We are continuing our thoughts from yesterday thinking on the fact that God had visited earth in the form of a man several times in the Old Testament, before He was born as the Man, Jesus. In some places in the Old Testament, He was called the Angel of the Lord, but make no mistake, this was YHVH in the flesh that visited. For instance, God was the One who was protecting the birth of Ishmael, because He was going to bring about the Arabic people. Hagar, the mother of Ishmael by Abraham, when she was running away from her mistress, Sarah, was protected and cared for by the Angel of YHVH:
The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur (Genesis 16:7).
This angel was called the Angel of YHVH in verses 9, 10, and 11. But in verse 13, this same angel is called YHVH, the name of the God of Israel:
Then she called the name of YHVH who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me.” (Genesis: 16:13).
Several years later, it was the Angel of YHVH, that held Abraham's arm as he was about to sacrifice Isaac. He spoke to Abraham in the first person, as if He was and is God.
10Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 12He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" (Genesis 22:10-12).
Did you miss it? This Angel, the One in the form of a man, was speaking as if He was and is God. Again, further in the conversation between Abraham and the Angel of the Lord, the Scriptures tell us:
15Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son (Genesis 22:15-16).
In the Old Testament, God visited earth in the form of a man; this was the same One who was born into the human race to be the sacrificial Lamb, a holy offering for sin. God Himself came to the human race as a Man to take away and cleanse from sin every man that takes His substitutionary sacrificial offering as their own. Keith Thomas