Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” - Judges 6:21-23
I've always assumed that when the angel of the LORD disappears, he (or it?) has gone back to heaven, or gone on to another assignment somewhere. Yet here the angel of the LORD (a term used interchangeably with "the LORD," as in verse 14) disappears, but the LORD still hears and responds to Gideon. I can't help wondering if the angel, while hidden from sight (Hebrew: "he went from the eyes of him"), was still present, standing just where he had been before, still listening and interacting with Gideon. Gideon thought the angel was gone, but as soon as he spoke, he heard the LORD's response, perhaps coming from the same place where the angel had stood. I would've jumped out of my sandals! How easy it is to forget that when the LORD is hidden from our eyes he is still here!