Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Consuming Fire

16 Now the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
(Exodus 24:16-18, New King James Version)

Consuming Fire

I have never had the misfortune to see, or even worse, to have my property destroyed by a forest fire. I cannot imagine how that must feel. I have a book in my library which tells about the great Peshtigo fire in the forests of Wisconsin which happened at the same time as the great Chicago fire. The heat was so great that huge fireballs were hurled across the waters of Green Bay and ignited the woods in the Door Peninsula. There was no escaping the heat; even many who sought refuge in wells were not safe.

I thought of that as I was reading the verses shown above from Exodus 24.

The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.

Just imagine what they saw! Just imagine how they felt! I can think of many things they must have felt: awe, wonder, terror, humility, fear, etc. Our God is a consuming fire, which serves two purposes. A fire purifies, but it also consumes and destroys. The Christian comes from the fire of God purified and refined, but the wicked are consumed and destroyed.

I wonder if attitudes would be different if people saw the glory of God today as a consuming fire. You would think that everyone would fall before the Lord, would you not? However, that is not what happened among the Israelites. Even though God continued to guide them for 40 years as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, they still rebelled against Him.

Some day we will sit in the presence of God and behold His glory, but in our present state, we would be blinded because of our own sins. That reminds me of the song, "We Shall Behold Him." I think it would be good for us to meditate upon these words today.


The sky shall unfold preparing His entrance
The stars shall applaud Him
With thunders of praise
The sweet light in His eyes shall,
Enhance those awaiting
And we shall behold Him, then face to face

We shall behold Him
We shall behold Him
Face to face
In all of His glory
We shall behold Him
We shall behold Him
Face to face, our Savior and Lord

The angels will sound the shouts of His coming
The sleeping shall rise
From their slumbering place
And those who remain
Shall be changed in a moment
We shall behold Him, our Savior and Lord

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

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