To our modern-world mindset it can be quite surprising to see just how often scripture talks about angels. They’re role throughout the Bible is significant. However, when you come across verses that speak of “the Angel of the LORD,” rather than “an” angel of the Lord, it is typically not referring to these created beings, but rather to what is known in theology as a theophany—a visible appearance of God to a person. It is important to recognize this distinction so as not to attribute certain attributes, such as being worthy of worship, to the created angels. Exodus chapter three provides one of the more obvious cases of “the Angel of the LORD” referring to God.
Then the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. . . . Then He continued, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:2, 6)
Here we see that “the Angel of the LORD” appears to Moses in a burning bush. Then as He continues speaking to Moses, He makes the clear statement that He is God. Throughout scripture it is reaffirmed that God spoke to Moses in the burning bush.
As you read your Bible, take note of situations where “the Angel of the LORD” appears to people in contrast to when an angel of the Lord speaks.