If you came face to face with your worst enemy, would you entrust yourself to a protector that looks like a cute little baby with wings? Would you want a girly-looking wood nymph to fight your battles for you? I don’t know about you, but these images don’t exactly engender confidence in my heart, let alone strike fear in my enemy’s heart.
I am preaching on Psalm 91 this Sunday, focusing on the security that God provides for us. One element of our security involves angelic protection (verses 11-13). Not only do angels protect us, but they allow us to be victorious in difficult situations. I was looking for some art to picture a guardian angel. But I was sorely disappointed in what I found. All the pictures I found make angels look like wimps.
Scripture teaches that God uses angels to minister to his people (Hebrews 1:14). But where are the pictures of angels with flaming swords that guarded the location of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24)? What about the angel with drawn sword ready to bring judgment on the wayward prophet, Balaam (Numbers 22:22-35)? Where is the angel that encouraged and fed Elijah during his period of depression (1 Kings 19)? Where is the angelic army with horses and chariots of fire that camped around Elisha (2 Kings 6:17)? Where are the angels that protected Daniel by shutting the mouths of the lions (Daniel 6:22)? What about the angel that brought comfort to Daniel, but only after doing battle with the prince of Persia for 21 days and being rescued by Michael, an angelic prince (Daniel 10:10-13)? We haven’t even mentioned the angels that bring judgment in the book of Revelation.
Scripture certainly portrays angels in a much more positive light than the namby-pamby effeminate ones we find in art. The angels found in Scripture give me confidence that I am protected by my heavenly Father. He has sent them to help me accomplish the task he has called me to do. The ones found in art are like eating a bowl of sugar–overly sweet and less than satisfying.