Last week began our study on the physical and personal appearances of Jesus in the Old Testament and we saw that the first of these occurred in the person of Melchizedek who was known as the King of Salem. We won’t take the time in this post to repeat everything we covered last week but I think it would be worth our time to be reminded that there were a number of phrases that were used to describe Melchizadec, thus reinforcing the idea that these references were really about Jesus. And as we look further into the Old Testament we find other words and phrases used to describe someone who can only be Jesus. Keep in mind that these appearances were not as God Incarnate. This didn’t occur until Jesus came in the form of a human baby as seen in the New Testament and was continuously present on earth for a period of about 33 years. However, these appearances were certainly physical and they were personal appearances of our Lord.
Tonight we will take a look at a few of these occurrences also found in the book of Genesis and discover some of the other phrases that makes reference to Jesus Himself. The first one is centered in the story in Genesis 16 of Sarai’s scheme to have a child through her maid Hagar. After Hagar conceived and was with Abram’s child things were not the same for either Hagar or Sarai. Sarai mistreated Hagar to the point that Hagar fled from the very presence of Sarai. And this is where we see Jesus come on the scene. Verses 7-8 continues the story with these words; “Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” This admission by Hagar brings about an unexpected response in verses 9-10. “Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.””
What we need to see here is that the phrase the angel of the Lord is another name for Jesus and where we find it in the Old Testament it is a reference to Him. We find that phrase used in Numbers 22 where the angel of the Lord warns Balaam. In Judges 2 the angel of the Lord rebukes Joshua and Israel and in Judges 6 the angel of the Lord fights for Gideon and Israel. There are a number of other times in the Old Testament that this phrase is used to refer to Jesus and His involvement in man’s affairs. But this is not the only one. Next week we will look at some other terms and phrases that are used for the same purpose.
I hope we all are beginning to have a better understanding that the entirety of God’s Word involves Jesus and He appeared many times before the New Testament writings. But that stands to reason. He was and is and shall ever be God!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2