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God Encamps Around His Own
“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalms 34:7)
The precise identity of “the angel of the Lord” is not given. It could mean any angel, because as we are told in the Bible that they ministering spirits to those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
But the use of the definite article, “the” seems to be specifying one in particular.
Throughout the Bible when this exact phrase is used it refers to a being that speaks as God (Genesis 16: 10; 22:12; Exodus 3:2-5; Judges 2:1-4), is identified as being God (Genesis 22:16; Zechariah 12:8), and does those things that only God can do (Judges 6:21-24; Zechariah 3:1-5).
Through these instances, therefore, the angel of the Lord is the appearance of God in physical form, or what’s called a theophany.
For David, however, whether it’s the Lord or one of His angels, he knew of God’s wonderful protection. The word encamp means not only to pitch a tent, but also to defend and protect. And so the Lord protects and defends those who are His.
This is seen in the story of the prophet Elisha whose city was surrounded by the Syrians bent on capturing and killing him. But surrounding the Syrians were the angels of the Lord.
Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened to this reality, and he saw “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17)
The Lord protects those who are His as an army protects a city and its king.
This was an important point of understanding for David, because when he wrote this Psalm he had escaped Saul’s clutches by fleeing to Gath, the city of Goliath, where they remembered the song sung for David saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (1 Samuel 29:5)
And so it is with all those who believe. God will keep and protect.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study