“Though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them” (verse 7). Out of a fire, one must come either burned or injured in some way. Israel has been in the fire already; so why is more fire to come? In this chapter, Israel resembles a wild vine which has been consumed at both ends by the fire, while the middle has been scorched, and which is now about to be given up to the fire, to cover the entire vine. Why such total destruction
for God’s people? When we read of such things, it is not encouraging to our ears.
However, God must communicate in very clear terms that He is Holy. If there were no consequences for our actions, no one would ever learn anything. Israel needed to learn a critical lesson, for Israel was in a very special category. For it was to be useful for the nations, to bring them to repentance. Because of their stubborn idolatry and refusal to be a true light to the Gentiles, they themselves were swallowed up by pagan culture.
Unfortunately, this is not some ancient history that we cannot understand or relate to, for in our own day God’s people mix paganism with the true faith, only to find themselves totally useless and spiritually disabled. This is because a mixture of truth and error produces nothing of value. Just like rubbish, the best thing left is to burn it. Please pray that the Lord would protect you from lies and false religion, that He would protect your heart so that you might worship and serve Him well!
Meditate on verse 7. How is God warning you in this verse? How are you going to respond to it?
My heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray that You will not set
Your face against me, instead protect me against false teaching. Forgive me all my iniquities. Amen.