“Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.” Exodus 23:21
Is this saying the messenger has the ability to forgive but won’t or is it saying the messenger won’t forgive because he can’t?
The Messenger Angel
““Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. “When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out,” Exodus 23:20, 23
Compare the messenger sent in chapter 33 and consider if this is not the same messenger
“I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” Exodus 33:2
- God sends a messenger in both verses
- The messenger brings them to the same groups in Canaan in both verses
- It is God who drives out/blots out the Canaanite groups not the messenger
If then this messenger is the same messenger both in chapter 23 and chapter 33 in whom the Name of God is, why then would Moses request for God’s presence, is this an indication that the messenger was not divine?
To borrow from the NT
““Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”” Mark 2:7
“For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. ’”” Exodus 33:5
“Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.” Exodus 33:12, 14-15
So Moses was told that the messenger in whom the Name of the Lord was present would go but Moses says he doesn’t know who the messenger is and it wasn’t enough for Moses that the Lord’s Name was in the messenger (reason to believe this is not The Angel of the Lord) and if it were The Angel of the Lord, would not the presence of the Lord already be in Him?
So I ask again this messenger could he forgive but will not forgive or can he not forgive because he can’t forgive?
- unlike similarly phrased questions the emphasis is placed on “the name of the Lord is in Him”. I am asking a more pointed question about the messenger’s abilities could he or could he not forgive?