Isn’t He beautiful? Isn’t Jesus my Lord wonderful? And what about His appearances in the Old Testament as the angel of the Lord, there are several instances. To Hagar, Jacob, Manoah and Hazeleponi, but my favorite one is to Sarah. And even though He came with two other angels and on a specific mission, He stopped off to see His friend. Abraham.
Now, there are many instances when the phrase, angel of the Lord is used and I know sometimes, it is just an angel, but Jesus appears as the Angel of the Lord, and could very well be in every book in some way, and I really hope to do a deeper study on that.
Today’s focus is a story that I love and I think you will too. If you have seen the movie, Abraham, with Richard Harris, you may recall the visit. I love that they sit and eat and Jesus has said that He will return in a year and Sarah will have a child and she laughs. Though she denies it when Jesus asks why did she laugh, He only replies that she did. He isn’t angry.
That’s because Jesus understands and loves people. So does God, that’s why He sent Him. Jesus knew He would be coming to die, but after living as a man, not God coming in the appearance of one, being born and growing up, He knew everything we would face and was still able to overcome and never sin in order take our place.
As for the appearance of the angel of the Lord, they do look like regular men, no wings. Without the Bible or even the Torah, angels were sent as teachers of the Word, that is how some fell. But that is another story. What is beautiful about the promise of the Angel of the Lord to Sarah. It was true and she did have Isaac, which means laughter.
What is so significant about this story is that God promised them a child some twenty five years before. So what was the problem? Instead of being thankful and obedient, though they were at times, there was still much turmoil and when they ended up with Hagar, Sarah had the bright idea that she would bear the child and we know what happened. Plural wives are never a good idea. That is not what God intended, though it did happen in those days.
So what happened? Surely, God is not a man who lies? Why did the promise take so long? He has an appointed time, yes, He does. He makes things beautiful in His time. And He doesn’t look at the way we do. Did it have to be twenty five years, no, probably not. God made the promise but when He sent Jesus it was fulfilled.
This is very much a type and shadow of Jesus coming and being crucified and raised from the dead and how do I know, the Bible tells me so, it interprets itself. God would later ask Abraham to sacrifice that beloved child of promise, Isaac, and he would have to believe that God would raise Him from the dead and even from ashes if necessary as a burnt offering.
Isaac was old enough to carry the wood, like a cross. Was he even as old as thirty three? I don’t know that. I believe Abraham may have envisioned Jesus coming or seen it by the Holy Spirit, who only came upon people then. He told Isaac the Lord would provide the lamb, and He did, Jesus. It was a ram that was sacrificed in place of Isaac, who had to be willing to obey his father. I like to think it was Jesus who stopped him. God wasn’t going to allow human sacrifice like pagans. Yet, He would offer His own beloved Son for the ransom of many.
So you see why I like to read this story about the Angel of the Lord, no wonder He can give us beauty for ashes. I always hate that He had to die like that for me, but I am so glad He loved me enough to and that is why I love Jesus. God promises and Jesus answers, Christ says “Yes” to all God’s promises. This is why we have Christ to say “Amen” for us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20