Angel encounters: another person, who just happens to be nice? God? Or an angel?
In the Bible the identity of angels is often confused with/ blurred with God.
“Was it God or an angel?” is often a question you have in your mind after a biblical encounter. Examples are the story where Jacob wrestled with a stranger; the story of 3 visitors to whom Abraham offered hospitality; and the angels who came and tended to Jesus in the wilderness after he’d resisted the 3 temptations.
Then there’s the story of Philip meeting the Ethiopian Eunuch.
This is an example of an encounter we might relate to.
For both people in the encounter, the moment was right. They were the right people in the right place at the right time.
When the student was ready, the teacher appeared
When the lesson was over, the teacher mysteriously disappeared.
At the end of the encounter, “the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. And the Eunuch did not see him again but went on his way rejoicing.”
Here the bible makes no attempt to say that the stranger the Eunuch met was anything other than a human being. Not God, not an angel, but a person. But for the Eunuch you might say Philip occupied the same role as an angel, in many similar encounters people might experience, religious or non-religious, in the past, or right up to the present day.
I think all the modern day angel encounters I describe in this series are and will be ones where the people experiencing the encounter went on their way rejoicing. The same happened in the story of the road to Emmaus. In that story the stranger turned out to be the resurrected Jesus.
Many of these encounters are powerful in direct proportion to their brevity.
What makes them special, even divine, is the element of grace.
Human beings tend to need a motivation to do things, and they tend to expect something for it: some kind of reward. Gratitude, a response, some kind of material or emotional or psychological payback for the action.
God-incidences and divine or supernatural or angelic encounters are characterised by grace. They just happen. The stranger offering the help requires nothing. If the recipient of their help offers thanks, that is somehow a separate issue. They appear and disappear.
God can use a choice word, a routine appointment, or a brief conversation to change a life
(Lectio 365 Wed 1st July 2020).
In this series I describe a number of occasions where somebody today, in our contemporary world, believed they experienced a supernatural event, an angelic encounter, or a God-incident…. And in every case they went on their way rejoicing.
I’ve written about angels and supernatural experiences before on this blog. Check out these posts:
and the first two posts in this Angel Encounters series:
Also you may like to visit some of the following bloggers to learn more of what different people believe about modern angel encounters:
Next time I’ll continue this series with some stories I have been told of modern angel encounters.
What do you think?
Do you believe in angels?
Have you an experience to share? Please share in the comments below.