Genesis 24:7 records the response that Abraham gives his eldest servant who is being tasked with the mission of being sent to find a wife for his son Isaac, from the kindred of Abraham. When the servant questions Abraham on the probability of his journey being a successful one, Abraham affirms to the servant, that the LORD God who called him will send his angel before the servant and that he will be able to find a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham’s confidence in the angel of the LORD to provide a wife for Isaac may have been bolstered by the fact that he had heard the angel of the LORD, call out to him and stop him from taking the life of his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:11,15).
But who is this angel of the LORD? What is his identity? Though speculations exist, the Bible does substantiate that the identity of this angel who shall go before Abraham’s servant to ensure success, is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ himself.
We see that when Hagar encounters the angel of the LORD, she expresses that she has seen God who has seen her (Genesis 16:13). Another clue that identifies the angel of the LORD is recorded later in the Bible in the book of Exodus 3, where Moses encounters a burning bush and when he comes close, he is admonished that he is standing on holy ground (and no one but God alone is Holy). The angel of the LORD also identifies himself to Moses that he is the God of his father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and of Jacob (Genesis 3:6). But the most direct clue from the Bible can be attested from Jesus’ words himself, wherein he said, “Abraham saw my day and rejoiced.” (John 8:56).
One other common explanation of the identity of the angel of the LORD is that it was the LORD God (the Father) himself who had manifested himself to Abraham as the angel of the LORD, but this contradicts the Scripture wherein we learn that “No man can see God and live” (Exodus 33:20) which Apostle Paul reiterates in his letter to Timothy that God dwells in inapproachable light, whom no man can see or has seen (1 Timothy 6:16). So it is not the LORD God the Father but it is Jesus Christ, God the Son, who himself affirmed that whoever has seen him, have seen the Father (John 14:9).
In other words, Abraham was assuring his servant that because Jesus (the angel of the LORD) would go before him, he can be assured of the success of his mission.
Points to ponder:
In our life’s journey, do we let Jesus go before us? Do we let him lead the missions of our life? If Jesus goes before us, we can be assured of one thing for sure – and that is – whatever God’s purpose and mission that we are tasked to do – all of that would come to be a success. Let us let God’s messenger (angel) of the covenant (Malachi 3:1), Jesus Christ go before us!
Genesis 24:6-7 (KJV)
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.