2-3 "THE MOST HIGH"
If this phrase means 'the highest of the high ones'- as it may possibly- it would refer to one special Angel who is above the other 'high ones', or perhaps to God working through His Angelic 'high ones'. “The seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6) may refer to these same “high ones”. There are several indicators towards “the Most High” definitely being Angelic:
- Ps. 78 is about the experience of the Angel which led Israel through the wilderness. "He led them . . He cast out the heathen. . yet they tempted and provoked the Most High God, and kept not His testimonies" (v. 53-56). The Angel who led Israel and gave them the Law is here called "the Most High".
- "Melchizedek. . was the priest of the Most High God" (Gen. 14:18). It seems that worship in patriarchal times was by coming before an Angel on earth, as Abraham did. The early chapters of Job show a similar scenario (1). Melchizedek would therefore have been a priest on behalf of an Angel, or "the Most High God". Melchizedek's words give further support: "And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of Heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand" (Gen. 14:19,20). These words indicate a primary fulfilment of the promises to bless Abraham (Gen. 12:2) with seed like the stars of Heaven and dust of the earth ("Possessor of Heaven and earth") and victory over his enemies (Gen. 22:17). These promises were given to Abraham by an Angel, and are attributed by Melchizedek to "the most high God"- thus equating this title with an Angel.
- Balaam attributed the revelations he received in dreams to the most high: "He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most high, which saw the vision of the Almighty" (Num. 24:16). In Chapter 8 it is shown that the revelation of the word of God, especially in the form of dreams, was often executed by an Angel.
- "The Most High divided to the nations their inheritance when He separated the sons of Adam" (Dt. 32:8) at Babel- which was probably the result of Angelic work ,seeing that the phrase "come down" refers to Angelic manifestation, and there is much language of limitation in the record.
- 2 Sam. 22:7-16 associates "the Most high" with other Angelic language:
- "fire out of His mouth"- God makes His Angels "a flame of fire"
- "He. . . came down"- the physical movement of the Angel in manifesting God (see Chapter 6 )
- "He rode upon a cherub"- the Angels are linked with the cherubim
- "He. . did fly"- Gabriel "being caused to fly swiftly" (Dan. 9:21)
- "thick clouds. . . round about Him. . arrows. . lightnings"- cp. the Angel-cherubim visions
- "the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the Lord"- alluding to the Angel's work at the Red Sea
- "He did hear My voice out of His temple"- the Angel dwelt physically in the temple
- "My cry did enter into His ears"- language of Angelic limitation, seeing all things are immediately known to God.
- Ps. 46 appears to be primarily about the Angelic deliverance of Hezekiah from the Assyrian invasion:
- v. 5 "God is in the midst of her (Jerusalem)"- the Angel dwelling in the temple
- v. 4 "the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High"- the Angel dwelling in the most holy place
- v. 7,11 "The Lord of Hosts (of Angels) is with us; the God of Jacob (an Angel) is our refuge".
Thus "the Most High" is again associated with Angelic language.
- Ps. 50 exemplifies how God personally addresses Himself to men, and yet at times uses the language of Angels as if to direct our attention to His manifestation through them: "God is judge Himself. . . every beast of the forest is Mine. . . I know all the fowls of the mountains (God Himself having ultimate knowledge, unlike the Angels). . offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High (the offerings to the Angel in the tabernacle): and call upon Me (God Himself) in the day of trouble. . . thou shalt glorify Me" (v. 6-15).
- Ps. 57:1,2: "In the shadow of Thy wings (i,e,. between the cherubim- Ps. 17:8,9; 30:7; 91:4) will I make My refuge. . I will cry unto God Most High". The Angel dwelt literally between the cherubim- "God Most High". The next verse continues the Angelic theme: "He shall send (send physically away, let depart- fitting language for Angels) from Heaven, and save Me".
- The Asaph psalms have a remarkable amount of Angelic language. This correlates with the frequent reference to the "most High"- Ps. 73:11; 77:10; 78:17,35,36; 82:6; 83:18.
- Ps. 91 describes Joshua's commitment to living near the Angel of the presence in the sanctuary, and subsequent Angelic protection of him (v. 11 "He shall give His Angels charge over thee"). The whole psalm is full of reference to the Angel cherubim: "The shadow of the Almighty. . cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust". That these wings and shadow is Angelic is spelt out in v. 11, by equating the cherubim protection with Angels keeping Joshua. This protection is also due to making "the Most High thy habitation. . . (dwelling) in the secret place of the Most High" (v. 9,1)- thus linking the Most High with the Angel cherubim.
- Nebuchadnezzar though he could exalt himself "above the stars (Angels) of God. . . above the heights of the clouds (of Angels)...be like the Most High" (Is. 14:13. 14). He tried to make himself the morning star (Lucifer); morning stars being an Angelic title (Job 38:7), it follows that he was trying to make himself the greatest of the Angels- i. e. the Most High. The record seems to stress that Nebuchadnezzar's sin was by rebelling against Angelic control (see later)- i. e. in rebelling against the Most High.
(1) See R. T. Lovelock Job for a good description of this (Birmingham: C.M.P.A. , 1957).