by Tad Lindley
My favorite spot of all the places I’ve ever camped is the North Spit at Goodnews Bay. When we used to commercial fish there, we camped where the Tunt guys camp. They are natural born hunters, and I always felt safe from bears there. On top of that, the tundra was flat, and there were no trees, and the wind always blows, so there are hardly any mosquitoes.
The worst campsite
Back in the late 80’s, we flew into Mirror Slough on the Copper River Delta by float plane. We put our inflatable boat together, loaded it with our beach seine and gear and headed up the river. A few miles up we found a beautiful gravel bar with barely any vegetation, only little yellow flowers. We set up our camp on the smooth gravel and headed upriver to beach seine. We worked on fish early into the evening and headed back down, but it looked like a completely different river. When we came around the last bend it was so wide, and there were our tents standing in at least a foot of water. Lesson # 1 on tides, learned.
I always sleep with guns when I am camping, but I feel a whole lot safer if I also have a dog. Dogs sleep lightly, and since I do not have the money to hire all night security, a dog makes a good substitute. But imagine being able to figure out what would make angels want to sleep around your tent!
Where angels like to camp
I don’t think angels care so much about how smooth the ground is, or whether bears are a danger. Even tides probably don’t matter to angels when they are looking for a campsite. When angels are going to camp, they apparently like to camp around people. But it isn’t just any kind of people, angels are looking for specific people. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (Psalm 34:7)
The fear factor
Let’s unpack that verse, because if you read it at face value, it almost sounds like we are holed up in our tent violently shaking, because the angel of the Lord is outside and we are terrified of him. That is not the kind of fear that angels like to camp around. Angels like to camp around the fear that means “reverence” or “moral respect”. The fear that we are to have towards God. We love the Lord, and we want to honor him out of love, but we also have so much respect for him that we do not want to rebel against him. That is the attitude that makes angels feel comfortable camping out around us.
Why would we want angels camped near us?
Angels can protect us. Psalm 91:11-12 says, For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (NIV) That’s what I want is angels watching over me and standing between me and physical harm. If you dig into II Kings 6, you will see that at one point the Syrian army was attacking the city of Dothan. What the army didn’t realize is that the prophet, Elisha, had such a reverence for God, that thousands of angels loved to camp around him. So he [the King of Syria] said, “Go and see where he [the prophet, Elisha] is, that I may send and get him.”
And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.”
Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (II Kings 6:13-17 NKJV)
I will let you read your Bible (II Kings 6:18-23) to see how Elisha and the angels dealt with the Syrian army, but know this: no matter how much firepower you have in your tent, there is no substitute for having angels camped around about you!
Reverend Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.