Do we have guardian angels?


Concerning the matter of angels, there is very limited information in the Bible on their real function with mankind.  Obviously in the Old Testament and New they made appearances for specific reasons: for example, Balaam’s talking donkey comes to mind (Number 22:4-35) as one where the angel of the Lord stood in the donkey’s path and literally saved Balaam from swift destruction by blocking the way.  Also, the angels appeared at the tomb with the women at the ascension of Jesus.  They are indeed very real, and no doubt God can use them in ways to accomplish His will.  I have no trouble believing that if God wants to spare someone from perishing, He can use any and all of His arsenal of power, including angels, to exercise His Providence on our behalf. Yet I cannot establish a theology Biblically that each person has his very own private guardian angel. Here is some food for thought, however.
David writes in Psalms 34:7 that “the angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them.” This was evidenced time and again throughout the Old Bible and demonstrates God has the power, and often had the will to use this method for deliverance from evil.
“And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel” (Acts 12:15 KJV) when Peter stood at the gate of Mary’s house after his release from prison.
Many people take this last reference to mean that each of the apostles had an angel assigned to them for guidance, protection and encouragement.  I cannot doubt that God has the power to do that very thing if He so chooses.  In fact the majority of “christendom” believes that He has assigned an angel to each believer.  That, I cannot prove, though I cannot deny that very real possibility.
Some see in Matthew 18:10 that such might be the case: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”   J. W. McGarvey is one example of Bible scholars who have taken this to mean that each of us has one specific angel over us.  Others feel that this passage was insufficient to establish such a teaching.  In this text the angels were seen as being in Heaven beholding the face of God, and not seen as encircling the earth on a mission of protection.  I would be fearful of limiting God’s power, yet I cannot predict that it will happen.  The truth is that some people do die in similar settings while others in the same situation are spared.
There is a related thought which opens up more possibility, and again we can’t define how God does it, through angels, or other means, but in 1 Cor 10:13, Paul writes: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I don’t know to what extent God will change circumstances to make a way to escape as the text indicates, but I do know it happens! And that Paul wanted us to be comforted by that real hope.
One could write books about this subject and still not adequately define God’s methods and involvements in our lives. Suffice it to say that I believe He is involved, and this does not mean that I believe He makes my choices for me or miraculously makes me take certain choices.  I praise Him for every good thing that happens in my life, and I plead with those who have had bad experiences to draw near to God rather than blame Him.
We have sufficient evidence that God watches over us, and thus our faith is real that He through Providence provides for both deliverance from harm and temptation, and that He is a giving God who according to James 1:5-6, still hears our petitions and grants answer to our needs.

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