Todays readings.. Joshua 23&24, Isaiah 29, Hebrews 12
“FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE”
The above statement concludes the 12th chapter of Hebrews we read today. The whole chapter provides the climax to the remarkable 11th chapter with its testimony of the faithful; those who “died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” [v.13]. Today, all who are genuinely godly, feel they are “strangers and pilgrims” in this ungodly world.
The things which God, his prophets and His Son revealed and spoke of – were written down. They were preserved for those who genuinely seek the God-given meaning of life! Today those who have genuine “faith” in God’s word – read – and ‘live’ by them, an inspiration in their lives.
All such read – and have “their eyes” opened! Paul experienced the nature of the “consuming fire” in his conversion of the road to Damascus! He told King Agrippa how Jesus spoke to him and he had his “eyes” opened to “turn from darkness to light” to “receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith” [Acts 26 v.18] And down through the centuries God’s word has been available – warning that he will become “a consuming fire.” But this is for all those who fail to read his word – and act upon what they read!
Verse 27 of Hebrews ch. 12 is awesome. It is dangerous to simply ‘spiritualise’ the words – although undoubtedly they have a spiritual application; the next two and final verses declare – “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.”
Oh the wonder of “the things promised”! Oh – the awe of the “consuming fire” that is a prelude to the experience of being “sanctified by faith.” Genuine faith! Let us faithfully read and absorb God’s word every day – to build up our faith and so be saved to “to the uttermost.” Recall Hebrews 7 v.25