1. Introduction to the Ministry of Angels in times of temptation
We need to talk about the Ministry of Angels in times of temptation as demonstrated in the temptation of our Lord Jesus:
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, Angels came and ministered (G1247/diakoneō) unto him (Matthew 4: 11).
Diakoneō is a verb, which is intended to show that action and doing were involved. One way in which Diakoneō is used in the New Testament is related to the serving of food. We can therefore infer that the Angels fed Jesus after the 40 day fast. Matthew 4: 2 says that Jesus was tempted severely at the end of the 40 day period, during the period when He was most vulnerable.
2. Angels served food to our Lord Jesus, the application meaning that they supplied His critical needs
… Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve G1247 alone? (Luke 10: 40).
Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve G1247 them (Luke 12: 37/NKJV).
… Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve G1247 me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? (Luke 17: 8).
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: G1247 but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him (John 12: 2).
Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve G1247 tables (Acts 6: 2)
Jesus’ hunger represented a time of great vulnerability, lack of nourishment and physical and emotional deprivation. In the same manner, our greatest need at the time of greatest vulnerability and temptation represents a time of lack – loneliness; lack of money; lack of true friendships and companionship; lack of a life partner; lack of financial and other resources such as food.
We see too, that the strategy of the adversary is to destroy the believer and/or human being at the time of greatest vulnerability. However, we must ask the Father to send His Angels to minister to our needs.
2. Biblical examples of the Ministry of Angels in times of need
Example 1 – An Angel fed Prophet Elijah with cake and water
Prophet Elijah had declared a drought in Israel because of the nation’s sin and had just killed 400 false prophets. Aggravated, Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him and he fled to the wilderness fearing for his life. The Prophet sat under a juniper tree in despair and prayed for God to take him. God answered by sending an Angel to awake him from his sleep as he lay under the tree curled into a fetal position. The Angel awoke Prophet Elijah to a meal of water and a cake which was being baked on coals. He remained with the Prophet and woke him to a second meal which provided energy for 49 days:
And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an Angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
And the Angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee
And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God (1 Kings 19: 6 – 8).
I hear the Lord instructing me to pay attention to the parallels between Elijah and Jesus. They were both in the wilderness, were physically weak, had 40 day periods of food deprivation and had to endure a time of extreme stress. I hear the Lord saying that there are times when the journey is too great or too extreme for the saints. He will send His Angels to help and provide strength. I have had those times or physical and emotional weakness, but have had the privilege of being fed by Angels (pecans and cherries).
Example 2 – Abraham commissioned Angels to provide a wife for his son Isaac
First, I will cite the example of Abraham who sent his servant back to his homeland to get a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham warned the servant not to take a wife from the surrounding nations. They were very ungodly, like his former wife Keturah. Maybe he perceived that Isaac was becoming restless and in need of fulfillment that a wife could give.
Too old and frail to make the journey himself, Abraham told his servant that God would send His Angels ahead. The servant, receiving the Prophetic Word, prayed very specifically, asking God to provide a young woman with the qualities he asked for. God answered the prayer to the minutest detail and Isaac got his wife:
… he shall send His Angel before you and you shall take a wife for my son from thence (Genesis 24: 7) and the rest of Genesis 24.
Abraham had learnt to COMMISSION OR ENLIST THE HELP of Angels along his journey. He had grown accustomed to Angels going before him as he travelled to and throughout the Land of Canaan.
i. As believers, we must develop the habit of asking God to send His Angels AHEAD in order to prepare the way and to make our way prosperous – e.g. in interviews, seeking a mate, seeking a loan and the list goes on infinitely…This is my experience for many years.
ii. A Prophet or Apostle can commission Angels of God to assist others who are in need. I do this all the time.
Example 3 – An Angel of the Lord prophesied about Samson’s birth to Mr and Mrs Manoah
The Angel of the Lord appeared to a barren woman and prophesied about the birth of a son who would be called Samson. The Angel instructed her that the child was to live as a Nazarite and that he would bring political freedom to Israel (Judges 13: 1 – 5). This was a time of great need because barreness was considered to be a curse.
The Angel appeared in the form of a Prophet, although Mrs. Manoah told her husband that his face looked like an Angel of God, very terrible (Judges 13: 6). Mr and Mrs Manoah did not realize that the man was an Angel of God until he performed a miracle and ascended to heaven (Judges 13: 19 – 21). The Word of the Angel was fulfilled and Samson indeed became a national leader and deliverer of Israel (Judges 13).
Apostle Paul therefore teaches us that we must be hospitable to strangers since Angels of God can visit unknowing to us (Hebrews 13: 2).
Example 4 – The Angel of the Lord prophesied to Gideon about his role in national leadership and he delivered his nation from occupation by foreign insurgents
The man was Gideon, and he considered himself to be the least in his father’s house (Judges 6: 15b). This meant that he did not think that he was qualified to become anything great. I hear Gabriel say that his self concept was really low.
The Angel of the Lord, God Himself (Joshua 6: 16), appeared to Gideon and told him that he had been appointed as the next leader of Israel and that his role was to save Israel from the Midianites (Joshua 6: 11 – 14). Accepting His Call/Role and armed with supernatural courage, Gideon proceeded to fight and win the battle by unorthodox methods, bringing his nation into political freedom (Joshua 6: 11 – 40).
Note that this is Judges Chapter 6, matching the Day of Adam’s Creation. This was the Creation of a National Leader by the Prophetic Word of God Himself.
In conclusion, I cite the words of our dear Apostle Paul:
but to which of the Angels did He say at any time, “sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation?
Blessings, peace and Angelic leading, prosperity and protection. Halelujah and Glory to God for His Holy and Precious Angels.
An exploration of the role of the minister in the New Testament
The word minister and its relationship to the role of the deacon
Two ministers on Paul’s ministry team
The angels and the four pecans