by Lilian Elizabeth De Silva
“For He shall give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91: 11 NASB
It’s not always obvious when angels are present, as they can appear in human form. Hebrews 13:2 (NASB) warns us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” I’ve personally experienced instances when a stranger turned up to assist me at a time when only God could help.
In June 2019, I was recovering from heart surgery in the ICU. At dawn, as I was waking up, I saw four angels attending me. Smartly dressed in pure white trousers and shirts, they were swift and agile in performing their tasks. I remembered Scripture which spoke of angels: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1: 14 NSAB). Later, as I went to sleep that night, I saw another angel drawing a net over me, and still another watching over me.
There are many accounts in the Bible of angel visitation. While sitting at the door of his tent in the heat of the day, Abraham saw three men standing opposite him. He rushed to provide for their needs (hospitality—even to strangers—was important in his culture) and received word from them that the son promised by the Lord would arrive in the following year. The strangers then moved on to nearby Sodom.
Joshua, on the eve of the attack on Jericho, saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword. Joshua wasn’t sure why he was there, so he asked: “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” The man explained that he was the captain of the host of the Lord. He had come to assure Joshua that the Lord and His army would go before the Israelites in the battle, just as He had promised before they ever entered the land.
There are many other examples of angelic interaction, both in the Old and New Testaments. Jacob was given a vision of angels on a stairway to heaven before leaving the land that he loved. Gideon was visited with a message from God. Samson’s mother was given instructions on how to raise her son by an angel. David encountered an angel just after a plague had been released on his people. Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph heard the news of the coming Messiah through an angel. At the beginning of the Church, angels visited Cornelius with instructions and brought Peter out of prison.
Hebrews 13:2 assures us that God is still using His messengers today.
As I was regaining my normal health, my younger son’s family, who were in Melbourne, invited me to their home for a stay. I did not know much about travelling overseas. I was travelling alone, so I asked my children to describe, step by step, what would happen on the journey. Upon arrival, my son would pick me up. He assured me he would see me as soon as I emerged from baggage claim.
After collecting my bags, a steward helped me push my trolley. She walked with me from one end of the terminal to the other several times – but we could not spot my son. Finally, a man overheard our conversation and asked: “Do you need to make a call to someone?” I gave him my son’s number. He called and my son answered. I looked back and I saw my son, and we waved from a distance. A connection had been made. But when I turned to thank the helpful man, he was gone.
Psalm 34: 7 (NASB) tells us, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and rescues them.” We may not always recognize or even see them, but God’s messengers continue to minister among us.
About the author: Lilian DeSilva is the founder of several women’s ministries, including a Pastors’ Wives Fellowship, which represents over twelve denomination is Sri Lanka. She is known for singing praise songs while engaged in whatever work the Lord has given her to do.
Join the conversation: Have you experienced an angelic visitation? Please share!