Daily Readings and Thought for January 18th. “With the angel of the LORD pursuing them.”

This Days Readings:


 In many parts of the Bible we read of the angels of God.  The record often makes it clear that the angels represent God, speaking on his behalf; sometimes it is written as though it is God himself speaking, such as with Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3 v.2-7,13).  The ultimate person to represent God was Jesus, for we read, “he (God) in these last days has spoken to us by his Son” [Hebrews 2 v.1]  Jesus himself said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” [John 14 v.9]  But he wasn’t the Father was he, he represented the Father.   When David writes, as we noticed in yesterday’s Psalm [34 v.15], “the eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous”, we understand that angels are the “eyes” of the LORD – recalling, as one example, how the angels went down to Lot at Sodom.  Indeed, we recall many examples of angels being involved in the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in our Genesis readings.  When we come to read Exodus at the end of the month we will see the same happens with Moses.  In the generations after that, God worked more through his prophets although we have seen how God spoke to Elijah in “a still small voice.”

In today’s Psalm (35) David is urgent in prayer for God’s protection from “those who contend with me.” [v.1]  He asks, “Let them be put to shame who seek after my life.” [v.4]  This did happen in particular to King Saul and his henchmen.  But how does God actually cause it to happen?  We might say it is impossible to know – but David observes, “Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away.” [v.5]  Then he adds, Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.” [v.6]    We read in many places of “The LORD of Hosts” and understand this to mean multitudes of angels.  In Psalm 103 we read, “Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word.  Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers … “ [v.20,21]  When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, “there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him” [Luke 22 v.43]   Will some of us soon see angels?  Well,  in a few days time we will read of Jesus saying that when he is seen “coming on the clouds of heaven with power” These great clouds will be the glorified faithful saints described in Heb. 12:1…then he will send out his angels …they will gather his elect” (the scattered remnant of Israel ) from every part of the earth. [Matt. 24 v.30 v.31] 

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