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by Wayne Blank
Angels To The Rescue
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship an idol made by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (see Ancient Empires - Babylon), they were thrown alive into a super-heated furnace, but God sent in an angel after them to protect them from the raging flames:
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up." Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he ordered certain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace ... Nebuchadnezzar said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants, who trusted in Him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God." (Daniel 3:16-20,28 RSV)
"Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you! ... My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me, because I was found blameless before Him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong." (Daniel 6:16,22 RSV)"
"So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, "Dress yourself and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said to him, "Wrap your mantle around you and follow me." And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him. And Peter came to himself, and said, "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod" (Acts 12:5-11 RSV)
Fact Finder: Will a great force of angels accompany Jesus Christ at His Return?