Daily Archives: October 10, 2006


My family camps in the summer - sometimes just the three of us, sometimes with my parents and siblings. Always, there's a fire.

I can sit for hours just staring into the flame. Life-giving and life-taking. Sometimes we don't use campstoves at all - we just cook over the fire.

We keep it burning.

The Bible sometimes portrays God as flame.

One of the first times is when God entered into the covenant with Abraham. In Genesis 15, Abraham prepared the animals for entering into a covenant. The phrase most often used was to "cut a covenant" - animals were cut in half and both parties entering into the covenant walked between the halves together.

God did not do this with Abraham. The animals were prepared and God appeared to Abraham in a dream, as a smoking firepot and a flaming torch. The flame alone moved between the the halves of the animals. God alone would keep the covenant, regardless of how man would fail.

He would keep it burning.

Later, Moses would have an encounter with God - in the form of a burning bush.

The Lord said,

"I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey..."

It was the Lord that kept it burning.

Much, much later, entering the New Covenant time, it was the Holy Spirit that appeared. Divided tongues of fire rested on the people gathered and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit keeps it burning.

What is our fascination with fire? Life-giving, life-taking. Essential for life, yet dangerous.

Remember the line from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Safe? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.

Like fire.

Like Abraham, it is not us that keeps it burning - it's God.
Like Moses, He appears where and when we do not expect.
Like at Pentecost, He rests in each of those who trust in Him.

"He's the King, I tell you..."

He keeps it burning.