2-4 "THE HAND OF THE LORD"
The Angels being the executors of God's actions and the means of the revelation of His personal being to man, it is not surprising that God's eyes, hand, arm and other parts of His body (remember that God is corporeal) are phrases used to describe the Angels. The following equate the "hand of the Lord" with Angels:
- In 2 Sam. 24:14 David asks to "fall into the hand of the Lord" when offered the three choices for Israel's punishment. This was fulfilled by God sending an "Angel of evil" to execute His chosen punishment (2 Sam. 24:16 cp. Ps. 78:49).
- Angels appeared as a hand in Dan. 5:5.
- Dt. 8 describes how the Angel led Israel through the wilderness, providing them with manna and gaining them the promised land. They were warned not to think "My power (spirit) and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth" (v. 17)- they were to recognize that it was God's Angel-hand, not their own, that had given them success.
- Ezekiel was carried by a hand, sometimes called "the Spirit", to see his various visions. Angels are called spirits (e. g. 2 Chron. 18:20; Job 4:15; Is. 63:10), and the method of revelation to Ezekiel invites comparison with that of John who was led into his visions by an Angel (Ez. 1:4; 2:9; 3:14,22; 8:1,3; 37:1; 40:1). This "hand" which led Ezekiel is probably another description of the Angel that carried John around.
- Daniel's figurative resurrection was by a hand touching and reviving him (Dan. 10:10). This points forward to the Angel resurrecting him in the future.
- The Lord of Hosts and God's hand are equated in Is. 14:26,27: "This is the purpose that is purposed. . this is the hand that is stretched out. . the Lord of Hosts hath purposed. . and His hand is stretched out".
- "All those things (the natural Heavens and earth) hath Mine Hand made" (Is. 66:2)- the Angels actually created those things.
- Ps. 74:11-15: "Why witholdest Thou Thy hand, even Thy right hand?. . Thou didst divide the (Red) Sea. . . Thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters"- all of which was done by Angels. Jesus being the man of God's right hand suggests the idea that this "right hand" Angel represented Jesus. Similarly God's "right hand" Angel purchased the promised land - presumably by driving out the tribes- whilst Jesus purchased our "possession" in the Kingdom by His death (Ps. 78:54; Eph. 1:14).
- "Thou didst drive out the heathen with Thy hand. . they got not the land in possession by their own. . arm. . but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of Thy countenance" (Ps. 44:2,3). The Angel-hornet drove out the nations, in fulfilment of the Angel's promise to Moses at the burning bush. Josh. 5:14 informs us that this was performed by a "host" of Angels, led by one mighty "captain". "Thy hand" therefore refers to the Angel- a conclusion strengthened by the mention of "the light of Thy countenance" (the Angel shining forth from the Holiest), and to the deliverer of Jacob (v. 4), whom Jacob clearly understood to have been an Angel (Gen. 48:15,16). Several passages attribute the Exodus from Egypt to the hand of God (e. g. Dt. 26:8), whilst it was an Angel responsible for this.
- Ps. 78 is all about the Angel in the wilderness (see later); v. 42 calls this Angel God's Hand.
- "The form of a man's hand" appeared under the wings of the Angel-cherubim in Ezekiel's visions (10:8).
- "The hand of the Lord was against (the unfaithful in the wilderness) to destroy them" (Dt. 2:15); which was done by the "destroyer" Angel (1 Cor. 10:10; Psalms 90 and 91).
- "From His right hand went forth a fiery law for them" (Dt. 33:2)- the Angels gave the Law.
- "The hand of the Lord is gone out against me" (Ruth 1:13; cp. Judges 2:15) is perhaps a reference to an Angel of evil physically going forth from God to bring problems in that family's life (cp. Job's satan-Angel).
- Job 26:13 connects the Spirit (Angel) of God, the hand of God and the creation of the world, which was done by Angels: "By His Spirit He hath garnished the Heavens; His Hand hath formed the crooked serpent".