Our God is a consuming fire...
Let's dive into another devotional drawn from nature. Our focus: flames! Organic flames! At least that is what I think of when I look at these flowers, especially as they blow in the wind.
The Bible often compares our Lord to fire, and frequently ties Him to the wind. There’s Psalms 104:4 – “He makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.” And then there’s Isaiah 66:15 – “For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.”
I feel close to such scenes when I encounter flowers couched in flame. It’s like scripture comes to life. Take Exodus 3:2… “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.”
This fiery symbolism changes a bit in Song of Solomon 4:6, yet the message remains much the same: “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.”
Revelation often links this to judgment for sin, as do many other scriptures. Consider Genesis 3:24, where the Bible's fiery justice references may start: "He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life."
Ezekiel offers many prominent symbols, such as 20:47 – “Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it.”
2nd Peter 3:10 aligns with this – “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”
Here's a favorite brought to harmonic life by the Christian rock band Third Day... Hebrews 12:29 – “For our God is a consuming fire.”
That verse reminds us that such symbolism points not just to justice, but love. Scripture often tells us that our Lord, the three in one – Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost – uses wind and flame to heal, restore, and lead His children.
Isaiah captured all these examples. Consider Isaiah 29:6 – “You will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.” And Isaiah 43:2 – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
Trailblazing comes forth in Exodus 13:21 – “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”
Let's roll on! Luke 3:16 – “John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
Jeremiah 23:29 – “Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”
Job 41:21 – “His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth.”
That leads into my favorite wind and flame reference. It comes soon after the first verse in the second chapter of Acts (a subliminal music reference there, if you get it): “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance…”
Oh, to have witnessed that… Amen!