Protected by Fire

16 Jan

It is so fresh to be able to turn the proverbial corner on this discussion of God’s fire. Having shared about the consuming fires, the next one comes with a couple of surprises. At least it did for me when I dug into it: the fire of protection.

I knew of its use, but the extent of it—put into perspective—surprised me. When Israel left Egypt, God protected his people with a pillar of fire. The protection was manifested in three distinct ways.
1. With their backs to the Red Sea and the Egyptian army bearing down on them, God’s pillar of fire moved between Israel and the enemy army. It held the army back until all of Israel had safely crossed the Red Sea.
2. A pillar of cloud by day and one of fire at night lead Israel. Fire gave them light in their travel so they would not fall or encounter other dangers.
3. When either pillar stopped, Israel would set up camp. The pillar of fire at night gave light in the camp so Israel was protected from any enemy—man or beast—attempting to enter their camp by cover of darkness.

Pretty cool, huh? I didn’t need to look them up. However, when I did reread the account, I was reminded that this happened every day from the time they started out of Egypt until they crossed into the promised land. Forty years times 365 days. Surely, this added to the reasons the nations feared Israel passing through their land. All could see Israel’s God was with them. He guarded them jealously and fearsomely.

When I think of the length of time, the awesomeness of its appearance, and the faithfulness of God in it; I wonder why God’s judgment comes first to mind when his fire is mentioned. If you haven’t caught the thread, let me state again that God intends his fire for our good.

One overlooked fact (the second surprise) strengthens this argument/conclusion. The first mention of fire in the Bible is found in Genesis chapter three. After throwing Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, God set an angel with a flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life. We are told God was concerned what man might do should he decide to take of its fruit and live forever.

We can interpret symbolism in this passage to indicate Jesus is the Tree of Life. Creating the protective fire to separate the Tree of Life from mankind assured its unveiling until God’s appointed time.

However, it can also be that the fiery sword protected man from himself. He had taken the huge step to be at odds against God and to try to be a god himself. Imagine how wicked mankind could become if he could live forever. And, being subject to death stood as the main obstacle to being a god. As it was, men lived 600, 700, 800, 900 plus years until the flood. God said at that time he was going to limit their lives to 120 years. By the time the Psalms were written, life expectancy was reduced to three score and ten, with only a few living beyond that. Even cut that short, there seems to be no limit to the evil men can design.

Since the beginning, the fire of protection had such a major role in God’s story. It stands to reason it will have its part in the promised baptism of fire, as well. I don’t know how it will manifest, but I pray my eyes are opened to see and recognize it when it happens.

One Response to “Protected by Fire”

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  1. America in Bible Prophesy | Boosterclub Blog -

    […] right?; Baptism of Fire Type 2; Purification adds by taking away; When is a fiery trial not one?; Protected by fire; Burning fire on the altar of worship; The seventh glorious fire. Jesus’s blueprint blogs: Salt […]

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