Divine Devouring Fire
I came across the above quote on my facebook feed today, and it really caused me to think. It had no scriptural reference. Nor did I recognize the name associated with the quote.
“Your Lord is a fire…”
No. No, He isn’t. He’s mercy and love and creativity–not destruction.
What an awful way to present God. And this is a Christian site sharing this!
Well, I ran across the image a couple times this evening, pausing to ponder its meaning each time.
Before reading The Crucible with my high school Juniors, we do quite a bit of background work to make sure we understand the history behind the witch trials. In order to understand the history, we must familiarize ourselves with the core beliefs of the Puritans.
As part of the front-loading process, we read an excerpt from the sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. My students don’t typically appreciate the excerpt. However, it gives them a clear picture of how the Puritans of this time viewed God.
And every time I scrolled past this image, I kept seeing God gingerly holding a spider between His index finger and thumb, as if it were the most vile thing ever created, over the raging fires and flames of an inferno called Hell.
The God I know created the spider from His imagination and creativity. He loves His creation. He does not abhor His creation.
Discipline? Yes. Give them freewill to choose heaven or hell? Yes. But to barely hold them over hell and then intentionally let them go? No.
So, imagine my surprise when I was reading the Bible this evening and stopped with Hebrews 12:29.
For our God is a devouring fire. Hebrews 12:29
Our God acted as a devouring fire when He consumed (burned up) all of our sin when He accepted His Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sins. Our sins are ashes once we invite Jesus to become our personal Lord and Savior.
Where do we all gather when we’re camping?
What about the church hayride and bonfire?
Christmas Eve to read the Christmas story?
When it’s cold outside?
Don’t we rush to the fire? Don’t we draw in and huddle close? Do we find ourselves inviting others into the circle so they don’t miss out?
That fire isn’t all a destructive thing.
It brings warmth. Ability to cook. Light to the darkness. Fellowship. Protection. It provides comfort.
So, if the Lord is a fire, and He lives in our hearts, what condition should our hearts be in?
Cold? Lukewarm? Or bonfire blazing?