“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.”–Exodus 23:20-21
The tone of chapter 23 changes from verse 20.
The Lord transitions from handing out rules and regulations to making a bold and audacious promise.
He is going to send an angel to prepare the way for Israel’s conquest of the land of Canaan.
In Hebrew, the word is MALACH and depending on the context can mean either a human messenger or a divine angelic being.
Obviously in this context, we are dealing with a divine being from heaven.
The people are told that they are to obey “him” because this particular angel carries the Lord’s Name.
Now this can mean either one of two things.
This angel carries God’s full authority or was actually a manifestation of God Himself.
Which is which we could argue until we’re blue in the face but one thing I’m pretty sure on is that this is NOT some pre-New Testament manifestation of Christ.
In fact, I don’t even believe the idea of a pre-incarnate Christ holds water at all.
As I’ve said numerous times before, Yeshua was NOT an apparition of a man like what appeared here.
He was a real flesh-and-blood man born at a specific place at a specific time for a specific purpose according to numerous OT prophecies.
If it is true that Yeshua appeared left and right in the Old Testament prior to His birth from Mary, then the idea of a first and second coming of Yeshua becomes ludicrous.
The biggest takeaway here is that in many ways, we have to accept that God is an inscrutable mystery to us.
It is God’s divine prerogative to manifest Himself however He wills, whether it is as an angel, a cloud, a burning bush or a green alien for that matter.
The fact that we have a hard time accepting this is no reason to willy nilly label every visible form of God as being a pre-New Testament “Jesus”.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with not understanding certain things.
I mean it should be obvious that are tiny and limited finite minds are just not going to be able to understand certain things about the nature and essence of the eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient Creator of the whole universe.
It is ridiculous to try to fit God into some trinitarian box.
Some things about God just are!
Why can’t we just simply accept it?