Sunday Sermon

The Angel of the Lord

Dave Shaner

August 7, 2005

Introduction: The term "the angel of the Lord" seems to be referring to a specific angel. Who is this angel? At least six characters who had these encounters even though they did not always realize it.

I. Bible characters who dealt with the angel of the Lord:

A. ______________

The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, & where are you going?" "I'm running away from my mistress Sarai," she answered. Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress & submit to her." The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count." The angel of the LORD also said to her: "You are now with child & you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone & everyone's hand against him, & he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh & Bered. So Hagar bore Abram a son, & Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael. - Genesis 16:7-16

B. ______________  - Genesis 18 & 19

But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up & there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over & took the ram & sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time & said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this & have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you & make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky & as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, & through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." - Genesis 22:11-18

C. ______________

The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.' And he said, 'Look up & see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar & where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once & go back to your native land.' " - Genesis 31:11,13

Then he blessed Joseph & said, "May the God before whom my fathers Abraham & Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm — may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name & the names of my fathers Abraham & Isaac, & may they increase greatly upon the earth." - Genesis 48:15-16

In the womb he grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled with God. He struggled with the angel & overcame him; he wept & begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel & talked with him there - Hosea 12:3-4

D. ______________

There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over & see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up." When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac & the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. - Exodus 3:2-6

E. ______________

When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."   "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us & put us into the hand of Midian." The LORD turned to him & said, "Go in the strength you have & save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" - Judges 6:12-13

F. ______________

Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, & sacrificed it on a rock to the LORD. And the LORD did an amazing thing while Manoah & his wife watched: As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah & his wife fell with their faces to the ground. When the angel of the LORD did not show himself again to Manoah & his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the LORD. "We are doomed to die!" he said to his wife. "We have seen God!" - Judges 13:19-22

II. Who is this angel?

A. The angel is likely the ______________ ____________.

B. Why would this angel be Christ?

1. He is called God, but is a distinct identity from Yahweh.

a. Zechariah 1:12-13

Then the angel of the LORD said, "LORD Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem & from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?" So the LORD spoke kind & comforting words to the angel who talked with me.

b. Psalms 110:1

The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

2. Christ is the only visible member of the godhead.

3. After Christ's birth, there are no more appearances of the angel of the Lord.

III. Three things this reveals about God:

A. Our God ________________.

In all their distress he too was distressed, & the angel of his presence saved them. In his love & mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up & carried them all the days of old. - Isaiah 63:9

B. Our God ________________.

C. Our God ________________.

Since the children have flesh & blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil-& free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful & faithful high priest in service to God, & that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. - Hebrews 2:14-17

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