PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Deuteronomy 3-4
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“The Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace.” (Deuteronomy 4:20)
The words “iron-smelting furnace” struck me, in light of how God is later described.
“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:24)
In ancient times the gods were often portrayed by fire, and served through fire.
You brought sacrifices to your god, and they were consumed by fire on the altar.
This could include placing your children into the arms of Molech, a consuming fire.
It seems that Moses is describing God in the same way, a God that consumes.
But we hear a different story; this is a God that rescues from the consuming furnace.
Moses is contrasting the God that rescues the victims of fire with compassion.
This God lives among, speaks with and is passionate in faithful, loyal love for people.
Moses warns them NOT to return to the cruel consuming gods of their neighbours.
Those who do will find that God will be like fire to them if they follow the gods of fire.
Ultimately God wants to rescue us from the fire of sin, misery, violence, cruelty and hate.
Jesus also warns that those who return to the fire of sin will be burned by it.
God’s consuming fire is good; it consumes the evil that is consuming us!
Lord, it is hard to imagine you as a consuming fire. But your fire purges and destroys evil, and is meant to rescue us from the fire. Thank you for entering the fire for me, to rescue me from it!