[I have a book of Introduction to Angels at Amazon.com/author/billhaberman]
Check previous parts for important information.
What are Guardian Angels?
The angels, all of them, are “ministering spirits”, Hebrews 1:14. This is the basic purpose of angels.
The basic Hebrew concept of this word used for ministering [this particular word ministering is a rarely used word] is referred to vessels or instruments of service. The vessel of service, ministering, in the temple were said to be used to minister in I Chronicles 18:13; II Chronicles 24:14.
This would blend with the admonition not to worship an angel Revelation 22:8-9. The important thing is not the angel. They are not beings to be reverenced, but listened to. They are functionaries; they are ministering servants.
As a practical example of this you might consider the sacred cup or bowl
that held the blood that would be sprinkled around the temple in certain rites. You have the blood taken from one place to another place so it could be used. The bowl was ministering in this.
This word applied to angels in Hebrews 1:14 puts the angels in a secondary position to the deed done. The priest had to go take up the vessel. Then he filled it with the blood. And he used the blood for the sprinklings as he moved around the inner temple. The vessel was ministering in getting the blood from here to there, but the emphasis was not primarily on the vessel but on the blood.
In Numbers 7:5 the priests were to be paid for their ministering. The priests were not special in the sense of better, they were merely the vessel by which the important action was done. That being said they were given an honorarium for their ministering, a thank you if you will.
Are not all things to be received with thanksgiving? The vessels were important, but the thing done was of prime importance. And so it is with angels; they are ministering servants. The angels of the Lord are “all” ministering servants.
The situation of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah shows the guardianship of angels in that they directed Lot to leave the city before it was destroyed. In this situation the angels [earthly men] gave the message, but it was up to Lot to flee the city and not look back. This might be a case of a word to the wise is sufficient.
In the case of Lot the angels did make the mob that was assaulting Lot’s house blind so they could not interfere with Lot departure, but Lot had to get up and go.
Too many times today people thank that a guardian angel just comes in and does it, done finished. But this was not shown to be the case with Lot. You may trust in your guardian angel, seen or unseen, to protect you, but that does mean you can lay on couch, watch TV, and eat bon bons, while the angel does it all for you.
The first two things that we see in the guardian angels and Lot was that they brought the message and they prepared the way. This would be a situation in which the old adage is true, “God helps those who help themselves.” The angels were directing [messaging] the escape and protecting the escape. At the same time Lot was affecting the escape.
The guardianship of angels does not necessarily eliminate your intent and action. You also have to choose and do.
It is said of Jesus that could have called on the angels to deliver him from his crucifixion. But he choose not to avail himself of the work of guardian angels.
The guardianship of angels is not imposed on the guarded one. Guardianship can be received or rejected. [This might be seen as an element of human free will.]
I knew two men, at different times. The first man told me that he had an extremely bad sore on his leg. The doctors had tried everything to affect a healing, but it was not getting better. They told him that he was on his last chance modern medical therapy. If this did not work, and it was not showing signs of it, they were going to cut off his leg.
As an alternative healer, I had just happened to be reading some research on the healing properties of honey. I had just finished the chapter on honey and treating of wounds. He listened and was intrigued at the idea.
I gave him a copy of the chapter on that, and he read it. He started doing honey therapy. At his next doctor’s visit he was told that the wound was looking better. He had gone off the the modern therapy and was just using the honey. Long story short, the wound healed with the honey and he saved his leg.
The second man had a similar situation and I told him about the honey. I was rebuffed, and he would not even read the material. The doctors amputated his leg.
Would the honey have worked for him? On one level who knows? But on a practical level, the honey would not have worked for him because he refused to listen and act.
This is parallel to the guardian angel’s work in the case of Lot. He was given the information and a chance, and he chose to act.
As a one sentence synopsis a guess you can say that a guardian angel is a messenger who shows and/or provides a way for you.
And it is parallel to the guarding of the child Jesus.