A Divine Encounter: the Right People in the Right Place at the Right Time - by SC Skillman

The Bible is full of angel encounters. Sometimes the being is identified simply as 'a man', as in Genesis 32:24 So Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him till daybreak; at other times as 'an angel', as in 'There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.'(Matthew 28:2), and, on occasions, the being is directly identified with God: 'Do not come any closer,' God said, 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.' (Exodus 3:2).

For us today, whether we be Christians, or those of another faith, or even those of no faith, we may have many different views of angels.

How do we define an angel encounter? Is it a distinct meeting with an individual, who appears to us to provide the vital help we need, in the right place at the right time? Or may it be a broader experience which seems to bear the hallmark of the divine?

Philip meeting the Ethiopian Eunuch, as told in the Book of Acts in the New Testament

“Was it God or an angel?” is often a question you have in your mind after a biblical encounter. 

Other examples from the bible include the story of the three visitors to whom Abraham offered hospitality; and the angels who came and tended to Jesus in the wilderness after he’d resisted the three temptations.

Then there’s the story of Philip meeting the Ethiopian Eunuch. This is an example of an encounter we might relate to. For both people in the encounter, the moment was right. They were the right people in the right place at the right time. When the student was ready, the teacher appeared. When the lesson was over, the teacher mysteriously disappeared.

At the end of the encounter, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. And the Eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Here, the bible makes no attempt to say that the stranger the Eunuch met was anything other than a human being. Not God, not an angel, but a person. But, for the Eunuch, you might say Philip occupied the same role as an angel. This may be the case in many similar encounters people have and continue to report, whether they be religious or non-religious, in the past, or right up to the present day.

I suggest that the mark of an authentic angel encounters may be demonstrated by the fact that those who experienced the encounter went on their way rejoicing. The same happened in the story of the road to Emmaus. In that story the stranger turned out to be the resurrected Jesus.

Many of these encounters are powerful, in direct proportion to their brevity. What makes them special, even divine, is the element of grace. Human beings tend to need a motivation to do good, kind and helpful things, and possibly to expect something in return: some kind of reward. It may be gratitude, thankfulness, a response, some element of emotional or psychological payback for the action.

God-incidences and divine or supernatural or angelic encounters are characterised by grace. They just happen. The stranger offering the help requires nothing. If the recipient of their help offers thanks, that is somehow a separate issue. They appear and disappear.

God can use a choice word, a routine appointment, or a brief conversation to change a life

(Lectio 365 Wed 1st  July 2020).

I have read a number of stories where somebody today, in our contemporary world, describes their experience of what they consider a supernatural event, an angelic encounter, or a God-incident…. And in every case they went on their way rejoicing.

I’ve written about angels and supernatural experiences in several blog posts. These include the following:

Angels and Supernatural Experiences

The Brightest Heaven of Invention

Modern Day Angels With or Without Wings

Angels in a Mercedes Benz

Also you may like to visit some of the following bloggers to learn more of what different people believe about modern angel encounters:



What do you think? Do you believe in angels today? Have you a story to relate? Please share in the comments below.

SC Skillman writes psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. Her latest book Paranormal Warwickshire was published by Amberley in November 2020 and her next book for Amberley, Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire, will be out in 2022. She blogs at  www.scskillman.com.

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