Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fire from the Lord, part 1

"And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and burned up the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. And all the people saw and shouted and fell on their faces." Lev 9:24

The action and adventure has been rather scarce. Leviticus drags a plodding pace as all the instructions are finalized pertaining to personal holiness before the Lord. Suddenly, the final act is done, every one and every thing necessary is sanctified. Aaron with his sons are installed and worship begins--but not without a little excitement.

Some commentators think the response of the people was joyful and I suppose to a degree this may have been possible but then there were the fireworks. I don't think the shouting was jubilant but were screams of shock and fear. Note how they fell on their faces.

Look again at the flow of sudden action here:

"And Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out and blessed the people. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and burned up the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. And all the people saw and shouted and fell on their faces." Lev. 9:22-24

Make no mistake about it--the Lord is in the midst of them. The creator God, who judges false gods and delivers His people, speaker of the quaking mountain, is in the middle of them.

Christian, this same God is dwelling in you. While we may think of the book of Leviticus as the book of rules blood and fire, remember, He does not change. What an outpouring of His grace that He dwells in us! What an outpouring of mercy that we can enjoy Him! But none of this is possible without the shedding of the blood of His Son, Jesus. And a God of Fire! On our face is where we should be.

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