The angel of the covenant – Part 1
Some months ago, one of my children sent me a message on telegram requesting me to explain to her, the personality of the angel mentioned in Exodus chapter 23 verse 20. She is one of those who resolved to read the Bible through in 2020 and that day, she read from Exodus 23 and she was desirous of knowing who He was. In her words: “please Sir, I don’t understand in Exodus chapter 23 who was the angel God sent with the children of Israel in verse 20-23.” Her request for the first time made me to take interest in that passage and to ensure I give her the correct answer. I had to do a little personal Bible study.
In my study, I realised that though the name of the angel was not mentioned in the Bible, it was clear that the angel was the angel of God’s covenant. Many of us are familiar with the names of many angels in the Bible like Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, etc, but what of this angel of God’s covenant?
(A) The Angel Of The Covenant: Who Is He?
A thorough look into the Bible will reveal that our God is a God of covenant. You cannot have a genuine relationship with God without coming into a covenant with Him. A covenant, therefore, is “a mutual contract or agreement between two parties, each of which is bound to fulfil certain engagements to the other.”
In the Bible, it is used mostly in an analogical sense, to describe the relationship between God and man. That is why in the Old Testament, we speak of Edenic covenant, Adamic covenant, Noahic covenant, Abrahamic covenant, Mosaic covenant, Davidic covenant, etc. Actually, the whole Bible is a book of covenants, comprising of both the Old and the New Covenants, which are also called testaments.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is “ber-eeth” while in the New Testament, the Greek word is “diathḗkē,” which means “alliance, pledge, ordinance, agreement between God and man.” You can get the best of your relationship with God by way of covenant. To the people of Israel, by covenant God brought them out of the land of Egypt and by the same covenant, he sustained them during the desert. Here in this passage, the Lord was warning them of the importance of adherence to their own side of the covenant, which they must not break to enjoy the relationship.
Therefore, He made it clear to them that the angel of His covenant would go with them, to oversee the affairs of the covenant. Let us briefly try to identify this unique angel.
I. An Angel With Divine Nature
In this passage, it is clear that this angel is equal with God.
• He bears the Divine name, the incommunicable covenant name of Jehovah. (21d)
• Performs Divine actions. (23a) “Mine angel shall go.”
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere, Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace Glory), Baptist Academy, Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
It is clear here that Jehovah and this angel have special relationship of oneness just like Jesus saying in the New Testament, “I and My father are one.”(,John 10:30)
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