Acts Day 16 - The Fire of God
2:1 "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
You begin to learn as you walk with God and study His ways that nothing is random. Pentecost is the celebration at the end of the feast of weeks. Seven weeks to be exact. Seven weeks from Passover, the night they left Egypt until their arrival at Sinai. Day 50 or Pentecost was the day God spoke His ten commandments or promises from Mount Sinai. Leaving Egypt was leaving the tyranny of bondage. Arriving at Sinai was the beginning of the establishment of Israel as a nation with the giving of the law (promises) of their King.
Jesus died at Passover symbolizing our freedom from the tyranny and bondage of sin. He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the whole world. Now 7 weeks later on the 50th day God is establishing a new "nation" (body of Christ) with wind and fire just as the top of Mount Sinai rumbled and flashed with wind and fire.
Today we'll just deal with the fire. Fire is a major theme in Scripture but the fire of God is not like any fire we know. Last night we had a cake to mark what would have been Nicolas's 6th birthday. Mostly we did it because he had already requested the cake he wanted for his next birthday right after his 5th birthday.
His little brother Emmett had the job of blowing out the candle. He leaned to far forward and the heat from that one little candle singed his eyebrow.
That's quite a contrast from the fire of God. We first encounter it at the burning bush. Moses sees a bush on fire but it isn't burning. The fire of God is visible, even glorious, but not destructive.
At Sinai the top of the mountain seems to be a veritable storm of wind and fire and smoke. Some have described it as a volcano yet Moses was in the midst of that seemingly violent storm of wind and fire and completely unharmed.
A few years later Aaron is the High Priest and his two sons are serving in the temple but essentially mocking God by doing things as they please and not as God designed. The Bible says fire came from God and consumed them. It seems so violent until you read the rest of the story and find out that they were carried out of the temple by their clothing. If a single birthday cake can generate enough heat to singe an eyebrow surely fire that had enough heat to consume a body would burn up the clothing of the person first.
Clearly we are dealing with very different fire.
On the day of Pentecost as the wind roared something like tongues of fire came down on the heads of each person gathered there but no hair was burned or even singed. What is this fire from God that burns nothing but changes everything?
We'll talk about that tomorrow...