Our second metaphor that teaches us what God is like is found in Hebrews 12:29, “our God is a consuming fire”. This is one that we might wish was not found in God’s word, or if it is in the Bible we think it belongs in the Old Testament (thinking the God of the Old Testament was different from God in the New Testament) but in spite of our feelings about this we cannot dismiss it: it is what the Bible says and it says this in the New Testament!
What is your first impression when you hear God is a consuming fire?
The Hebrew writer is actually quoting from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:24). What does the Deuteronomy passage say immediately before (23) and immediately after (26) the statement that God is a consuming fire? What does this tell us about the meaning and application of the metaphor God is a consuming fire?
Look now at the context of the statement in Hebrews going back to Hebrews 12:14. How is the context in Hebrews similar to what we saw in Deuteronomy 4?
Consider the following comments that have been made on the idea “our God is a consuming fire”:
“Sin under the gospel is as abominable as it was under the law”.
“While God is very merciful and loving, he will not overlook willful disobedience, but will destroy those who despise his commandments”.
Looking again at Hebrews 12:28 and 29 what does it say we have from God, and what kind of heart does it say we should seek to have that can help us be at peace with our God who is a consuming fire?
Share any thoughts you have in the reply box below. We will review this material together in our Wednesday Night Bible class. Join us in person at 1796 Old Middleburg Road North, Jacksonville, Florida or watch on Facebook Live.