The Angel of the Lord first appears on the pages of Holy Scripture in the sixteenth chapter of Genesis. Many theologians believe that Angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Jesus! If they’re right, then the Second Person of the Trinity left His Glorious Throne in heaven and took on human form, appearing in the Old Testament at special times for special purposes.
The Angel of the Lord must have been Jesus. Let me point out three pieces of evidence found in this narrative.
First, the Angel of the Lord was omnipotent or all-powerful. He promised to do what only God can accomplish. “The angel of the LORD also said to her, ‘I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered’ ” (Genesis 16:10, ESV).
Second, the Angel of the Lord was omniscient or all-knowing. “The angel of the LORD said to her, ‘Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son’ ” (Genesis 16:11, ESV).
And third, Hagar recognized the Angel of the Lord as Divine. She worshipped the Angel of the Lord and obeyed Him. It might be a good time to be reminded that angels are created beings, unworthy of humanity’s worship (Revelation 22:8-9). Hagar wasn’t interacting with a run-of-the-mill angel... Jesus came to seek and save!
Hagar’s remarkable encounter with the Angel of the Lord is a beautiful display of God’s grace! Hagar was an Egyptian slave (Genesis 16:1) and a sinner (Genesis 16:2-6). The Angel of the Lord didn’t first appear to a seemingly important person but to a runaway Egyptian slave-girl. That’s grace... the kind of grace Jesus often demonstrates!
And consider the timing of the first appearance of the Angel of the Lord. Genesis is the first book in the Torah, the Law! Jesus appeared, even in the Old Testament law, bringing grace! Amazing Grace!
Look again at Haggar’s response in verse thirteen. She named the Lord “El-roi” (Genesis 16:13, CSB), or the “God of seeing” (ESV). Miraculously, marvelously, God had appeared to Haggar. She could declare, “I have seen the one who sees me!”
The One who saw Haggar also sees us. Like Haggar, we may feel abused. We may be ashamed of our failures. We may be running away. We may feel alone. But, He never leaves! Jesus is the Angel of the Lord, the God of grace and goodness.
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor