Food for Friday

And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat, which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:24

Have you ever had a young Christian ask you how to tell what God wants them to do with their life? Have you ever had an unbeliever ask you for proof that the Bible is the Word of God, or for proof that God exists? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have an instant demonstration of the presence and power of God? For example, something like what occurred in our text today, when the glory of the Lord was manifested in fire that burst forth and consumed the offering that was on the altar in the tabernacle. No wonder the people shouted and fell on their faces. This was a miraculous demonstration of the reality and power of God. Why don’t we have such a demonstration today?

2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that we walk by faith, not by sight. The Israelite in the Old Testament was able to see the furnishings in the tabernacle, to see the offerings slain and placed on the altar, to see the priests carry out their functions regarding all those offerings and ordinances, and, as in the case of our text, to actually see fire from God consume those offerings. You and I don’t have those things. We don’t have any certified portrait or movie showing us the events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ. We don’t have any miraculous event that displays the presence and power of God, although the charismatics claim to have such. No, we who are walking by faith have something far better than the shadows of the Old Testament. We have the Word of God. And we have the power of faith.

Fire from God was a wonderful demonstration, but not everybody got to see it; only those who were present at the time could actually confirm that it happened. People who were unable to attend, people who came the next day, people who came ten, 25, or 100 years later would have no experience or proof. But every Christian has a Bible. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit witnessing within us. We don’t need to attend a great event with a divine demonstration of power. We can simply rest in faith on the account of Scripture concerning the love of God Who gave His only begotten Son. We can open our hearts to the glorious truths found in the Word of God, and be satisfied. Faith demonstrates to us a greater sacrifice and provision than the burnt offering of Leviticus.

Do we wish for a greater demonstration of God’s existence and power? Why can we not be content with the words of the Lord Jesus, I am the good Shepherd? – Jim MacIntosh

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