Appearances of God in Human Form in the Old Testament

In Genesis chapter 18 three men appear to Abraham.  I say appear because he doesn’t observe them approaching from afar, they are just suddenly there.   It is gradually revealed that one of them is the Lord (18: 13) and the other two are angels (19: 1).   The Lord tells Abraham that he will have a son by the time he visits him again next year.  They all walk together towards Sodom.  The Lord tells Abraham of the fate in store for Sodom and Gomorrah (fate not really being the right word, judgment would be better).  The two angels go on into Sodom while the Lord and Abraham have a discussion.  Abraham intercedes for Sodom, saying that if there were 50 just men in the city would the Lord spare it.  The Lord says he will be spare it for 50 just men.  Abraham haggles some more reducing the number of just men required to spare the town to 40,then 30, then 20,then 10 and leaves it there,  It makes you wonder if he kept haggling could he have got it down some more.  Sadly not even 10 just men are found and the city is destroyed, but Lot is spared with his daughters and his wife because of Abraham.  It says that because God kept Abraham in mind (19: 29), Lot is rescued.  He gets a free ride.  It makes you wonder if our loved ones get a free ride because of us.  Whether or not that would extend beyond this world is debateable.

By the way, this same promise of a free ride is given to Rahab by the two spies of Joshua (Joshua 2: 12-14 & 6: 22-23).  I know people who have found comfort in this for their loved ones who are not in Christ.

Anyway, my main point is the Lord appeared in human form to Abraham.

In Joshua 5: vs 13-15 the Lord appears to Joshua in human form before the battle of Jericho as the “captain of the Lord’s army”.  It says that Joshua worshiped him indicating that this is the Lord and not an angel, as an angel wouldn’t accept worship (Revelation 22: 8-9).

So we have two instances of God appearing to people in human form in the old testament

If we were to speculate about this, God has one human form that we know of and that is Jesus.  Is it possible that Jesus met with Abraham and Joshua?  I can’t say for definite, that is more than the scripture says.  It is just an “I wonder” sort of thing.

Further to this Moses was unable to see God in all his glory as it would have killed him, but he was allowed to see his back (Exodus 33: 18-23).  But in Deuteronomy 34: 10 it says that the Lord knew Moses “face to face” (also Numbers 12: 8 where it says Moses sees “the form of the Lord”).  We know that Moses met Jesus on the mountain of transfiguration in the new testament (Mark 9: 2-8).  Could Moses have also met Jesus in the cloud on the mountain of Sinai (Exodus 24: 16-18)?  Do we have two separate events or one event out of time and space?  I can’t say and the scripture doesn’t say.  It’s just another “I wonder” moment.  I like the idea that some people in the old testament met Jesus, though I’m going beyond what the scripture says.  All we can be sure of is that God met Abraham and Joshua in human form in the old testament, something wonderful in itself. PTL!

 

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