Think of the times in the Old Testament when Jesus made an appearance. There are several. In this scripture we see God’s pledge to his people and it is essentially the same to us today. The departing words of Jesus were “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” When we examine the Old Testament we can find corresponding New Testament portions.
Exodus 23 King James Version (KJV)
20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.
Regular angels don’t have the power to pardon sin. That belongs to God. That’s proof that God sends his Son and these are instructions on how he is to be treated. He doesn’t send just any angel. I’m thankful for angels that we have to help us along the way. Not only do we have angels, as God’s people we have the big Angel—with a capital A. In his earthly presence he will do the impossible. He’ll do the incredible. When we call on the Lord he is there. It’s because he’s so here. He is above and beyond what we expect. We believe God is on the throne but by faith we also believe in the One who was sent. God is with every believer—there and here. We just need to believe.
He’ll do for us in a manner that surprises us. The devil likes to make a big show. He’s big and we’re no match for him, but he is no match for God. While Jesus was here he never paraded himself around. All he had to do was be there—speak, reach out and touch, give a look. He works by little and little. We say little by little but this verse says by little and little. We might get impatient. Never ask the Lord why he’s not working quicker. He has things under control. He’s never been late; he always comes on time. A lot of times he has come, worked for us, and we’ve not realized it. By little and little he’ll take care of it in his way. Not lots and lots but little and little. The size of God’s little is larger than Satan’s biggest. I don’t care how many weapons are in Satan’s arsenal. You can’t compare God’s little to anything. He’s a great, big, wonderful God!
He is sent specifically to his people. I have a personal Lord and Savior in Jesus Christ. You have the same. He is as much present to you as he is me. He’s 100% there for you and 100% there for me. That’s incredible! If we think God’s behind, we are the one who is out of step. We can’t get ahead of God without suffering the consequences. To help us he has to be in the lead. I’d hate to be the first member of a swat team to enter a house where a domestic disturbance is going on. I’d be the one apt to get shot. That’s what God does for us. He takes the lead to be ahead in order to take care of things for us. He is sent ahead to keep us in the way. We need a leader to keep us in line and keep us from making a wreck of things. He takes care of us all day long. His arm is not shortened that he can’t reach out to us. He’ll bring us to the place he’s prepared. He is committed to get us to heaven. The Lord shall go. He’s in front. He’s there for us. Are we going to question him? Do you find yourself saying you can’t go on and talking about poor, pitiful me? If you’d open your eyes, you’d see him right in front of you.
I will send my fear before thee. He’ll open the way and be a comfort, but he’ll also strike fear in the hearts of those against us. The devil may not fear us, but he does fear the Lord. Let’s stay in line and close to the Lord. We’ll have much less trouble. With such a wonderful gift, we have a responsibility. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. Beware of him. Be aware of the Savior. It will cause us to fear, to reverence, to think twice about disobedience. He is not our servant or errand boy. We need to treat him with the proper respect. Provoke him not. We need him too much to displease or anger him. He’ll not put up with mistreatment.
Remember that God’s name is in him before it’s in us. Claim his merciful presence. Give him glory. By his grace and mercy we can proclaim his name. Allow him to be leader. Allow him to work. It may seem like baby steps but who are we to question God? Driving 90 miles per hour you won’t enjoy the scenery. Slow down and see the deer and the countryside. Hurry up and wait on the Lord.
But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. If you treat his presence right, he’ll take care of the rest. Don’t be too concerned with the problems. Focus on being right with God and following him. Turn everything over to him and trust him. Jesus taught us that he’ll take care of things, of us.
He said “I will send an Angel.” How will we respond? Let’s say “Lord, send him on.”