When looking at the character of “God”, we must focus our attention on those qualities which, when placed together, describe His very nature. The simplest way I know to accomplish this is to look at what the Bible says “God is”. If I were to describe my earthly father in such a way as to paint a picture of his nature; I would describe who he is (or in his case, was). I can tell you that Leslie was extremely meek, humble and hungry to learn. He was very kind and gentle in his later years. Being of Swedish heritage, he was blond haired and for most of his life very lean. When he was younger he had a lightning quick temper and a strong competitive drive. If you put all these qualities together, you could envision what kind of person my dad was.
In doing a simple phrase search of “God is”, it is very interesting that the first thing mentioned in the Bible that “God is”, is found in Deuteronomy 4:24 where it states:
“For the Lord (YAHWEH) thy God (Elohim) is a consuming fire, even a jealous God (El).”
Right off the bat, YAHWEH our Elohim says that He is jealous God who will devour and consume something. What is He going to consume? Verse 24 does not tell us, so we must go back and find the context. In the preceding verse 23 it says:
“Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.”
Moses was exhorting the people to be careful, watch out and guard themselves so as to not forget the covenant of YAHWEH their Elohim which He had made with them. To understand what this covenant was and why it was so very important we must go back in the context to verses 9 and 10. For the remainder of this article I will be quoting from “The Scriptures” Translation published by Institute For Scriptural Research in South Africa.
“Only, guard yourself, and guard your life diligently, lest you forget the Words your eyes have seen, and lest they turn aside from your heart all the days of your life. And you shall make them known to your children and your grandchildren.
The day when you stood before YAHWEH your Elohim in Horeb, YAHWEH said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me and I make them hear My Words, so that they learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth and teach them to their children.”
This day spoken of by Moses is when God gave the “10 Commandments” along with numerous other laws as recorded in Exodus chapters 19-24. I do want to call your attention to Exodus 19:16-20 which helps us understand the record in Deuteronomy better:
“And it came to be, on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain. And the sound of the ram’s horn was very loud, and all the people who were in the camp trembled.
And Mosheh (Moses) brought the people out of the camp to meet with Elohim, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
And Mount Sinai was in smoke, all of it, because YAHWEH descended upon it in fire. And its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and all the mountain trembled exceedingly.
And when the blast of the ram’s horn sounded long and became louder and louder, Mosheh spoke, and Elohim answered him by voice.
And YAHWEH came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And YAHWEH called Mosheh to the top of the mountain, and Mosheh went up.”
What an incredible experience for those who were there! Without veering too far off the path, can you imagine what it will be like when Jesus Christ returns and sets foot on the Mount of Olivet! Revelation 19:11-16 gives you a good idea if you wanted to read it some time.
In Deuteronomy 4, Moses is exhorting the people to never forget the whole experience of when God Himself came down on the mountain and called Moses up to receive His covenant. Verse 13 explains what this covenant was:
“And He made known to you His covenant which He commanded you to do, the Ten Words, and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. “
The covenant which Moses exhorted the people to NEVER FORGET was what people call the 10 Commandments. When you look at those commandments, the first two deal with the same subject which is; NO IDOLATRY ALLOWED! In Exodus 20: 2-5 we see:
“I am YAHWEH your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt), out of the house of slavery.
You have no other mighty ones (elohim) against My face.
You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.
You do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, YAHWEH your Elohim am a jealous El…”
Obviously, when you combine the record in Exodus with the one in Deuteronomy you see that what God will consume are any idols His people put up against His face, bow down to and serve.
Never forget what YAHWEH our Elohim has done for you through His son Jesus Christ. Guard your heart so as to never forget the glorious new covenant which He has made with us through the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ His Son. Cast your idols down and let the consuming fire of YAHWEH our Elohim devour them once and for all.
God Bless you and keep you safe until next time.