2005-05-29 — Fear Not, The Angel Said!

Easter 9:
Date: May 29, 2005


1. He gave His angels charge over you.
2. LORD open our eyes.
3. Praise the Lord for and with these angels.
– Acts 27:21-26

– Ude, John

The Order of Worship:

Liturgy: TLH, p. 5 ff.


TLH 246 : Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty Hymnary.org link
TLH 35 : Songs of Praise the Angels Sang Hymnary.org link
TLH 257 : Jesus, Brightness of the Father Hymnary.org link


1. He gave His angels charge over you.
2. LORD open our eyes.
3. Praise the Lord for and with these angels.

Acts 27:21-26

21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on some island.” (ESV)

Sermon: Acts 27:21-26 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 “For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 “saying, `Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’25 “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 “However, we must run aground on a certain island.”

In the Name of Jesus
“FEAR NOT”, THE ANGEL SAID! The only pictorial representation of angels in the Bible is that of the six winged seraphim in brilliant white holiness crying out in Isaiah’s vision, “Holy, Holy, Holy LORD God of Sabaoth.” But we may have seen them for Hebrews 13:2 urges us to show hospitality to strangers for others have thus entertained angels unaware. The message your angel would speak to you is biblically predictable. They heralded that message to Jacob at Bethel where he saw them ascending and descending on the ladder which is Christ. They heralded the same message to Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego as they were cast into the fiery furnace. And the same to Daniel as he was thrown to the lions, to Isaiah as he saw the vision of God’s Holiness, to Zechariah as he came into the Holy place, to Joseph and Mary and the shepherds at Jesus’ birth, to the viewers of the tomb on Easter Morn, to Peter and Paul as they sat in dungeons, and once again in our text to Paul as his ship was being tossed helplessly by the waves. “Fear Not,” his angel said. Jesus tells us, your angel is for your protection continually coming before the face of our Father in heaven. And so your angel’s message to you is, “FEAR NOT,” THE ANGEL SAID.
That message certainly summarizes their gospel mission to believers. Hebrew 1:14 tells us they are sent forth to serve the heirs of salvation. The beautiful promise of that ministry that Satan used to tempt Jesus is recorded in Psalm 91:11,12, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” What a beautiful fulfillment of that promise we have in our text. Paul did not foolishly tempt the LORD, “I’ll jump off the temple and you make sure your angels catch me. I’ll sail through this storm so your angels can prove their worth.” But as he walked in the path the LORD laid before him, the LORD was faithful to His promise. He gave His angels charge over him. They did not just bear up Paul’s feet. They bore up the whole ship. For fourteen days and more they were driven by a tempest. They had cast off their cargo and even the ship’s tackle. Their anchors and their skiff were cut off. The ship ran aground and was broken to pieces by the violence of the waves and yet not one person of the 276 aboard was harmed. The LORD answered Paul’s prayer we are told and charged His angels to so lift them up that not one of them dashed their foot against a stone.
Despite this message of our angels, how often don’t we fear the terror that stalks our nights, the arrow of aggression that flies into our days, the pestilence that silently invades our barriers or the destruction that tears down our defenses? We need to pray as Elisha did for his servant, LORD open our eyes. You may recall that humanly speaking, Elisha’s young servant had good reason to cry out in terror, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” It was the treachery of international terrorism descending on your village – the lawlessness of a hit squad seeking reprisal. The Syrians had determined to overthrow the present government of Israel. Numerous times they set their trap for the King through espionage and invasion by special forces. Not just once or twice but many times these traps set by their agent’s information were uncovered and evaded. Well after a couple of times the Syria special services director was feeling very suspicious of his agents and very embarrassed by his performance. He was going to lynch the double agent. However his undercover spies in the King of Israel’s palace all assured him that there was no double agent. Every time they provided him with information, Elisha the prophet sent information to the King warning him about the trap. So Syrian Special Forces wasted no time descending in force upon the quiet little village of Dothan where Elisha lived with his servant. The servant went out to draw the morning water, he must have thought at first he was seeing things. But no matter how many times he doused his face with the cold water, he still saw the horses, chariots, and army surrounding the village. In fear he ran into Elisha crying, “Alas, my master, what shall we do.” Elisha calmly responded with the message of the angels, “Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And he prayed, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.”
Blind fear may grip us when we neglect to trust the LORD and His guardian angels. But Elisha’s servant now saw them. Between them and the Syrians he now saw an innumerable host of angels on horses and chariots of fire. Elisha’s prayer that brought spiritual sight to his servant also brought blindness to the Syrians. Elisha promised to lead the army to the prophet and the whole army, as in a daze, followed him right to the palace of the King of Israel in Samaria. What an amazing display of the Lord’s promise to keep us in all our ways. A little bald prophet on a donkey, with a servant stumbling alongside of him trying to walk with his eyes riveted behind him, leading a whole armed company of the Syrian army, as by a leash, captive to the king. With such a host to keep us in all our ways, why should we fear the reprisals of the evil or the terrors of night. Lord open our eyes to sing in trust: “Lord Jesus who dost love me, Oh, spread, Thy wings above me, and shield me from alarm.” (LH 554:5) Though Satan would devour me, Let angel guards sing o’er me, This child of God shall meet no harm.
We can greet every new morning with the praise of Daniel, “My God has sent His angel and has shut the lion’s mouth so that they have not hurt me.” Even Jesus humbling himself unto the cross to buy our redemption, the forgiveness of sins through His own precious blood and the righteousness of life through His obedience found comfort and strength through the ministry of the angels. First, in the wilderness of temptation and again in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus found comfort and strength through the ministry of the angels. When Jesus Himself does, shall we not praise the Lord for and with these angels. Job 38:7 tells us the angels sang shouted for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth. Luke 2:13f tells us the angels praised God when the Prince of Peace was born and glorified God when He laid the foundations of salvation. Luke 15:10 tells us there is joy among the angels whenever one sinner repents, when God lays the foundation of faith. I Peter 1:12 tells us that the angels delight to look into the things which God has planned for His people, laying the foundation of our eternal blessedness. Revelation 5 tells us that the voice of many angels shout for joy, “Worthy is the Lamb,” when the foundations of the glorious kingdom are eternally consummated. Shall any man then remain silent? Shall not we then for whom these blessings have been won, cast our crowns before Christ’s throne and raise His praise: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Amen.