Appearing, Dwelling, Abiding
And the Angel of the LORD appeared to [Moses] in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush..
Recommended Reading – Judges 13:6, 10, 21
In 1977, much of the Western world saw a depiction of a developing technology. In the Star Wars movie, the robot R2-D2 displayed a hologram — a light-based “physical” image — of Princess Leia. That was 1977 in a science fiction movie. But thousands of years before that movie, something similar occurred on earth: God appearing as an angel-man.
The future mother of Samson described it best — “a Man of God” who “looked like an angel of God, very awesome” appeared to her (Judges 13:6 NIV). She saw what appeared to be a human, yet also appeared to be a “very awesome” angel. And the being appeared, then disappeared, then appeared again (verses 10, 21). The Angel of the Lord (Genesis 16:7, 9-11; 22:11, 15) is generally considered to be deity — a preincarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ. An angel of the Lord (Matthew 1:20; 2:13, 19) is not. After Christ was incarnated in flesh (John 1:14), the Angel of the Lord does not appear again.
God appeared to His people in the Old Testament and dwelt with His people in the New — and now abides in us by His Spirit.
The glory of the Incarnation is that it presents to our adoring gaze, not a humanized God or a deified man, but a true God-man.
Benjamin B. Warfield