Q. I noticed something today while reading Judges 13:17,18 that peaked my interest and connected some dots for me in scripture. The angel of the Lord was visiting Manoah and telling him about the future birth of Samson, and how to raise him in the Lord (summary of vs. 2-16), and Manoah asked the angel his name so that he could honor him when his word about Samson came true. The angel replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.”
There are other scripture passages where people being addressed by the “angel of the Lord” asked the angel his name. Somewhere else in scripture, maybe you know the reference, the Bible mentions in Heaven we, the raptured saints, will be given new names known only to the Father, perhaps indicative of the personal and unique lessons we learned by being overcomers in Christ?.
Do you think all of these passages somehow tie in the significance of our future names (and how they will be known only to the Father, indicating tremendous intimacy with God) and the nature of our co-servitude to God with the angels?
A. Through out the Old Testament there are visits to mankind by angels. (The word for angel simply means messenger) Sometimes the visit is by an angel of the Lord and sometimes by The Angel of the Lord. Usually an Old testament visit by The Angel of the Lord is a visit by the Lord Jesus in His pre-incarnate state.
Judges 13:17-18 describes a visit by The Angel of the Lord. The literal translation of the angel’s answer is, “Why do you ask my name? It is Wonderful.” This is a clue as to who He was and that at His birth the Lord embodied the entire Trinity, because in Isaiah 9:6 we’re told that the child’s name would be Wonderful (the Son) Counselor (the Holy Spirit) the Mighty God (the Father)and so on.
In Rev. 2:17 we’re told that overcomers would be given a white stone with a new name written on it, a name that only the one receiving it would know. In Middle Eastern culture, the white stone symbolized acquittal in a jury’s vote. It was also given to someone who had been freed from slavery. And when a representative was sent to a distant city to conduct business on behalf of his principal, he would present a white stone with a secret name known only to the one receiving it.
This would authenticate the representative and assure that he would be hospitably received just as if he were the principal.
The white stone with its secret name that we’re given by Jesus symbolizes that we’ve been acquitted, freed from slavery, and when presented to God authenticates us and assures that we’ll be hospitably received into the Kingdom, just as if we were the Lord Himself.
So at least in the sense of Rev. 2:17 the name denotes a special intimacy with God, equaled only by the intimacy He shares with His Son. As for co-servitude to God with the angels, that comparison can only apply to the extent that a wife’s relationship with her husband can be compared to that of a household servant. While they may share some of the same duties, there’s a whole lot more to the wife’s role.