10-1 Angels and Israel
The Angels are especially sensitive to affairs relating to Israel. The Angel-eyes of the Lord are ever upon the land of Israel. God likens those who oppress Israel to someone touching His eyeball ("the apple of Mine eye", Zech. 2:8). The Angels as God's eyes are thus very sensitive to Israel's natural and spiritual state. The reason for this especial emphasis on the Angels' care of Israel is twofold; firstly to show what great involvement they have in the affairs of the new Israel, and secondly to teach us how we may watch over mortals in the Millenium and perhaps beyond, when we take over the Angels' role.
"The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts (Angels) is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant: and He looked for judgement but behold oppression" (Is. 5:7). God looking for judgement implies the use of His eyes- the Angels. In passing, it seems worth querying whether this verse indicates Angelic preference for Judah as opposed to Israel, as if they were a favourite plant of the Angel husbandmen. How do we feel at the idea of Angelic preference being shown according to our spirituality?
Further evidence of the strong connection between Angels and Israel is found in the Asaph Psalms, especially 73-83. They are full of Angelic language, and seem to go through the history of Israel from Egypt to the captivity with reference to the Angels' work. Mal. 1:9 indicates that the Angels even associate themselves with Israel's sins, such is their closeness to them: "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts (Angels). . Beseech God that He will be gracious unto us". Dt. 33:2,3 RVmg. bring out the solidarity between the Angels and Israel by describing them both as thousands of saints / holy ones.
The promises which form the basis of the "hope of Israel" were made by Angels- many of them were given in visions, which were strongly associated with Angels. Thus the Lord "brought (Abraham) forth abroad and said, Look now toward Heaven, and tell the stars. . . (after a silent pause) So shall thy seed be. . . I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land" (Gen. 15:5-7). It must have been an Angel that led Abraham out of his tent to a suitable spot and made those promises. The Angel which brought Israel out of Egypt to the land promised to Abraham is frequently described as bringing Israel out of Egypt to give them the land in similar language to which the 'Lord' in Gen. 15 speaks of giving Abraham the land. Gen. 17:3 says that "Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him", making the promises. Men often fell on their faces in the presence of Angels, and God talking with Abraham seems similar to the Angel talking face to face with Moses later. In Gen. 18:1 "the Lord appeared" to Abraham regarding the future of Sodom in the form of an Angel, we are told later in the chapter. The same phrase "the Lord appeared" is also used to introduce the giving of the promises to Abraham in Gen. 17:1. Even clearer, "the Angel of the Lord. . . said. . . in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of Heaven" (Gen. 22:15-17). The Angel that appeared to Moses in the bush said that He was the God of the patriarchs who had appeared to them and "established My covenant with them. . . I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham. . . " (Ex. 3:2-9 cp. 6:2-8). Similarly the Angel that made the promises to Abraham could say to Hagar "I will multiply thy seed (as well). . that it shall not be numbered for multitude" (Gen. 16:10).
The lead up to the promises to David is full of Angelic hints, as if it was an Angel who made the promise:
2 Sam. 7:2: "I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God (i. e. God) dwelleth within curtains"- it was the Angel who dwelt over the ark and in the tabernacle (see later).
v. 6 "I have . . . walked in a tent and in a tabernacle"- the Angel "walked" in the sense that the Israelites physically walked, carrying the tent and tabernacle on their shoulders, with the associated Angelic presence in them.
"I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt"- the Angel did this.
v. 8 "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts"-Angels
v. 9 "I took thee from the sheepfolds. . . I was with thee withersoever thou wentest"- Angelic care of David, His physical presence through the Angel being very closely with David.
v. 10 "I will. . . plant. . . My people Israel"- the Angel planted Israel as a vine (Ps. 80:8; a Psalm which has many Angelic references).
Verses 12-14 go on to make the promise to David. David's response was to praise "The Lord of Hosts. . the God of Israel" (2 Sam. 7:26), both of which are Angelic titles, as if David felt that the Angels had given him the promises.