The Watcher Angels
By Ron Schoolcraft
“A watcher and an holy one came down from heaven. ” (Daniel 4:13)
God has appointedseveral awesome agencies to bring us salvation and to assist us in our sojourn here. For example, He has given us the Word of God, the Spirit of God, the Name of God (Jesus) and the blood of God (Acts 20:28). But an immense help that may be largely overlooked or perhaps taken for granted is that innumerable company of ministering spirits called angels. The angels of God may be watching us and helping more than we realize.
I’m sure those who have read Joy Haney’s book, His Angels, published by Guideposts in 1998, have an increased appreciation for, and an awareness of, angels. The Scriptures, as well as her book, reveal the truth that angels are watching us. At least some of the angels are intensely interested in observing human events, and sometimes even intervening, especially in things related to God’s church.
When King Nebuchadnezzar described his dream of the hewn-down tree in Daniel 4:13, he used the distinctive name,
“watcher” for one of God’s holy angels. This unique name occurs in the Bible only in this chapter (also in verse 23). The term “watcher” gives us an insight into the realm of angels, implying that some of God’s angelic beings are watching us. Whether it applies to only a certain order of angels or all of them is not specifically revealed in Scripture.
“We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” (I Corinthians 4:9) The word, “spectacle” is only used this one time in the Bible. It is translated from the Greek word, “theatron” and is better translated “theatre,” as it is the only other time it is used. (See Acts 19:20-31.) It is amazing and quite sobering to realize that Christians, especially Christian leaders like Paul and the apostles, are on a stage, so to speak, being keenly watched by an audience that includes not only just men and the world, but angels. We are a “theatre” with angels in the audience watching us perform! No wonder Paul exhorted us to “walk circumspectly, [exactly] not as fools, but as wise.” (Ephesians 5:15) Our English word, “circumspectly,” is from the Latin, meaning “look around, be cautious.”
So the word “spectacle” is used here, not to mean we are an object of curiosity or contempt, but we are an eyecatching, notable, entertaining and dramatic public show or display, much as the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race advertises itself as “the greatest spectacle in racing.”
A Desire to Look
“Which things the angels desire to look into. ” (I Peter 1:12) It is fascinating to consider that the holy angels of God have been keenly observing the unfolding of God’s wonderful plan of salvation with evident desire down through the ages.
The Little Ones’ Angels
“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones… in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father. ” (Matthew 18:10) We all seem to have guardian angels, (Psalm 34:7) but the angels which watch our children appear to have a special closeness to God. How wondrous to contemplate that the angels watching our children are simultaneously watching the face of God!
A Cloud of Witnesses
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses… let us run with patience. ” (Hebrews 12:1) Knowing that the angels “desire to look into” things of the church, perhaps the watcher angels are also included in this “so great a cloud of witnesses” that encompasses us, hence the imagery of a “cloud” of witnesses. Angelic witnesses should provide us further incentive to lay aside every weight and sin and run the race with patience.
“Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minster for them who shall be heirs of salvation? ” (Hebrews 1:14) God created these celestial spirits and sent them forth to minister, serve and assist us who are heirs of salvation. There is “an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22) and, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. ” (Psalm 34:7) In order to adequately perform their duties they would have to be watching us closely!
Seen of Angels
“Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh… seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles… ” (I Timothy 3:16) One of our favorite oneness passages reveals that the angels were watching at the Incarnation, when “the Word was made flesh.” (John 1:14) The heavenly messenger’s announcement to the shepherds included this detailed observation, “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. ” (Luke 2:12) proving beyond doubt the angels were present and watching. Immediately after this announcement the angels exploded in praise because they had seen God in the flesh. (See Luke 2:13-14.)
Throughout the Bible angels have displayed their ability to appear as men. Thus, the writer of Hebrews exhorts us, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2) We might be more entertaining to strangers if only we could clearly discern angels. Some would say, “Look them in the eyes.” Author Marilyn Webber is quoted in Joy Haney’s book: “Angel visited people have described the eyes of these spirits more than any other feature. They were struck by the depth of love and compassion in the angel’s eyes, which left them with a deep sense of peace.” Of course, very special eyes are what we might expect from watcher angels.
In summary, not only is God, the “all seeing eye” watching us, but His angels are also. We should be thrilled to have them in our audience. May we play our roles diligently. We pray our performance “on stage” will be a spectacle worth watching. And isn’t it awesome to consider meeting our watcher angels in heaven? Hopefully we may then watch our watcher angels. Praise God for His angels!
The above material was published by Apostolic Writers’ Digest, April 2005. This material may be copyrighted and should be used for study and research purposes only.