And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day. ~Joshua 8:28
Fire can be a friend or it can be a foe. When put to proper use, fire serves as a means for heat and is used for boiling, cooking, or smelting. Fire can be devastating when it is not controlled or when used for the wrong intent. Forest fires burn large amounts of landscape and leave a beautiful area blackened, scorched, and ruined. A household fire destroys valuables, memories, and even lives. Our God is described as a consuming fire. Fire is very descriptive in the Bible as God’s means to burn away.
We see the ruin of a fire.
“Joshua burnt Ai.” This means the entire city was burned down. When Nebuchadnezzar seized Jerusalem, he burned down its walls, gates, houses, and temple. The Day of God is when, after the close of the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment, God will burn the heavens, which shall melt away from fervent heat, and all of earth will be burned up. There is the ruin of fire. It leaves devastating results when it is done. Things burned up are not recoverable. Things burned up go up in smoke. Charred remains and ashes are all that remain.
We see the rainfall of fire.
God sent fire down from Heaven to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Elijah told the prophets of Baal that the God Who answers by fire is the true God. God answered his prayers more than once in sending fire down. The first time was to consume the sacrifice he placed on the altar. The next time was to consume two companies of armed soldiers who came to take him captive. There is judgment by fire. Joshua burning Ai and making it a heap is a picture of what we should want God to do with the sin in our life. That sin is burnt up and made into a heap.
We see the revealing in fire.
The works of every believer will be tried by fire at the judgment seat of Christ. It will reveal if we built with gold, silver, and precious stones or with wood, hay, and stubble. It will be testing by fire. What will remain will testify of what kind of material, motives, and methods we built with. Our salvation will not be tested by fire, but our works will be. For some Christians, it is very possible that the fire will reveal that they built with wrong materials and have nothing that survives the fire. If his works abide in the fire, he shall receive a reward. If his works are burned, he shall suffer loss. Be careful how you are building! One day, the fire will determine what sort it is!
We see the refining by fire.
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). God uses trials by fire to burn away dross and sin in our life. Fire is an absolute essential in the life of a Christian. God uses trials by fire as gold and silver that are refined and purified. The refining process in silver is completed when the refiner is able to see a clear reflection of his face in the liquid metal. God’s process of refining in us is completed when He sees His face clearly in our lives.
There is also revival by fire. God uses revival fire by the Holy Ghost to stir our hearts to fervency and devotion to Him. Let God apply the fire of revival in you so that you are pure, revived, and fit for the Master’s use.
Have a fiery God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Samuel 18-20