CHAPTER 10: ANGELS AND ISRAEL
10-1 Angels And Israel
The Angels are especially sensitive to affairs relating to Israel.
The Angel-eyes of the Lord are ever upon the land of Israel. God
likens those who oppress Israel to someone touching His eyeball
("the apple of Mine eye", Zech. 2:8). The Angels as God's eyes are
thus very sensitive to Israel's natural and spiritual state. The
reason for this especial emphasis on the Angels' care of Israel
is twofold; firstly to show what great involvement they have in
the affairs of the new Israel, and secondly to teach us how we may
watch over mortals in the Millenium and perhaps beyond, when we
take over the Angels' role.
"The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts (Angels) is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah His pleasant plant: and He looked for judgement
but behold oppression" (Is. 5:7). God looking for judgement implies
the use of His eyes- the Angels. In passing, it seems worth querying
whether this verse indicates Angelic preference for Judah as opposed
to Israel, as if they were a favourite plant of the Angel husbandmen.
How do we feel at the idea of Angelic preference being shown according
to our spirituality?
Further evidence of the strong connection between Angels and Israel
is found in the Asaph Psalms, especially 73-83. They are full of
Angelic language, and seem to go through the history of Israel from
Egypt to the captivity with reference to the Angels' work. Mal.
1:9 indicates that the Angels even associate themselves with Israel's
sins, such is their closeness to them: "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts
(Angels). . Beseech God that He will be gracious unto us". Dt. 33:2,3
RVmg. bring out the solidarity between the Angels and Israel by
describing them both as thousands of saints / holy ones.
It seems to me that God's intention was that His people Israel
were to develop their nation into the world-wide Kingdom of God
on earth- a calling they miserably failed to achieve in the past,
even though the prophets speak of the wonderful way it will come
true in the future. Their territory would have literally been "to
the ends of the earth"- and perhaps that's why there's the
ambiguity in the Hebrew word eretz, which can mean both
'the land / earth' of Israel, and the whole planet earth. Further,
the 70 Jewish elders appointed in Ex. 24:9-11were what the New Testament
letter to the Hebrews calls a reflection of the things of Heaven
on earth- for there were 70 Gentile nations within the eretz
/ land promised to Abraham (tabulated in Genesis 10), and I suggest
that these 70 elders were intended to ultimately rule over them.
This would explain the enigmatic Dt. 32:8, which speaks of the boundaries
/ differentiation of the Gentile nations being set according to
"the sons of Israel", or (LXX) "the Angels of God".
Putting the evidence together, it would seem that there were 70
Gentile nations in the eretz / land, represented in Heaven
by 70 Angels, who in turn were represented on earth by the 70 elders
of Israel. It was God's intention that His people should rule over
the nations- and yet they as it were marred the reflection of what
was in Heaven, the pattern of things in Heaven became ignored. And
yet the day is yet to come when men will eagerly take hold of the
skirts of a Jew and go with him to worship the true God. From all
this I see yet again all the potentials God has made possible for
us in our age... and how, despite the fact He may foreknow that
we'll waste them, He still sets up those potential possibilities
for us. We are too are chosen to be king-priests over this world
(Rev. 5:10), we too have a representative Angel in Heaven beholding
God's face... yes, you, and me. We have an Angel there.
It's for us to go ahead and reflect the pattern of Heaven here on
The promises which form the basis of the "hope of Israel" were
made by Angels- many of them were given in visions, which were strongly
associated with Angels. Thus the Lord "brought (Abraham) forth abroad
and said, Look now toward Heaven, and tell the stars. . . (after
a silent pause) So shall thy seed be. . . I am the Lord that brought
thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land" (Gen. 15:5-7).
It must have been an Angel that led Abraham out of his tent to a
suitable spot and made those promises. The Angel which brought Israel
out of Egypt to the land promised to Abraham is frequently described
as bringing Israel out of Egypt to give them the land in similar
language to which the 'Lord' in Gen. 15 speaks of giving Abraham
the land. Gen. 17:3 says that "Abram fell on his face: and God talked
with him", making the promises. Men often fell on their faces in
the presence of Angels, and God talking with Abraham seems similar
to the Angel talking face to face with Moses later. In Gen. 18:1
"the Lord appeared" to Abraham regarding the future of Sodom in
the form of an Angel, we are told later in the chapter. The same
phrase "the Lord appeared" is also used to introduce the giving
of the promises to Abraham in Gen. 17:1. Even clearer, "the Angel
of the Lord. . . said. . . in blessing I will bless thee, and in
multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of Heaven" (Gen.
22:15-17). The Angel that appeared to Moses in the bush said that
He was the God of the patriarchs who had appeared to them and "established
My covenant with them. . . I will bring you in unto the land, concerning
the which I did swear to give it to Abraham. . . " (Ex. 3:2-9 cp.
6:2-8). Similarly the Angel that made the promises to Abraham could
say to Hagar "I will multiply thy seed (as well). . that it shall
not be numbered for multitude" (Gen. 16:10).
The lead up to the promises to David is full of Angelic hints,
as if it was an Angel who made the promise:
2 Sam. 7:2: "I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God
(i. e. God) dwelleth within curtains"- it was the Angel who dwelt
over the ark and in the tabernacle (see later).
v. 6 "I have . . . walked in a tent and in a tabernacle"- the
Angel "walked" in the sense that the Israelites physically walked,
carrying the tent and tabernacle on their shoulders, with the
associated Angelic presence in them.
"I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt"- the Angel
v. 8 "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts"-Angels
v. 9 "I took thee from the sheepfolds. . . I was with thee withersoever
thou wentest"- Angelic care of David, His physical presence
through the Angel being very closely with David.
v. 10 "I will. . . plant. . . My people Israel"- the Angel planted
Israel as a vine (Ps. 80:8; a Psalm which has many Angelic references).
Verses 12-14 go on to make the promise to David. David's response
was to praise "The Lord of Hosts. . the God of Israel" (2 Sam. 7:26),
both of which are Angelic titles, as if David felt that the
Angels had given him the promises.