When were the angels created? I seem to remember hearing that God made them before He made the world, but I wonder if we really know. — G.C.
Yes, the Bible tells us that the angels were witnesses to the creation of the world, which indicates they were created long before that great event. God asked Job, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation ... and all the angels shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4,7).
The important thing, however, isn't when God created the angels—but why He created them. The Bible tells us that the angels were created for one reason: to do God's will. To put it another way, they were created to be God's instruments or agents to carry out His work. (In fact, the word "angel" actually means "messenger" or "agent".) The Bible says, "Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word" (Psalm 103:20).
Just as the angels are largely unseen by us, so also is their work. I am convinced that when we get to heaven we will be amazed when we discover all the things God did through His angels—including their protection over us in times of danger. (This includes not only physical danger, but moral and spiritual danger, as well.) The Bible says, "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways" (Psalm 91:11).
We aren't to worship the angels or give them too much attention; Christ alone is the source of our salvation. But thank God for His love for you—a love so deep that He sent His Son to die for your sins, and now sends His angels to watch over you.