Fire!

Many years we are able to retreat as men of our local church. A lot of fun happens, a little work and some teaching. We enjoy just hanging out together. One of the highlights, maybe second to the time spent on the range, is the camp fire. I am kind of known as the fire guy but there are others. We can usually get a large fire going. It is fun to see the guys have to back up because of the intensity of the heat. Lately we have been kind of small as the camp we have met at wants us to keep it ‘controlled’. Maybe they heard about the time it got a little out of control. We had done our normal fire, a fairly large one. It was a little breezy and we had the wood pile off to the east. You know what happened. We saw it spark and got it knocked down quickly without a big deal. I had to get to the Dells that evening for their opener. As I drove back into camp I smelled like, well like there had been a fire, more than a camp fire. Sure enough. The pile had got a spark and this time it was much more significant. This is a great example of a controlled fire being great but an out of control fire is not so good.
The Bible has much to say about fire and you will read that below.
Let’s study!
Proverbs 30:11 There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.
Four verses that start with “there are those”. Let’s look at that. First, Not a good one. We have talked about the importance of treating our parents with respect. This is going back to the Ten Commandments but it is even right from the view of the world. It is our tendency as youth to rebel and disobey and disrespect our parents. That is sin, it is wrong. You are being foolish if you do that.
Proverbs 30:12 There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth.
The second “there are those”. This one could hurt as much if not more that the first. What is in our heart? What is our motivation? Do we say we are ok? Do we ignore the LORD? Do we know the pain we cause by our disobedience? Stop lying to self! This is critical if we want to have the relationship God wants us to have with Him.
Proverbs 30:13 There are those—how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift!
Number three of the “there are those” continues in the area of pride. If we think too much of ourselves there is destruction ahead. In the arena of sports it is very easy to get caught up in pride. There has to be this balance of humility and aggressiveness and the will to win without breaking the rules. Can you do that? Will you do that?
Proverbs 30:14 There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.
The fourth and final “there are those” speaks to the words that come out of our mouth flowing from our heart. Just like the animal kingdom this verse points to those that attack the weak and take advantage them. What does your life reflect on the poor? What does your life reflect in the areas listed in these four verses?
Proverbs 30:15-16 The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”: Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
Shout this loud! American church listen! Christian and Christian family, LISTEN! God is very clear here. What does it take to satisfy you? How much, what, who is enough?
“fire” – Fire is used often by the LORD in His word to us, the Bible. Let’s take a quick look at “fire”, it could be a series.
430 times in the Bible
6 times in Proverbs
97 times in Ex., Lev., Nu., Dt
108 times in Isaiah, Jer., Ezk.
25 times in Rev.
First time Gen 15:17
Gen. Sodom and Gomorrah
Gen 22 Abraham, Isaac and the offering/sacrifice
Exodus 3 Moses and the Bush and God speaking, also used in Dt 5:4, 22-26 God speaks out of fire
Exodus 13 fire is leading the people of Israel
Exodus not so good, a calf comes out of fire and then back in to be destroyed
Lev. We see fire used often in the tabernacle, altar, used for sacrifices and offering
Numbers 11 fire destroys enemies of the Israelites
Numbers 31:23; Dt 4:24 used to purify
Malachi  3:2 is a refiner
Matthew 18:9; 25:41; Mark 9:43; Rev 20:14 hell, lake of fire
Jeremiah 23:29 God’s Word is like a hammer and fire
Jude :23 mercy snatches out of the fires
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 test works
So we can see that fire can be good or bad. Used for, by God or against Him. It can refine us or destroy us. Think deeply on this and study well.
I was going to continue on to a few more verses but there is plenty to chew on here. Take your time and think on them.
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

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