Friday, April 04, 2008

Angel of God

April 4: Judges 13-15

2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. 3 And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.

8 Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” 9 And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field. But Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, “Behold, the man who came to me the other day has appeared to me.” 11 And Manoah arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to this woman?” And he said, “I am.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” 16 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the Lord.” (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord.) 17 And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” 18 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the Lord, to the one who works wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. 20 And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, and they fell on their faces to the ground.
Judges 13:2-3, 8-11, & 15-20, English Standard Version

Angel of God

In verse 1 of Judges 13 we are told: And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. This verse ushers in the story of Samson, beginning with the passage shown above, when the Angel of God visited Manoah and his wife.

First the angel appeared to just Manoah's wife promising her a son. After Manoah prayed that God would send the visitor again, He answered Manoah's prayer by coming to visit again, this time with both Manoah and his wife. As was the custom, Manoah offered to prepare a meal; (Manoah did not know that this was the angel of the LORD).

The angel of God then told Manoah to offer the meat as a sacrifice to God instead; when Manoah placed the meat upon the fire, the flame went up toward heaven, and the angel disappeared into the flame. Finally Manoah and his wife realized that this was a visit from God, and fell on their faces to the ground.

We know from our reading that the angel of God (a theophany-meaning the appearance of God or the LORD as a man) only appeared a few times in the Old Testament. Most of the times the people involved did not know until the angel had left, that they had just received a personal visit from God!

I was pondering this as I was praying this morning, and realized that we have the privilege of having a personal fellowship time with God any time of the day or night. Like most people, I often rush through my prayer time because I have so many things on my agenda for the day.

I challenge you to take some time, as you begin your prayer time, just reflecting on God. Here are some ideas to get you started.

*God is the Creator of the Universe, existing before time began.

*God is eternal; He had no beginning and has no end.

*God is all powerful; nothing is too hard for Him; He can move heaven and earth to accomplish His will.

*God is never thwarted; His perfect will is being accomplished perfectly.

*God is perfect; He can not look upon even the tiniest of tiny sins.

*God loves His children, enough that He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus, to come to this earth as the God-man, to save a people for Himself.

As a Christian, you know that the list goes on and on. How amazing is it that this wondrous and Holy God desires a personal relationship with the His children! Think about that as you go about your duties today.

God Bless You,

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