Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. (Exodus 23:20-21)
Yesterday I shared that the Hebrew word שם shem, commonly translated as “name,” is associated with “reputation” and “authority.” So when God said that the people were to obey the Angel, it is because God had vested His authority in Him. The Angel led them as God had ordained and, therefore, His voice was to be respected just as faithfully as the Voice they had heard from the top of Mount Sinai. In other words, the Angel — literally “messenger” — was more than God’s representative; it was a manifestation of God Himself. It is this angel who would bring the people into the land of Canaan.
It is very likely that this Angel was the one who introduced Himself to Joshua as the captain of the LORD’s Hosts. This is important, of course, because the battle of Jericho was the initial battle in the conquest of Canaan. This would validate the view that the Angel who carried God’s authority was the captain of the LORD’s Host. He was the One who guide them through their wilderness journey and, eventually, bring them into the fruition of God’s promises to them.
Many, like myself, believe that the Angel was a manifestation of Messiah before Yeshua was born in Bethlehem. Consider that, before He left the world to return to the Father, Yeshua told His disciples that “all authority” had been given to Him “in heaven and earth” (Matthew 28:18). That means He rules and governs as God, not just as a man. We are to obey Hm in all things as He leads us through our life’s journey knowing that, if we are faithful, He will bring us into the fruition of God’s promises to us. Lastly, He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” It is our duty to do His Will because it is in our heart to do so and because we acknowledge that He is LORD.
Blessings and Shalom,