Redeeming the Plagues: Part 14
“…The angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.” Exodus 3:2
Let’s talk about the angel of the Lord for a moment.
The original Hebrew denotes that this angel is a special messenger of God. That is simply what angel means – a messenger.
I lay that groundwork because multiple sources believe that “the Angel of the LORD” is an incredible messenger. One very incredible messenger of God, who’s very existence is the reason Christianity has a salvation not based in acts – but grace and redemption.
The Angel of the Lord is often thought to be Jesus Christ himself.
This is not the first time we meet this pre-incarnate version of Christ the Messiah. The first time belongs to Hagar, at the well. (Genesis 16)
That is not to suggest we start worshipping angels. Angels protest when we bow down to them. This is seen throughout the Bible. They simply bring the mail, delivering the message to the humans.
How does the Angel of the Lord fit with the Exodus narrative, besides bringing destiny to Moses?
The Angel of the Lord comes back throughout the Bible. And the Angel of the Lord does some pretty serious stuff.
- He confronts Hagar. (Genesis 16)
- He confronts Balaam. (Numbers 22)
- He confronts Israel (Judges 2)
- Helps Deborah win a battle. (Judges 5)
- Curses the enemy. (Judges 5)
- Recruits the scrawny Gideon to lead an army. – And convinces Gideon to step out in faith. (Judges 6)
- Brings news of parenthood to Samson’s parents. (Judges 13)
- Blocks and stops a plague from Jerusalem… turning back God’s wrath. (2 Samuel 24:10)
- Brings dinner to Elijah. (1 Kings 19:7)
- Tells Elijah where to go and who to go with. (2 Kings 1)
- Kills a hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians. (Isaiah 37:36 and 2nd Chronicles 32:21)
- Brings judgement on Israel. (1 Chronicles 21)
- Tells Joseph that Mary hasn’t cheated on him and to take her as his wife. (Matthew 1:20)
Things we’d never picture Jesus doing. It doesn’t fit with our nice version of Jesus.
This is the unconventional savior we follow…
Remember how I keep mentioning ezer? An ezer is a lifesaver who steps out to rescue in a dire time of need.
That’s what we’re seeing in these verses and situations. A powerful messenger, reaching out to save in the most unlikely situations.
And that’s what Moses is going to become. But first he has to learn who he’s dealing with and what ezer means outside of the Hebraic dictionary.
All Bible verses and references taken from Bible Gateway.
List of angel of the Lord references from Bible Gateway. (Due to this site’s search engine it includes some passages that I did not list because they were not specifically dealing with the Angel of the Lord.) https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?qs_version=NIV&quicksearch=angel+of+the+lord&startnumber=1
Angel of the Lord – From Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology Online http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/angel-of-the-lord.html
Jesus in the Old Testament: http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/Jesus-in-the-Old-Testament.cfm