The Angel of His Presence: Unpacking The Profound Depths of God’s Love

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote, although not explicitly religious, captures the essence of our exploration today as we dive into the heart of our faith, investigating the concept of God’s profound love for us, especially in our afflictions, as seen in Isaiah 43:9: “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them.”

The Prayer of Isaiah: A Testimony of God’s Love

In the context of the prophet Isaiah’s prayer, this verse is a testament to God’s love and care for his people. Like a mountain’s peak, God’s love is infinitely high, its summit reaching far beyond our comprehension. This love, incomprehensible in its depth and magnitude, found its ultimate expression on the cross of Calvary. A love that is so great that it allowed for God’s own affliction for the salvation of His people.

Let’s pause for a moment to grasp this concept. How can the Infinite One, in His perfection and majesty (Ps. 145:3), be afflicted with our affliction, often resulting from sin and hereditary weakness? It’s a question that challenges our understanding, leading us into the profound depths of God’s love, as expressed in Romans 11:33-36.

The Afflicted God: A Paradox of Love

Our text presents a paradox, an afflicted God. This concept, startling as it may be, underscores the extent of God’s love manifesting itself in the suffering God. This suffering God is not a distant or indifferent deity; instead, He embodies empathy and shared pain. In essence, our text refers to the experience of the Son of God on Calvary (Luke 23; Isa.53).

This is the mystery of God’s love – He suffered in the person of His only Son (Rom. 8:31-33; 2 Cor. 5:18-21), a manifestation of His empathy and compassion for fallen humanity (John 3:16). This paternal attachment is so deep that it mirrors a father’s pity for his children (Ps. 103:13). This love radiates through several scriptures (Ex. 15:26; Isa. 66:13; 49:15), revealing God’s unending care for us.

Christ: The Angel of His Presence

Our exploration would only be complete with considering the role of Christ, the angel of the Lord, as illustrated in the text. He is identified as “Michael the Archangel” (Jude 9; Dan. 10:13; Rev. 12:7) and has been in the presence of the Father from eternity, the only one having access to the counsel and purpose of God the Father (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34). This divine presence is vital, as Moses understood (Ex. 33:12, 16), and is promised to every child of God (Matt. 18:20; 28:20).

The Power of His Presence

The angel’s presence is not merely a comforting thought; it does four essential things for us. First, it brings salvation (Matt. 1:21), saving us from sin’s guilt, power, and eternal consequences (Rom. 8:1-3, 31-33; Rom. 1:16; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 5:14-17). Second, it provides eternal security (Rom. 8:1-33; Ps. 90:1; 91:1-16). Third, the presence of God assures us of eternal victory (John 8:31-36; Matt. 1:21; Isa. 35:10; Rev. 22:1-6; 1 Cor. 15:26-58; 2 Cor. 2:14), granting us victory over sin, suffering, pain, and death.

The final gift of His presence is the reassurance it provides. “In all their affliction, He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them.” It brings to the believer the comforting knowledge that we are never alone in our affliction; God is with us, sharing our sorrows and troubles. His presence not only brings salvation, but it also guarantees it for His people.

The Gift of Experience

Now, we return to a question that is not theoretical but deeply personal: Do we know this from experience?

This question reminds us that the truths of faith are meant to be outside the realm of intellectual discourse. Instead, they are intended to be experienced, lived, and felt deeply in our daily lives. When we experience God’s love in times of affliction, feel His presence bringing us salvation, and live in the assurance of eternal victory, our faith transforms from an abstract concept into a living, breathing reality.

In conclusion, the profound truths of God’s love, as expressed in Isaiah 43:9, call us to reflect and immerse ourselves in the experience of divine love. It beckons us to feel God’s empathetic affliction in our troubles, to accept the salvation offered by His presence, and to rest in the assurance of eternal victory. The angel of His presence invites us into an intimate relationship with God, a relationship marked by shared affliction, divine salvation, and eternal security.

As the famous poet Emily Dickinson said, “That Love is all there is, is all we know of Love.” This is the profound, all-encompassing love that the Angel of His Presence offers us—a love that embraces us in our afflictions, saves us from our sins, and promises us eternal victory. It is this love that we are invited to experience, to embrace, and to share with others.

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.” – Aldous Huxley. With this understanding, let’s step forward and fully embrace the experience of God’s profound love, which we’ve only just begun to explore.

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