What are Angels like?

As the kids came into the classroom, Nannygranne was glad to see some of them had brought their Bibles.  Nannygranne held an Easy-to-Read version in her lap.  She’d placed several pictures around the room to remind them of today’s planned topic:  Angels!


“Good morning, everyone!  I’m soooo excited because God says soooo many things about angels.” Then, with a secretive whisper: “And other strange beings.  Are you ready to get started?”

“Yes!” was the echoed answer.

Nannygranne prayed with them for God to help them see what HIS angels are like, and not just the picturebook or movie versions people make up.  She asked God to show them in His word what real angels are like.  Then: “Alright.  I have four pictures here.   Whoever helps me find which one is the angel gets a prize out of the golden shoebox.”

The children studied the pictures.

Finally, Andrew said, “Are they all angels–except the cartoon?”

“Well, Andrew, that’s why I’m so glad we have a Bible here because God is the one who knows all about angels because He made them.  People have all sorts of ideas, some really sweet and some really crazy, but if we really want to know about the REAL angels, God is the only one that knows all about them.  And He tells us what we need to know.”

Nannygranne opened her Bible to Genesis.  “Who wants to come here and read about the very first heavenly worker God sent to do a job?”

Ava raised her hand.  “I will, Nannygranne!”

Together they found Genesis 3:24. “God forced the man to leave the garden. Then he put Cherubs and a sword of fire at the entrance to the garden to protect it. The sword flashed around and around, guarding the way to the tree of life.”

“OK.  Which of the pictures here look like the Cherub?”

All hands flew up as students bounced eagerly in their chairs. “Alexander, which one do you think  looks like the angel God tells us about here?”

He pointed to the Cherub with a flaming sword.

Nannygranne went on. “I think I like that one, too, Alexander.  But I wonder about something.  This verse says the Cherub has a sword, but it doesn’t say it has wings. But I found where God tells us a Cherub did have wings.  Who wants to read for me next?

Emma quickly raised her hand and came forward.  “ The noise from the wings of the Cherub angels could be heard all the way out into the outer courtyard. The sound was very loud—like the thundering voice when God All-Powerful speaks. Ezekiel 10:6″  Then she hurried back to her chair.

“So Emma, does God say His Cherubs have wings?”

Emma responded with a vigorous nod.

“Thank you all, and I’d like Alexander, Emma, and Ava to pick a prize from the golden shoebox.”

Each child jumped up for their gift.

“William, I think I would like you to come and help me with the next one.  It’s a little strange and I know you won’t be afraid.”

William strode to stand near Nannygranne.

“Okay, William. In Isaiah 6:1-5, God let Isaiah look into Heaven, and this is what he saw.  Now you won’t be scared, will you?”

William just grinned and shook his head and began to read.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a very high and wonderful throne. His long robe filled the Temple.  Seraphim stood around him. Each one had six wings. They used two wings to cover their faces, two wings to cover their bodies, and two wings to fly. The Seraphim were calling to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord All-Powerful. His glory fills the whole earth.” The sound was so loud that it caused the frame around the door to shake, and the Temple was filled with smoke. I was frightened and said, “Oh, no! I will be destroyed. I am not pure enough to speak to God, and I live among people who are not pure enough to speak to him. But I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful.” 

William stood quietly for a second, then turned to look at the pictures, pointed and said, “That’s a Seraphim.”

“Yes, William, you are right.  You can go get something out of the gold box.  Thank you.”

William strode back to his seat with his trophy, proud of his success.

“William, this is the only place God tells us about His Seraphim.  When I looked at the word Seraphim up in the Bible Dictionary, it said the name means “firey creature.”  I think the picture you chose is just right.”

Nannygranne looked at the last picture and said, “Well, if the Cherub is called a Cherub, and Seraphim is called Seraphim, we still haven’t read about angels.  But don’t worry.  God talks about them a lot.  I need three people to come up here and read three verses.  Mason, Oliver, and Benjamin come help me here.”

The boys hurried forward, scrambling to be first.  Little Benjamin was last in line. Nannygranne found each verse, and each boy read them in order.

As Nannygranne pointed at the verse, Mason read Luke 1:26b. “…God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin girl who lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David.  Her name was Mary.  The angel came to her and said, ‘Greetings! The Lord is with you; you are very special to him.’”  Nannygranne indicated he could be seated.

Oliver was next. “The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, because God is very pleased with you.  Listen! You will become pregnant and have a baby boy. You will name him Jesus.”

Then Benjamin stepped forward, looked nervously up to his teacher.  She smiled and assured him they would do this together.  Benjamin read the words as she pointed to them. Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let this thing you have said happen to me!” Then the angel went away.”

Benjamin didn’t wait for instruction, he stopped and got something from the gold box just as Mason and Oliver had done.

“What does the Bible say this angel looked like when he came to Mary?”

The children were quiet since they’d heard no description.

“They were surprised when this stranger just suddenly appeared, and he must have looked unusual, but he just came to talk.”

She looked at their confused expressions and said, “Let’s keep reading.  Maybe somewhere, God will describe an angel for us.  I’ll read it this time.  This verse is where God tells us what happened when Jesus woke up and came out of His grave after He died on the cross.

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord came from the sky, and there was a huge earthquake. The angel went to the tomb and rolled the stone away from the entrance. Then he sat on top of the stone.  The angel was shining as bright as lightning. His clothes were as white as snow. The soldiers guarding the tomb were very afraid of the angel. They shook with fear and then became like dead men.”

Nannygranne’s eyes were wide.  She smiled and looked around at the students.  “Now what did THIS angel look like?”

Benjamin jumped up and said, “That one!  The one thitting on top of the thtone!”

“Yes Benjamin!  He’s shiny, isn’t he?  But God doesn’t say the angel had wings like the Cherubs and Seraphim.  They are different.  They are God’s deputies, His workers, and they bring messages.  That’s their job.”

“You mean angels don’t have wings?!” Alexander was shocked.

“God never says they have wings.  They don’t need them because they can just go wherever God sends them from Heaven.  But Cherubim and Seraphim do have wings.  The angels sometimes just looked like important people or are shiny, and sometimes they were invisible, too.  It just depended on the job and what God needed them to do.”

Alexander shook his head in amazement.  “Hmph.  I just did not know that.”

Nannygranne stifled a laugh at his remark.

“Guess what else, Alexander.  Angels live where you never get old so they live forever . And Jesus said He could call thousands of angels if He wanted to.” Matt 22:30; Mk 12:25; Matt. 26:53

The first bell rang so Nannygranne asked Emma to tell her what she chose from the golden box.  Emma raised her shiny bookmark.  Nannygranne asked her to read what it said.

“All the angels are spirits who serve God and are sent to help those who will receive salvation.”

“Thank you Emma.  Angels are important and very interesting, but the Bible says they just work for God to help us.  God loves us more than the angels.”

Alexander raised his hand, a puzzled look on his face.  “But doesn’t the Bible say Satan has angels, too?  What do they do?”

“Alexander, you are a very good thinker.  Next week we’ll read what God says about Satan and his angels.  I think we’ll find out that they aren’t as strong as God’s angels, and absolutely not as strong as Jesus.”

“I’m weally gwad about that,” Benjamin said.

“Me, too!”  Nannygranne replied.


I am a mother, grandmother, nanny, and writer—with a passionate concern about children, all children. With the help of my son Travis (who has a graduate degree in apologetics) I hope to share some thoughts that will be helpful to all who have the same concern.

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