Exodus 24:17; Hebrews 12:29

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
17And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. (Exodus 24:17)29For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)It is more than probable that there is an allusion in the latter scripture to the former; and it is very evident that the two scriptures are morally connected. " The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring [the word might be rendered consuming I fire." This was the glory of Jehovah as revealed in relation to Israel in connection with Sinai; in a word, it was the expression of His holiness as set forth in His righteous requirements. But His people were sinners, and could not, therefore, satisfy His just demands. The consequence was that this glory became in Jehovah's government, as based upon the law, a " consuming fire " in the judgment that was continually visited upon Israel because of their repeated transgressions. Moses thus said, " We are consumed [a kindred word] by Thine anger." (Psa. 90:77For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. (Psalm 90:7)) In the passage in the Hebrews the apostle says that "our God is a consuming fire." It is to be distinctly observed that it is of "our" God, the God of Christians, that he thus speaks. After the declaration that God is about to shake not the earth only, but also heaven, he proceeds, " Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear," and this for the reason that the God whom we serve is a "consuming fire." Once more then the "consuming fire" is an expression of the holiness of God-in testing all our service, and in the necessary judgment of all that is evil in it. (Compare 1 Cor. 3:1313Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (1 Corinthians 3:13)) Grace was unknown at Sinai; but while now God is known as the God of all grace, this in no wise weakens His holiness. He is light as well as love, and, whether in our worship or our service, it should never be forgotten that our God is holy, and consequently a "consuming fire" when He has to do with evil. In the holiness of God, indeed, lies our eternal security. E. D.