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Like A Devouring Fire

Exodus 24:16-17 (ESV) -- The glory of the LORD dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.

Moses shared a special relationship with God. We read about this throughout Exodus and some of the other early books of the Bible. The relationship was one of a man to a friend. Moses had access to God in ways that men before did not experience. When Moses would spend time in the presence of the LORD, his face shone from the glory of God. 

Yet Moses wanted more. He longed to see God’s glory. But the LORD tells Moses he can’t look upon His glory and live. It’s too great. It’s overwhelming. 

Our passage today hints at why it is too great. We read in Exodus 24 that “the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.” The glory of God was like a devouring fire. What does that mean? A devouring fire consumes everything in its path. The people of Israel could look up at the peak of the mountain and see the glory of God shining there. It terrified them. 

It may be possible that we’ve witnessed great things in our lives. I remember seeing a solar eclipse several years ago. During the middle of the day the earth went completely dark. It was awe-inspiring. The sight was beautiful. I felt small in the wake of it. But this is only a taste of natural glory from creation. It only points to the infinite worth and greatness of the Creator.

The glory of God is a consuming fire. His greatness and beauty are without match in this world. We want to position our hearts and lives to be those who praise the glory of God. We want to lift our hearts and lives to live for His glory and renown. No one is like our God. We would do well to recognize this and live in light of it.

Reflection & Journal: 
- What does the glory of God mean?
- In what ways would we say that the glory of God is a devouring fire? 
- Why should we fight to position our hearts to see and savor the glory of God?

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