2. 6 "THE PRESENCE OF GOD"
The Angels manifesting God, it is to be expected that this phrase
should at times refer directly to them:
- "Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the
Lord God (walking in the garden)"- they hid from the Angel (Gen.
3:8). The language implies the Angel searched for them and they
met face to face; which must be regarding an Angel.
- "Cain went out from the presence of the Lord" (Gen. 4:16)-
the Angel cherubim (see later) keeping the way to the tree
of life and officiating at the altar.
- "If Thy presence go not with me. . . " Moses reasoned, in his
request that an Angel should accompany him (Ex. 33:15 and context).
- "Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of
Israel" (another Angelic phrase). The Law was given at Sinai by
the Angels and it was they who "came down" there to speak with
Moses; Ps. 68:18.
- Similarly Ps. 97:5 "The hills melted like wax at the presence
of the. . . Lord of the whole earth" (land- of Israel; the Angel
standing for Israel).
- "Tremble, thou earth. . . at the presence of the God of Jacob"
(Ps. 114:7)- one of the clearest Angelic phrases.
- "The Angel of His presence" (Is. 63:9)- saving the best until
The root meaning of "Presence" in Hebrew is 'to turn one's face'-
and the ideas of faces and turning are closely linked with the Angel-cherubim,
as well as with the Angels guarding the way of life in Gen. 3.
Exciting homework for the enthusiast lies in the possible Angelic
connections of "the presence" in the following: Lev. 22:3; 1 Chron.
16:27,33; 2 Chron. 20:9; Job 1:12; 2:7; 23:15; Ps. 9:3; 16:11; 17:2;
68:2,8; 95:2; 97:5; 100:2; 114:7; 139:7; 140:13; Is. 64:1,2; Jer.
4:26; 5:22; 23:39; 52:3; Ez. 38:20; Jonah 1:3,10; Nahum 1:5; Zeph.
2. 7 "THE FEAR OF GOD"
- Gen. 48:15,16 is the key here: "God, before whom my (Jacob's)
fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my
life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil.
. ". The God of Abraham and Isaac meant to Jacob the same as the
Angel who had daily protected him. The use of Angels as God's means
of revelation to the patriarchs would explain why they would have
conceived of God in terms of an Angel. This lays the basis for the
Angel later being called "the God of Jacob" and the "God of Israel",
especially seeing that Michael was the Angel (God) who represented
Israel (Dan. 12:1). Gen. 31:42,53 provide the link with "the fear".
Jacob there says "Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham
and the fear of Isaac, had been with me. . . the God of Abraham.
. . the fear of his father Isaac". Gen. 48 shows how Jacob believed
the God of Abraham and Isaac to be the Angel which redeemed him
from all evil. Gen. 31 shows that he thought the God of Abraham
and Isaac to be "the fear"; it is therefore also an Angelic title.
- This would explain why Abraham should say when in Egypt "surely
the fear of God is not in this place" (Gen. 20:11). The record seems
to gently emphasize that Abimelech, the king of those parts, was
'God fearing'- were there many pagan kings who would not "come near"
(Gen. 20:4) an apparently single beauty queen who had been requisitioned
for him for that purpose, and who made no protest? Especially for
a period of a few months! (Until the other women realized for sure
that their wombs had been closed). The patriarchs' subsequent dealings
with Gerar show its rulers to have been honourable and upright-
even when under provocation from Abraham's sly dealing. Thus "the
fear of God" not being in Gerar may refer to Abraham sensing that
the presence of God in the Angel was not with him- and therefore
he resorted to fleshly scheming. The phrase does not necessarily
mean that the place was not God-fearing. We too can convince ourselves
that the Angel is not physically with us, even when He is, and do
- "I will send an Angel before thee. . . I will send My fear
before thee" (Ex. 23:20,27) is clear enough.
- Ex. 23:23,27 parallels “my fear” being sent before Israel with
“mine Angel” being sent before them. “The fear of Isaac” was clearly
an Angel. Verse 28 parallels the fear, the Angel and “the hornets”
which were sent by God to drive out or soften up the Canaanite
tribes. However, the softening up of those tribes was by the attacks
they suffered from other tribes, who were presumably under the
direct control of “mine Angel” and in that sense identified with