"The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them." Psalm 34:7
Text: Exodus 23 : 20-23
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD
The Book of Genesis introduced us to the “Angel of the LORD”. He ministered tenderly to Hagar, encouraging her with glorious promises of aid and blessing. The manner in which God spoke about the Angel of the LORD would indicate that He was more than just one of the created angels. He stood in the position of One who was able to give special blessings (Cf. Genesis 16:7-13). Hagar called Him, “You-are-the-God-Who-Sees” (Cf. Genesis 16:13). The text suggests that He is God. Our theology leads us to conclude that He is none other than the Pre-incarnate Christ, ministering as a Messenger of God (“Angel’ literally means “Messenger”. It does not always denote an angelic being created by God!)
MENTIONING OF THE ANGEL OF THE LORD AGAIN
It is not without significance that the Angel of the LORD was mentioned once again in the following text.
“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you
in the way and to bring you into the place which
I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice;
do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions;
for My name is in Him. But if you indeed obey His voice
and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies
and an adversary to your adversaries. For My Angel will
go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites
and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and
the Jebusites; and I will cut them off.”
What is the significance of mentioning the Angel of the LORD in this context?
1. A Historical Link Established
We have a wonderful historical link between the Angel whom Hagar worshipped as “The-God-Who-sees” and this Angel of the LORD! They are one and the same!
2. A profound revelation of the Second Person of the Triune Godhead
The tender regard that the LORD expressed towards this Angel may be compared to the way in which He regarded Jesus! To the three disciples who witnessed the Transfiguration of their Master, the Lord said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased. Hear Him!” (Cf. Matthew 17:5).
Why was He called “An Angel of the LORD”? Why indeed did Jesus call Himself, no more than, “The Son of Man”? The depth of humility of Jesus is breath-taking indeed! Little wonder that the apostle Paul extolled the virtue of humility that Jesus possessed (Cf. Philippians 2:5-11). He who was not ashamed to be made a little lower than the angels, would also not be ashamed to be called “A Messenger (“Angel”) of the LORD”!