The angel of the Lord found …

Genesis 16:7-13 gives the account of the encounter between the angel of the Lord and Hagar who was running away from her mistress Sarai. In subsequent articles, we will dissect and learn the hidden truths from this encounter, but for now, let us look at who is this angel of the Lord?

Although the identity of this angel of the Lord is not explicitly stated, close scrutiny of this text indicates that this was not just another mere messenger from God. First, this angel of the Lord promises to multiply her seed, which is something only God can do. Second, Hagar, in fact addresses this angel of the Lord who spoke with her, as God (Genesis 16:13). These help us recognize and agree with other Biblical scholars, that this angel of the Lord is none other than the pre-incarnate Christ – God himself (Theophany to Hagar).

Furthermore, what is interesting to note is that Bible says, the angel of the Lord found Hagar, implying that Hagar was being sought after and hence found.

Points to ponder:
Jesus is the messenger of God, the messenger of the covenant (Malachi 3:1) of God i.e., the angel of the Lord. He seeks us and finds us, even if we are in a wilderness. Have you been found by Jesus, the the angel of the Lord.

Genesis 16:7-13 (KJV)
And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

Seeing the word of the Lord

Genesis 15:1 reads “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Note, the phrase “the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision”

Deeper study of this phrase reveals certain hidden treasures that are not quite so evident.

First, this implies that the voice of the Lord was not just audible but visible as well. Abram heard and saw the word of the Lord (in a vision). How is this possible? How can one see what is to be heard? How can one see the invisible? The answer to all these questions is “By faith”. Abram saw the word of the Lord with not his physical eyes, but with his spiritual eyes of faith. For it is by faith, that we can him (God) who is invisible, as we learn from the writings to the Hebrews, that Moses saw him who is invisible, by faith (Hebrews 11:27).

Second, cursorial evaluation of this phrase would suggest that the word of the Lord that came to Abram was a promise of his protection (shield) and provisions (reward) and a prophecy that unfolds as Abram dialogs with God (Genesis 15:1-21). However, by looking at a few other references in the Bible, we can deduce that “the word of the Lord” is more than articulated promise and prophecy, but a personification of the second Person of the Trinity – the pre-incarnate appearance of Christ Jesus (Theophany), in visible form, for the very first time, after the flood. If you continue reading a few more verses, in verse 5, we see that the personal pronoun, ‘he’ is used to describe the word of the Lord, as one who took Abram outside, which establishes further that the word of the Lord was a Person and not just speech. Also, later in chapter 18, we would see this again, as Abram intercedes with the Lord (Christ Jesus), for the salvation of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:22). Jesus himself refers to the encounters that Abraham had of him, in visible nature, when he tells the unbelieving Jews that Abraham ‘saw‘ his day and rejoiced (John 8:56-58). Furthermore, the book of Revelation uses the title “The Word of God” when referring to Jesus (Revelation 19:13). So while on one hand, the word of the Lord refers to articulated promises and prophecies, on the other, it does not preclude, the personification of God himself.

Points to Ponder:
The Word of God has come to all mankind, in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1), just as he came to Abram, and it is only by eyes of faith, that we can see him who is invisible. The Bible counsels us to “taste” and “see” that the Lord is good, meaning that we need to experience him who is invisible by faith, for he is good. Have you seen the word of the Lord? In other words, have you believed (by faith), in Jesus Christ, the promise keeper, who protects, provides and preserves us unto Salvation?

Genesis 15:1 (KJV)
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.