“Angels listen as I sing my thanks.” Psalm 138.1
Having a conversation with God, an intense deeply personal sharing of ideas, is often something done only in private. In my own life there are several factors at work; my pride is at stake, my weaknesses are potentially exposed, and my needs out for anyone scheme on how to use to their advantage. My conversations with God are consistently personal, confidential, and semi-secret.
In contrast, everything that God does is out in the open. His thoughts, acts, and decisions about grace and love are open to all. His judgements are under universal review. He lays everything out on the table for examination by friend and foe alike. God’s private conversations occur on a party line.
It is the last part of God’s persona that I find helpful and paradoxical. The Bible suggests that prayers should be in private. With a few exceptions, Daniel just before the lion’s den for example, Bible characters prayed in private. The Psalms are a record of personal and private prayers. Everything points to an emphasis on a private two-way conversation, except for comments like the Psalm today. Does God operate differently?
The simple answer is an important yes. God operates with a totally different premise.
We keep things private because we do not trust the people who might otherwise hear our thoughts, feelings, observations, and needs. We know or sense that their motives are not in our best interests, that they may be out to take advantage in our relationships.
God knows with absolute confidence how Angels are going to react to our inner thoughts. If one accepts that God is “on our side” then this insight makes logical sense. God loves us unconditionally by choice. His only motives are to nurture our journey in life with love. Angels share this view. Listening is a piece of their active participation. God may not need their help, however giving everyone an opportunity to be a servant exercising love, acceptance, and grace is important. Angels are God servants. You and I can be too.