Angels influencing and presenting cooperation with divine intentions

2 Kings Chapter 10 +

30 And Yahweh said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.

‘…a case of thorough cooperation with the divine intentions, eliciting divine approbation—is to be found in the reign of Jehu, the executioner of divine vengeance on Ahab’s house. Jehu’s mission was to extirpate the house of Ahab. He received express instructions to that effect.

“Thou shalt smite the house of Ahab, thy master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel” (2 Kings 9:7).

Here was a case of God’s purpose being thoroughly carried out by the instruments selected. The idea that anything else is possible – the idea that a divine purpose can be humanly opposed and delayed, may seem anomalous and impossible; but the fact is beyond question.

The case …of Ahab’s release of the doomed king [of Syria 1 Kings 20], is conclusive proof. It is further illustrated in the angel’s words to Daniel:

“The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one-and-twenty days: but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand, . . . and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come” (Daniel 10: 13, 20).

The explanation of this, at first sight, extraordinary fact — that man can antagonise the divine purpose in the hands of the angels, “who execute His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word” — is probably to be found in the nature of the process by which that work has to be carried out.

Angels to whom the angels are unknown and invisible, have to be led by them into certain causes of action, without any interference with that law of intelligent volition which distinguishes intelligence from merely physical life.

Men, whose actions the angels have to guide, are allowed the unfettered exercise of their wills, and the angels have to influence them to exercise those wills in a given direction, by regulating the circumstances around them.

If you set fire to a house, you cause all its inmates to leave, without interfering with their free will. It is the exercise of their free will that leads them to endeavour to escape the fire. So the angels, by disposing circumstances, can influence men to act in a certain way without interfering with their volitions.

Such a mode of carrying out the work entrusted to them makes their work a delicate and interesting one, and provides scope for the possibility of that kind of human antagonism which requires careful and persistent arrangement to overcome, as in the case of the Persian emperor, who unwittingly was fighting against an angel in the particular policy he pursued.

Ways of Providence Ch 19

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