2 SAMUEL 24:16-17
David had sinned against the LORD by numbering the people. The prophet Gad came to David, giving him a choice of three things which would come as a result. That day, the LORD brought a plague upon the land, and seventy thousand men of Israel died (1 Chronicles 21:14). After this great number had died, the LORD restrained the Angel of the LORD, for it was enough. In 1 Chronicles 21:16, we read
…David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between
earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over
Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their face.
1 KINGS 19:7
Elijah just heard that Jezebel planned to kill him because of what happened to the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 19:2; 18:40). He had given up (v 4). As he lay there, an angel touched him (v 5). A couple verses later, the one who touched him came back, and is called “the Angel of the LORD” (v 7).
2 KINGS 1:3, 15
Having fallen and injured himself, Ahaziah, king of Israel, sent messengers to inquire of Baal-Zebub. The Angel of the LORD told Elijah to intercept the messengers (v 3). The king wanted Elijah brought to him. The first two captains and their troops died trying to arrest the prophet (v 10, 12). The third captain came before Elijah with fear and respect, and thus the Angel of the LORD told the prophet to go with him, fearing nothing (v 15).
2 KINGS 19:35
The Assyrians, having defeated Israel thought they would also rise up against Jerusalem. The Lord stated, “…I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake” (2 Kings 19:34). A verse later, we find the Angel of the LORD entered the camp of the Assyrians and killed 185,000 of their men, leaving Sennacherib their king to flee away to Nineveh. Note, Isaiah 37:36 also attributes this to the Angel of the LORD.
PSALM 34:7; 35:5-6
Psalm 34 was written while David pretended madness before Abimelech, the Philistine king (34:1). It is a Psalm of praise, for God hears, answers, and protects His people. Verse 7 declares, “The Angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” In Psalm 35, David likens his enemies to chaff in the wind, chased by the Angel of the LORD.
Solomon stressed the importance of keeping our vows (v 5). God has no pleasure in fools (v 4) and does not want excuses (v 6). The writer says not to sin by excusing ourselves before “the messenger of God” (KJV, “the Angel of God”).
Isaiah spoke about the LORD, who became the Saviour of His people (v 8). The One who provides salvation is identified as the Angel of His Presence.
Hosea contrasted the unfaithfulness of God’s people in his time (v 1-2) with the greatness of Jacob’s faith. Jacob struggled with God, the Angel, and prevailed (Genesis 32:24-28).
ZECHARIAH 1:11; 3:1-6
Throughout the text, an angel is Zechariah’s guide to the visions that he sees (1:9). Like John experienced in Revelation, an angel guided Zechariah, but the LORD also spoke and appeared to him. The prophet saw a man standing among the myrtle trees (1:8). He is identified as the Angel of the LORD (1:11). In chapter 3, Zechariah saw Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD (v 1, 3, 5, 6), who is the Lord Jesus.
The prophet spoke of God’s protection for Jerusalem against her enemies (12:1-4). At verse 8, their strength is revealed—for the Angel of the LORD would be before them.
Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a throne (v 1). He feared, for he was of unclean lips, but had seen “the King, the LORD of hosts” (v 5). The Lord gave him a message to give to the people; a message which Jesus would quote a few times in His earthly ministry,
Keep on hearing, but do not understand, keep on seeing, but
do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their
ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and
return and be healed. (Isaiah 6:9-10)
John 12:37-41 reveals that it was Jesus whom Isaiah saw. Jesus participated in the fulfillment of the word He had given to Isaiah (Matthew 13:13-15; Mark 4:11-12; Luke 8:10).
Are there more texts that speak about the appearances and activities of the Christ in the Old Testament? Likely. But the texts given in these 8 lessons are ample evidence of His presence and activity in every age, not just during His earthly ministry.
Having considered the evidence for the Lord’s work in the days of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, Gideon, Manoah, David, Solomon, Elijah, Isaiah, Hosea, Zechariah, and more, we should understand the Lord Jesus has been present and active in every age.
He promises that he is active in our age too. He told the disciples, ‘Lo, I am with you always’ (Matthew 28:20). The book of Revelation reveals the Lord is protecting His people and providing for us. He is present, He is active!