any angels sent by God to defend His own. Jesus teaches His people to love their enemies. But those who threaten your peace or safety must be warred against in the realm of the Spirit, and restrained through the power of God.
In 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19 the nation of Judah is repeatedly oppressed by foreign invaders who demand tribute (just like a school bully who takes your lunch money). The situation begins with Shalmanezer king of Assyria invading the northern Kingdom of Israel, which was comprised of ten of the Twelve tribes of Israel (Judah consisted of the remaining two). Israel had earlier seceded from Judah, the dominant tribe from which David and his dynasty of kings sprung. Some of Judah’s kings were godly, but ALL of Israel’s kings were rotten eggs. Israel had stopped going to Jerusalem, capital of Judah, to worship at the Temple according to God’s commandment. Instead, the northern Ten Tribes fell into idolatry, and God had to judge this kingdom. In the days of Hezekiah, King of Judah, the rival nation Israel was carried away captive by Shalmanezer, who took them to Assyria.
Hezekiah was a God-fearing man
The nation of Judah had some bad kings, but Hezekiah was one of their best. Hezekiah was a God-fearing man. He didn’t deserve the troubles that came his way. Once idolatrous Israel was taken captive, Assyria set its sights on Judah, its smaller neighbor. Just like a bully to feel all pumped up with power after beating up the biggest kid on the block. Now it should be a piece of cake to beat up his smaller brother. Judah’s cities were conquered and placed under tribute. Then Hezekiah worried that he might have done something to upset Sennacherib, the then king of Assyria. Hezekiah pleaded for mercy and promised to pay any tribute laid upon his nation. Many of God’s people are so weary of taking a stand against the devil that they find it easier to just let him rob them.
The king of Assyria is a fitting picture of satan, oppressor of men’s souls. Sennacherib demanded thirty talents of gold and three hundred talents of silver. I checked my Strong’s Concordance for the value of gold and silver talents, then multiplied by the number of each type of talent demanded by Sennacherib. The combined value of the tribute was around $43,680,000 per year! Just for the privilege of being allowed to live in your own territory and go about your business unmolested!
In the Old Testament gold symbolizes the Glory of God
Hezekiah was so desperate he gave the king of Assyria all the silver in his house. When that wasn’t enough, Hezekiah even stripped all of the gold and silver out of the Temple to pay his oppressor’s tribute. In the Old Testament, gold symbolizes the Glory of God (2 Kings 18:14-16). Silver represents God’s wisdom and the precious riches of His Word. The devil isn’t content to steal your earthly happiness. He wants to ransack your spirit and soul as well. Satan wants to destroy the very Glory of God within you. He wants to rob you of the wisdom and strength you gain from the Word of God.
Satan rules over this evil world system, but God Himself owns the title deed to the earth (Psalms 50:12). God’s children are His heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ their Lord (Romans 8:17). But satan wants you to be his serf; laboring under a burden of fear so you can pay him rent wrenched out of your innermost being. The devil wants Christian believers to stop seeing themselves as heirs of God; and to feel like helpless worms to be stepped on. In this present evil age, continual prayer must be offered up to God for His help to overcome the adversary of our souls.
Sennacherib wanted to steal the population of Judah
Sennacherib wasn’t content with extorting protection money from Hezekiah. He wanted to steal the population of Judah, just like he’d carried Israel away as slaves. Rabshakeh, Sennacherib’s ambassador, pleads with the people of Judah to give up and submit to being taken captive. He says it won’t be so bad, they’ll enjoy a land full of good things to eat and drink (verse 32). In verses 33-35 Rabshakeh argues that other kings and nations appealed to their gods for help; but it didn’t do any good. In essence, Rabshakeh is inviting the Judahites to emigrate to his own nation and be assimilated into it. Join our gang and we’ll stop beating you up!
Like Rabshakeh, Satan will lie to you to wear down your resistance. He will cause you to think of others who sought supernatural help and it didn’t come. The devil promises to stop hassling you if only you’ll pledge allegiance to him and “follow the crowd” to hell. Reminds me of that epic battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Star Wars. If only Luke would turn to the dark side of the Force, Darth Vader will stop blasting him with his light saber and Luke will have a bright future to look forward to.
The only thing you can take with you
Those who buy satan’s lie have sold their souls for a bag of peanuts. When all is said and done, the only thing you can take with you when you go is the treasure inside your heart. Where will the bully’s buddies be when the stern Judge of all the Universe weighs his deeds and finds him wanting? Those who fail to make Christ their only Righteousness will be judged on the basis of their own works and be condemned for them. The devil knows this. He hates his own children enough to want them to burn with him in hell.
King Hezekiah gave the people some very wise advice: Don’t say a word back to the enemy (verse 36). The danger was that in so doing, their defenses would be lowered and they would end up negotiating with the enemy and end up giving in to Rabshakeh’s demands.
In 2 Kings Chapter 19 Hezekiah goes to the Temple to seek God’s help. Hezekiah mourns over the blasphemy uttered by the enemy against the Living God. It isn’t long before the prophet Isaiah comes on the scene to deliver God’s reply: Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land: and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land (verses 6-7).
Hezekiah is once again tested
In verses 8-13 Hezekiah is once again tested. Will he believe God’s promise of deliverance or be intimidated by further threats from the enemy? Like all bullies, the devil doesn’t give up easily. Once again Rahshakeh returns and taunts the King of Judah and his men about past victories won by the king of Assyria over various nations. The devil uses the same old tired tactics to wear out the saints of the Most High (Daniel 7:25).
Instead of panicking, Hezekiah returned to the Temple to consult with God over the enemy’s renewed threats. Hezekiah took the intimidating letter and “spread it out before the Lord” (verse 14). In verses 15-19 Hezekiah appealed to the God Who was powerful enough to create the heavens and the earth, that One Who dwelled between the cherubims (an exalted order of angels). Hezekiah appeals to Almighty God to hear what this idolatrous king is saying against Him.
Isaiah came by with an encouraging word from God
Once again the prophet Isaiah came by with an encouraging word from God. God’s nation was destined for victory and an overcoming remnant would be saved to return and take root again . But as for now, God’s promise was that no military tactic taken by the king of Assyria against Judah would be permitted to succeed. God would defend the City of Jerusalem for His own sake and for the sake of His servant David (verses 32-34). This promise brings to mind God’s promise: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn (see Isaiah 54:17).
Just ONE angel went out from the Lord and smote 185,000 Assyrians single-handedly! Once Sennacherib returned to his own land, he went to worship his heathen gods, but got struck down by the real God as punishment for his blasphemous sins (verses 35-37). If you are in danger ask God to send a powerful warrior angel to fight on your behalf.
God loves people, but when necessary He is a Man of War (Exodus 15:3). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).