Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 14, 2022

“the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 24:12-18.

“Now the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.”  So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God.  But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you.  And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you;  whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.”  Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.  The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days;  and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.  And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.  Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain;  and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”  Exodus 24:12-18.


In today’s Scripture, we get another appearance of the LORD.  “And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.”  Verse 17.  We eagerly meditate on it. 

Many are preoccupied with their own appearance.  But, Reformed Doctrine is preoccupied with the appearances of the LORD, even consumed with the desire to know God.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  John 17:3.

So, what does the appearance of the LORD in today’s Scripture tell us about the LORD?

First of all, this appearance tells us the LORD is glorious:  “the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire”.  

Second, the closest thing that we know is like a consuming fire is the sun, and Scripture describes the LORD as a sun.

“11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:11.

As just one example of what the sun does, the sun gives light so we can see.  Like the sun, the LORD gives light so we can see.  

“And there will no longer be any night;  and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them;  and they will reign forever and ever.”  Revelation 22:5.  

Third, the LORD punishes His enemies like a consuming fire. 

“Sinners in Zion are terrified;
Trembling has seized the godless.
“Who among us can live with the consuming fire?
Who among us can live with continual burning?” Isaiah 33:14.

“27 Behold, the name of the LORD comes from a remote place;
Burning is His anger and dense is His smoke;
His lips are filled with indignation
And His tongue is like a consuming fire;

30 And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard,
And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger,
And in the flame of a consuming fire
In cloudburst, downpour and hailstones.

33 For Topheth has long been ready,
Indeed, it has been prepared for the king.
He has made it deep and large,
A pyre of fire with plenty of wood;
The breath of the LORD, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire.” Isaiah 30:27 and 30 and 33.

But, there is hope!

When we know the LORD is a consuming fire, such knowledge causes us to show reverence and awe to the LORD which leads us to salvation.

“See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.  For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.  And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”  This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;  for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:25-29.


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