2-7 "THE FEAR OF GOD"
- Gen. 48:15,16 is the key here: "God, before whom my (Jacob's) fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil. . ". The God of Abraham and Isaac meant to Jacob the same as the Angel who had daily protected him. The use of Angels as God's means of revelation to the patriarchs would explain why they would have conceived of God in terms of an Angel. This lays the basis for the Angel later being called "the God of Jacob" and the "God of Israel", especially seeing that Michael was the Angel (God) who represented Israel (Dan. 12:1). Gen. 31:42,53 provide the link with "the fear". Jacob there says "Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac, had been with me. . . the God of Abraham. . . the fear of his father Isaac". Gen. 48 shows how Jacob believed the God of Abraham and Isaac to be the Angel which redeemed him from all evil. Gen. 31 shows that he thought the God of Abraham and Isaac to be "the fear"; it is therefore also an Angelic title.
- This would explain why Abraham should say when in Egypt "surely the fear of God is not in this place" (Gen. 20:11). The record seems to gently emphasize that Abimelech, the king of those parts, was 'God fearing'- were there many pagan kings who would not "come near" (Gen. 20:4) an apparently single beauty queen who had been requisitioned for him for that purpose, and who made no protest? Especially for a period of a few months! (Until the other women realized for sure that their wombs had been closed). The patriarchs' subsequent dealings with Gerar show its rulers to have been honourable and upright- even when under provocation from Abraham's sly dealing. Thus "the fear of God" not being in Gerar may refer to Abraham sensing that the presence of God in the Angel was not with him- and therefore he resorted to fleshly scheming. The phrase does not necessarily mean that the place was not God-fearing. We too can convince ourselves that the Angel is not physically with us, even when He is, and do likewise.
- "I will send an Angel before thee. . . I will send My fear before thee" (Ex. 23:20,27) is clear enough.
- Ex. 23:23,27 parallels “my fear” being sent before Israel with “mine Angel” being sent before them. “The fear of Isaac” was clearly an Angel. Verse 28 parallels the fear, the Angel and “the hornets” which were sent by God to drive out or soften up the Canaanite tribes. However, the softening up of those tribes was by the attacks they suffered from other tribes, who were presumably under the direct control of “mine Angel” and in that sense identified with Him.