I. The Angel’s presence refers to Christ, the same who is elsewhere called the ‘Angel of the covenant.’
II. The presence of God in Christ showed itself in the desert by the pillar and cloud in which it tabernacled, and also by the shechinah, which, as it hung over the sacred tent, testified to God’s faithfulness and glory.
III. Note the imperatives of God’s futures. No uncertainty shall harbour here; it comes in the infallibility of a prophecy and the sovereignty of a fiat: ‘My presence shall go with thee.’ It is personal, intimate, minute, appropriate.
IV. The presence of God brings rest. There is (1) a rest by God, when a justified soul rests through the blood of Jesus from the torment of its fear; (2) a rest on God, when the sanctified spirit reposes on the bosom of the promises; and (3) a rest with God, when the battle of life is over, and the victor-saint lays down his armour.
Rev. Jas. Vaughan.
(1) ‘Not for one second since you accepted Christ has He been away from you. In every perplexity you can turn to Him for a solution—in every difficulty for help. To me that is one of the sweetest thoughts between the covers of this Bible.’
(2) ‘Are there not times with many of us when we have reason to fear that, in consequence of some sad failure or sin on our part, the Lord may be obliged to withdraw the conscious enjoyment of His love? A chill fear lays its icy hand upon the strings of our heart, and almost petrifies it into silence. Supposing He should be compelled to leave me to myself, to withdraw His tender mercies, to shut up His compassions? Supposing that I should be like a sledge abandoned in Arctic snows, or a ship abandoned by its crew in mid-ocean? Supposing that the fate of Saul should be mine, and that of me God should say, It repenteth me that I have made him king? Such thoughts quicken the pace of the soul as it goes to His footstool.’
(3) ‘Walk with God, and you will have “rest.” You will be undertaken for on every side; your strength will be a munition of rocks,—your counsellor, Jesus,—your life, “hid with Christ in God.” No more room for anxious thought; the pillar and the cloud, the water and the bread, the secret voices and the clear manifestations, the Great High Priest in all His offices, and the real shechinah, are yours. Very restingly will you go,—leaning on the arm which is underneath you,—as you “go up from the wilderness,”—the “presence” growing brighter, and the rest nearer, every step,—till the “presence” is the visible God, and the “rest” is heaven.