Touched by an Angel


Elder Truman Keel

As I grow older, I find myself facing the everyday problems of life from a different perspective.  When I was young, I thought no problem was insurmountable.  It seems time has painted a different picture and reality has now given us through the experiences of life a different understanding.  Paul used this expression in (1st Cor. 13:11)  “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I become a man, I put away childish things.”  Brethren, time has woven the realization that, suddenly, I am made to realize that I am an old man and Jordan is not far away.

Considering the above statements I look back and try to judge my feeble efforts to serve God by serving His people.  So many opportunities  have come and gone that I failed to use to serve His people.  I consider these missed opportunities to be due to my slothfulness.  I have been a failure in so many ways.

Servants of God, I pray that you will learn from my mistakes and be spared the necessity of admitting to such failures.

These things being in the past, I cannot change, but only ask for forgiveness.  I now look forward to the Lord coming and it is my desire to be able to say as Paul in (II Tim. 4:7)  “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

I find the experiences of one of God’s old prophets, Elijah, to teach us a great lesson in serving God.  This holds a great interest for me, since my prayers seem to be after this manner.  I pray unto God that He will give me the faith, courage, wisdom, strength, grace and all things that are necessary for me to finish my course in life and that it may be to God’s glory. I feel apprehensive since there is so much labor that needs to be done among His people and so little time to do it.

God used the Prophet Elijah in (I Kings Ch. 18) to manifest His great power in the presence of Israel and her King, Ahab. Israel and her king had forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed Baalim. (I Kings 18:21) “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” You may read in the 18th Chapter how Baal did not answer or receive the offering made, however, God not only sent the fire of the Lord and consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones of the altar, the dust and licked up the water that was in the trenches. In the latter part of the 36th verse Elijah confessed to being God’s servant and that these things were done at God’s word. (V. 39) “And when all the people saw it they fell on their faces: and they said, the Lord, He is the God; The Lord, He is the God.” The prophets of Baal were then slain. (Read James 5:17-18) Elijah prayed that it would not rain and it rained not, neither dew for 42 months. He prayed again and the rain came in abundance. (I Kings 18:46) “And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab, (the King) to the entrance of Jez-reel.”

Elijah had been present and God had wrought these miracles by the hand of His servant Elijah. Can you imagine the great confidence, belief and faith he must have had in God after witnessing these great miracles and workings of God. No doubt, in his mind he felt he would never have doubts or fears again.

Lets now observe this same Prophet of God just a little later. When Ahab the King had told Jezebel, his wife what Elijah had done and how he had slain all the Prophets with the sword, she sent a messenger to Elijah with this message, “So let the gods do to me and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them (Prophets of Baal) by tomorrow about this time.”

Elijah, who had witnessed the fire come down and consume the offering and the altar, now fled for his life from this woman Jezebel. He came to Beer-Sheba in Judah, left his servant there and went a day’s journey into the wilderness. This servant had gone from the top of Mt. Carmel to a day’s journey into the wilderness and was now requesting the Lord to take away his life. Is there one of His children in this present world who have not gone from the mountain’s top to the wilderness of despair? How quickly we forget, as did Elijah, the mighty power of God and how He delivers His children from the Jezebels of this world. God has made a promise to His children (Job 5:19) “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.” Seven embraces all the troubles you will have. Brethren, I think I can relate to Elijah’s feelings, and I am sure there are others, who have reached the point when we have wondered; Is God through with me in this world? Is my work finished? Sometimes my actions resemble that of Elijah. I want to give up, lay down under a juniper tree and go to sleep. God was not pleased with Elijah. (I Kings 19:10) may express Elijah’s mindset and assessment of the conditions of that time. When the Lord asked him what doest thou here Elijah? (V. 10) “And he said I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy Prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life to take it away.” He seemed to be without hope in that wilderness that he had fled to.

Observe the work of God. (I Kings 19:5) “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, arise and eat.” What a joy it must have been to be touched by God’s angel that He had sent. If I might take the liberty to paraphrase at this point, I am persuaded, that I have sat in the house of God when one of His angels (pastors) have touched me and set a cruse of water at my head and a cake baked on the coals, Gospel waters to drink from and the Bread of Life to eat. If you disagree with me brethren, please be charitable to my ignorance.

Elijah drank, ate and went back to sleep. (I Kings 19:7) “And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, arise and eat: because the journey is to great for thee.” Without those gospel waters and the Bread of Life, brethren, the journey is too great for us. (V. 8) “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.” What a wonderful place to be, rather than the spiritual wilderness where he was. He had some wonderful experiences on that Mount. He heard that still small voice of God. The Lord had not finished with Elijah. How little is my faith.

As Jesus was praying (Luke 22:43) in Gethsemane “And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” Remember Elijah’s journey was too great for him. Jesus’ journey was not too great for Him; an angel from heaven strengthened Him.

Brethren, as we journey through the dark and thorny desert; through the wilderness and valley of despair we can be comforted as we cherish the sweet and precious thought that God sees us in our afflictions, and our hope in His love and mercy, and He might send an angel to touch us: Then everything will be all right.