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Shaliah - An Introduction to the Law of Agency - Pg 6


The scriptures declare that Gideon was used as an agent of God. Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised.”[115] Scripture could not be any clearer that God saved Israel by Gideon's hand. God used Moses in the same way to carry out his vengeance on the Medianites in Numbers 31. The LORD said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Medianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.” So Moses said to the people, “Arm some of your men to go to war against the Medianites and to carry out the LORD’s vengeance on them.[116] This passage is in unity with what the prophet Isaiah declared in Isaiah 34. The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all armies. He will totally destroy[117] them; he will give them over to slaughter.[118] Though Isaiah was speaking of Edom in particular, he addressed the surrounding nations as well. God gave Edom over to slaughter just as He did with the Medianites.

The word agent in Scripture

The principle of agency is applied throughout scripture. The actual Greek word for agent, (ekdikos),[119] is applied only twice. It is defined as an avenger, one who inflicts punishment;[120] (1. without law, unjust; 2. exacting penalty from; a legal representative.)[121] In Romans 13:4 Paul is addressing the matter of submission to authorities and rebellion against what God has established. He writes, "for [the authority] is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent (ekdikos) of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer".[122] In 1 Thessalonians 4:6 Paul is instructing the church to live lives pleasing to God. He writes, that no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish (ekdikos) men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.[123] In both passages the word ekdikos is used to describe an avenger or one who will inflict punishment. The passage in Romans 13:4 is clear that God will avenge through his appointed agents. The way Paul uses ekdikos in his letter to the Romans was to describe God’s representatives on earth. These representatives would avenge the wrongdoer as his agents of wrath; similar to when Moses carried out the LORD'S vengeance on the Medianites. In modern times, this may apply to military and law enforcement personnel. The judges of Israel had roles as God’s representatives on earth to administer justice. The Hebrew word elohim, depending on context, can mean the Supreme Deity, or “a god” or “gods” or even “angels” or human “judges.”[124] In Exodus 21:6 we read, if a Hebrew servant does not want to be free from his master, his master must take him before the judges (or before God). Our Lord Messiah Jesus reaffirms this truth in John 10:34 when he is accused of blasphemy, “Is it not written in your law that, I have said you are gods?” Thessalonians 4 does not clearly state that God will punish through the means of agents; however, we find in Scripture that God seems to act in that fashion. Paul states this truth in Galatians 3:19, “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator (Moses), until the seed (Jesus) would come to whom the promise had been made (NASB).” Whether God avenges the wicked exclusively by Himself or through agents, God will restore all things and His justice will be vindicated.

Jesus our Lord Messiah, God’s Ultimate Revelation to Man

“And you are the heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, "Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”[125] “Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”[126] “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.”[127]“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”[128]“For as the Father has life in Himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”[129]Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.[130] Jesus our Lord Messiah, who is the Son of God, was given all authority in heaven and earth.[131] This authority included forgiving sins[132] and speaking the words of the only true God, the Father.[133] Jesus did, of course, claim to function for God as his agent.[134] His words are the words of God, his acts are the acts of God; and the Father has conferred on him the right to forgive sins, judge the world, and even raise the dead.[135] He is not YHWH, but His supremely elevated representative; Jesus’ equality of function with his Father does not mean that Jesus is God.[136] The significance of all this is that the principle of agency has huge ramifications for our understanding of who Jesus is and what his purpose and claims were.[137] Jesus claimed to represent God like no one else before him, to be the unique spokesman for God his Father and to speak the ultimate words of God: he who hears the Son hears the words of God Himself.[138] The opening verses in Hebrews identify the principle of agency as God’s way of revealing Himself to mankind throughout our existence. In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.[139]


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115Judges 6:36 (Emphasis mine)
116Numbers 31:1-3 (Emphasis mine)
117The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the LORD, often by totally destroying them. Zondervan, Bible: New International Version (Emphasis mine) footnote
118Isaiah 34:2 (Emphasis mine)
119William D. Mounce, Interlinear for the rest of us, Strong’s Number [1558] (2006, pg. 821)
120William D. Mounce, Interlinear for the rest of us, Strong’s Number [1558] (2006, pg. 821)
121G. Abbott-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (1936, pg. 137)
122Zondervan, Bible: New International Version (Emphasis mine)
123Zondervan, Bible: New International Version (Emphasis mine)
124Greg S. Deuble, They never told me THIS in church (2006, pg. 68)
125Acts 3:25-26 (Emphasis mine)
126Acts 2:22 (Emphasis mine)
127John 3:34-35 (Emphasis mine)
128Acts 17:31 (Emphasis mine)
129John 5:27 (Emphasis mine)
130John 5:22 (Emphasis mine)
131Matthew 9:8, 28:18; Luke 10:19; John 3:35, 5:27
132Matthew 9:6; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:20-24, 10:22;
133Luke 10:21-22; John 5:43-44, 6:57, 8:54, 10:29-30, 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6
134Anthony F. Buzzard & Charles F. Hunting , The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound, (1998, pg. 324) (Emphasis mine)
135Anthony F. Buzzard & Charles F. Hunting , The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound, (1998, pg. 324) (Emphasis mine)
136Anthony F. Buzzard & Charles F. Hunting , The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound, (1998, pg. 324) (Emphasis mine)
137Greg S. Deuble, They never told me THIS in church (2006, pg. 71)
138Greg S. Deuble, They never told me THIS in church (2006, pg. 71-72) (Emphasis mine)
139Hebrews 1:1-2 (Emphasis mine)

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