Thinking of the phrase God is a consuming fire can make us quite uncomfortable; we love studying about the love of God, the faithfulness of God, the grace of God, but to think of Him as a fire conjures up all sorts of ideas and fears.
He has cut down in fierce anger all the might of Israel; he has withdrawn from them his right hand in the face of the enemy; he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob, consuming all around.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
Thinking of this subject can make us quite uncomfortable; we love studying about the love of God, the faithfulness of God, the grace of God, but to think of Him as a fire conjures up all sorts of ideas and fears. From the verses shown above, we can see that there are two sides of the application of God as a consuming fire.
As a Christian, we are thankful that God is all-powerful and able to go before us, protecting, guiding, and keeping us from evil. That is exactly what Deuteronomy 9:3 and Hebrews 12:28-29 are explaining. In Deuteronomy 9, the Israelites are ready to cross the Jordan and go in to conquer the promised land. The promise to the people is that God will go before them like a devouring fire destroying their enemies and protecting them. As a matter of fact, God had been going before the Israelites all through the wilderness as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
In Hebrews, that protection and all-encompassing ability to keep us and bring us to God's eternal kingdom are proven by the fact that God is able to do what He has promised.
The other verses above are written to Christians as a warning to be faithful to God, not leaving Him to worship the worldly idols all about them because God is a jealous God, an eternal fire. These verses are also written to non-Christians as well, warning them of God's everlasting fire that burns and destroys the wicked forever.
Many times, we like to live in a gray area between the absolutes of right and wrong; God and Satan. The truth, however, is that there is no gray area - only black and white. Do not be fooled by those around you who would twist the truth so much that it is difficult to tell right from wrong. The Bible is very clear; there are only two classes of people; believers and non-believers. God's eternal fire will protect the one, but destroy the other.
Pray today that you would cast away that gray area, and as a Christian, devote your whole life completely to God and to protecting and abiding by truth as revealed in the Word of God.
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