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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX


Part V: The Trinity in the old Testament

Chapter 6

The "Angel of the Lord" and "The Voice of the Lord"

     RECALLING WHAT was said previously that the name of the Lord may refer to the whole Godhead collectively or to the Persons individually, it will be remembered that we mentioned that one Person may have one form of special responsibility and another Person another. Thus the Messenger or Angel of the Godhead is given the title "The Angel of the Lord," and throughout Scripture it will be found quite consistently that this title is reserved for Jesus.
     When Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord, he was well aware of His true identity. This Person appeared to Jacob as a man (Genesis 32:24) and wrestled with him. Subsequently this Person identified Himself as God (verse 28), and as a consequence Jacob named that place Peniel, a Hebrew compound form which means "the face of God," for he said, "I have seen God face to face" (verse 30). Since no man has seen God the Father, this was God the Son. Hosea 12:4 and 5 tell us that this Person was "the Angel . . . even the Lord God of Hosts," the last title reflecting what we have noted in Malachi 3:1. Jacob himself subsequently refers back to this incident in his life when blessing Joseph (Genesis 48:15,16) and calls this Angel his Redeemer. Putting all these passages together, we have Jesus identified as the Angel of the Lord, the King, the Redeemer, the Lord God of Hosts, and as Jehovah.
     In Judges 2:1 we read that the Angel of the Lord came up and reminded the children of Israel that He had brought them out of Egypt and that He had made an unbreakable covenant with them. This Angel is shortly thereafter referred to simply as the Lord, a perfectly normal transcription of title in view of what we have already established.
     The Third Person in the Godhead is the Holy Spirit, and He

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appropriately is referred to as the Voice of the Lord, a quite specific title by which New Testament writers were able to identify the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. For example, in Isaiah 6 verses 8 and 9 it is written, "Also I heard the Voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us. . . ?" In Acts 28:25 and 26 Paul makes this observation, "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive" -- a statement which is a direct quotation of the message which was given to Isaiah (Isaiah 6:9), and here attributed to the Holy Ghost. Now, it may be said that this phrase "the Voice of the Lord" is not nearly specific enough to be extracted from its context and termed a title. However, the striking thing is that while John has already identified for us the One whom Isaiah saw in his vision, it was Paul who identified the One whom Isaiah heard. Moreover, while the Holy Spirit said, "Who will go for us?" He said, "Whom shall I send," and not "Whom shall we send," thereby singling Himself out in a special way as the One who commissions men with a particular message. In Psalm 95:6-10 are these words,

     O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
     For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Today if ye will hear his voice,
     Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation
in the wilderness:
     When your fathers tempted me, and proved me, and saw my work.
      Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err
in their heart, and they have not known my ways.

     This passage is referred to in Hebrews 3:7-10 and here it is directly attributed to the Holy Spirit in verse 7. Moreover, it is the Holy Spirit who is "grieved" by us (Ephesians 4:30), as He was grieved by the children of Israel for forty years.
     In Isaiah 63:8-10 it is written,

     For he [the Lord] said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie:
so he was their Saviour.
     In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love
and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
     But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy,
and he fought against them.

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     Once again it is the Holy Spirit who is grieved. It seems as though there is some special connection here between the One whom the Lord called the Comforter (John 14:16) and One whom men have continually grieved. It seems to me a remarkable thing how consistently Scripture agrees with itself in little matters such as this, which in one sense are incidental and yet are a delight to discover. It is surely unlikely that these writers agreed among themselves to associate these ideas, and it could be said, therefore, that such conclusions are evidences of inspiration from a single source.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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