Today’s Bible reading is Deuteronomy 9 and 1 Corinthians 16.
Here’s something to think about from Deuteronomy 9. Moses is prepping the children of Israel for battle. They are on the brink of finally claiming the land that the LORD had promised to give to their forefather Abraham. But before they march a single step, blow a single trumpet, or raise a single weapon, Moses wants to embed a fearful assurance in the hearts of these people.
“Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the LORD your God.” (Deut 9:1-3)
Long time ago, right? We live under different circumstances, with different battles to fight, under a different covenant built on better promises. But at least one thing remains the same, and it’s worth thinking about today. In the New Testament book of Hebrews, Christians are encouraged:
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. (Heb 12:28-29)
Our God was and is a consuming fire. Giants ancient or modern stand no chance against him. Armies and authorities–whether of flesh and blood or the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places–stand no chance against our King. Doubt, despair, even death itself stands no chance against the Warrior who has gone before us.
Therefore, let us be grateful. We have received an unshakeable kingdom which is freely open to all, the cost of citizenship having already been paid with the blood of a royal Son. Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to our Savior. Let us walk in reverence and awe today in the light of the One who has gone before us. Our God was and is a leading, purifying, consuming fire.