God Speaks Through Intermediators

Pentecost 25 Tuesday

Exodus 3:2-3

“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the fiery flame from the bush; and he saw that the bush was burning while it was not being consumed. He said: I will go there and see this great sight, why the bush is not consumed.”

One questions arises here: Whether God or an angel spoke to Moses? For in Acts 7:30, Stephen says that “after 40 years, the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in the desert of Mt. Sinai in a fiery flame of the bush.” Now, it is written here that the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses, that he spoke to him from the bush. Moses did not see God here. This is also why Luke and Stephen say that “the law was given by angels,” Acts 7:53. God turns these heavenly princes into preachers so that it comes to us by the ministrations of the angels; but we Christians have heard the Lord himself. Christ, God’s Son, who is above all angels, preached to us by his own mouth and began to spread the gospel in the whole world and then commanded his apostles to preach. He reserved the gospel to be preached in his human nature, while he had the law “be given by the angels,” Galatians 3:19. Therefore, we should always understand that God speaks through angels. There is an angel in this bush, and he conveys God’s Word to Moses and speaks as God. And Moses also hears God’s Word; it does not matter if it comes from a bush or a rock. We are to look to the Word, and not the person conveying it. For here God takes an angel; elsewhere, he takes Peter or Magdalene; and he even takes a donkey, as happened in Balaam’s case, Numbers 22:23, 30–through all these, God speaks his Word. This is why it is said correctly that God spoke to Moses, although it is not always mentioned that he spoke through the angels. For when God himself speaks his Word, he speaks it in such a way that we are blessed every moment. If he spoke directly, we would immediately melt and perish due to the great majesty. Yet when he does not speak directly, he uses creatures for this purpose, no matter who these creatures may be. Accordingly, God here spoke through an angel. In Matthew 19:5, it says that God said that “man will leave father and mother and cling to his wife,” although Adam said this, Genesis 2:24. Yet God’s speaking and Adam’s speaking are one. For it spoken from God and in God; this is why God spoke it.

St. Louis ed., 3:725-726.

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