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The Angel Of The Lord

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The Angel Of The Lord

 

INTRODUCTION:

1.     Read Gen. 16:1-12.

(1)         The first occurrence of the phrase “the Angel of the Lord.

(2)         Beginning of the troubles in the Middle East.

(3)         Question about arose in our Thursday Bible study at Drakes home.

2.     The subject matter of angels is one of those Bible topics about which there is much speculation and about which we wish the Bible had more to say.

(1)         NKJV, ESV, KJV = the angel of the Lord

(2)         ASV = the angel of Jehovah

DISCUSSION:

I.         What Is An Angel?

1.      295 occurrences in English Standard Version.

2.      At the heart of the matter, an angel is a messenger.

(1)           The messenger may be a human being. 

(2)           The messenger may be a divine being.

(3)           The context will be critical to determining whether human or divine, and frankly I believe many times we try to attribute the message to a divine messenger when in fact the angel was nothing more than a human messenger sent from God.

(4)           Suffice it to say, there is no shortage of teachings about angels (guardian, Gabriel, etc.)

3.      Some clear truths taught by the Bible about angels.

(1)           They are created beings (Psa. 148:1-5).

(2)           An angel’s purpose = to carry out the will of God (Psa. 103:19-21).

4.      Notice in this study we are talking about the angel / messenger of the Lord and not an angel / messenger of the Lord.

II.      Where Do We Read Of This Specific Angel Of The Lord?

·       Appears 57-58 times in the Old and New Testaments (1X).

1.      Gen. 16:7-14.

(1)           Appeared to Hagar, promising to multiply Hagar’s seed.  (Spoke as if the Lord).

(2)           Notice 16:13.  Hagar talked to him as if he was the Lord.

2.      Gen. 22:10-18.  (Appeared to Abraham).

(1)           Spoke as if he was Jehovah / Lord.  (spoke in first person)

(2)           “You have not withheld your only son from me.” (Gen. 22:12).

3.      Gen. 31:11-13  (appeared to Jacob).  (Angel of God – elohim)

4.      Judges 6:11-17.

5.      Ex. 3:1-6  (appeared to Moses).

(1)           This messenger speaks in first person, as if Jehovah.

(2)           Notice how this particular angel of the Lord is also distinguished from Jehovah or labeled as “a messenger of Jehovah.”

A.          Acts 7:35-36

a.         Ex. 3:1-6  = the angel of the Lord is given equivalence with God.

b.         BUT, Stephen gives us inspired commentary that the Angel was an agent of God.

6.      How would it be possible for this angel (The Angel of the Lord) to be both?  God, and yet distinguished from God?  Is this possible?   

III.   Who Then Is This Angel Of The Lord?

1.      The answer is a difficult one to obtain, and many would contend we cannot know his identity this side of heaven.

2.      I believe the answer is difficult, and while I do not do so dogmatically, I think there is a logical answer.

(1)           One answer = there is no answer.  (But passages seem to clearly say it is God).

(2)           Another = this is a temporary manifestation of God in physical form (theophany), and I believe this is getting more to it but still, the Scriptures say far more.

(3)           Last = the Angel of the Lord = is the divine Word.

A.          Jn. 1:1-3;  Jn. 1:14.

B.          Mal. 3:1  (John prepares the way for the Lord… the messenger of the covenant…)

a.         Clearly a reference to the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

b.         Scholars generally agree that the “angel of the Lord” and the “messenger of the covenant” as being Jesus Christ in what is called His pre-incarnate state.

3.      Read Jn. 8:56-59.

(1)           Jesus made the claim of living before Abraham lived.

(2)           BUT the claim was far more than that, in that Jesus used term I AM.

(3)           Jesus was making it clear that He was identified with God / Deity.

(4)           The audience understood what He was saying, and sought to stone Him.

4.      Consider the similarities of the ministry of Jesus and that of the “angel of the Lord.”

(1)           Jesus was sent by the Father NT and Yahweh was sender of the angel of Lord OT.

(2)           The angel of the Lord interceded to God… Jesus intercedes to the Father.

(3)           Both were involved in revealing God’s truth (Dan. 4:13-17; Jn. 1:1; Jn. 1:18.

(4)           Both commissioned others to serve God’s cause (Ex. 3:7-8; Mt. 28:18-20).

(5)           Both are seen acting as a judge (1 Chron. 21:14-16) & John 5:22; Acts 10:42.

5.      A final interesting note:  the angel of the Lord ceased to appear in Scripture AFTER Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us.

CONCLUSION:

1.     Read 1 Cor. 10:1-4.  This does not identify Jesus as the angel of the Lord, but it clearly affirms that Jesus was present and was a sustaining companion of God’s people (Israel) in the wilderness.

2.     There might be some question as to exactly who it was that the people of the OT times saw when they saw the angel of the Lord, but there is no question as to who one sees when he looks / looked upon Jesus Christ (Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:1-3).

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