David and Paul are certainly two of the most important Bible characters. It is interesting that these two men have the unique distinction in Scripture of being the only men who are spoken of in a particularly remarkable way.
Three people tell David that they regard him in one manner or another as an angel of God:
“And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle” (1 Sam 29:9).
“Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee” (2 Sam. 14:17).
“To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth” (14:20).
“And he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in thine eyes” (2 Sam. 19:27).
In addition to the direct references about David himself, one reference speaks of David’s house being as God, as the angel of the LORD:
“In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them” (Zech. 12:8)
Paul is the only person in the NT who is likened to an angel of God, and remarkably, he goes on to add that he was received even as Christ Jesus:
“And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus” (Gal. 4:14)
David is the preeminent type of Christ in Scripture (cf. the use of Ps. 16 in Acts 2:25-33), and Paul is distinguished both as the exemplary follower of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1) and the only one who speaks of others receiving him as Christ Jesus (Gal. 4:14). The unique distinction that these two men share of being likened to an angel of God thus seems to be directly connected to how they were Christlike in one manner or another. For us, therefore, to be Christlike as fully as God would have us to be, we should give special attention to what we can learn from these men about being like Christ.
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