Name of God: Akal Esh: Consuming Fire

Akal Esh: Consuming Fire

Daily Verse: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”

Deuteronomy 4:24 HCSB

Let's Talk About It: In this verse, Moses is talking to his people about being extremely careful that they do not make any idols for themselves to worship. Moses goes on to tell them to remember God, the One who delivered us from Egypt's clutches, He is the one true God and is the only One to be worshipped. He's like a hungry fire when angry. Do not provoke Him by worshipping idols or it will not go good for you. This is a very serious and stern warning to God’s people.

Akal (aw-kal’), in the Hebrew Strong’s Dictionary, means to eat (literally or figuratively): burn up, consume, devour. Esh (aysh) is a Hebrew and Aramaic word that means fire or flame. Studying this out, we see how serious God is about worshipping only Him. He is a God of righteous fire. Fire is commonly know as only a destroyer however, it is also used as a purifier.

Take gold, for example. When a smith (a worker in metal) heats it up to about 1,948 degrees Fahrenheit, it begins to melt. Once melted, anything that is not pure gold, floats to the top. This is called dross or impurities and is thrown away. One of the reasons why a smith would do this is if he/she suspects the metal to have impurities in it and MUST be taken out and discarded.

When smiting, we will see metals begin melting at very high temperatures. For example, lead melts at about 622°F while tungsten begins melting at about 6152°F. To put it into perspective, the boiling point of water is 212°F. Picture the heat from the flame that is making the water boil. Now picture what the boiling water feels like if you were to touch it with your bare skin. We can all agree the fire/flame is hotter than we care to be next to.

As mentioned earlier, fire is also used as a destroyer; to destroy that which is not wanted, like trash. Knowing that consuming fire can have a figurative and literal meaning, I can guess that no one wanted to provoke God’s jealousy and find out. It’s a good thing that this name of God was expressed upon His people. It gave everyone fair warning. Warnings are always good. They provide us a chance to do what is right so we will not face consequences.

As mentioned in a previous Names of God post, our Heavenly Father is the Creator of all things created and ALL things that are good come from Him. He is righteous, worthy of all praise and worship, and we are His. Does a faithful, hard-working husband, who provides and meets all his family’s need and wants, have the right to be jealous if his wife pays more attention to another man and publicly professes the other man as being the provider? Of course!

Worship means to show reverence and adoration for a deity, or honor with religious rites. God’s holy fire can be used to purify you for good works, like that of a smith, or can be used to destroy that which is not wanted. Attaching oneself to idols is the same as becoming as one with the idol. Idols are not tolerated by God and are automatically on Akal Esh’s destruction list, because He is “a jealous God.” (Thank you, Jesus, for redeeming us and taking us off that destruction list).

The Father laid down the rules and warning. Like in the example I provided, He is that husband and father who provides. When we obey and seek Him, He is faithful to use His fire to purify us for His works and His glory. It is always better to go into the purified fire rather than the all-consuming flame. We must always remember what our Father has done for us and let us not provoke His jealousy. Say no to worshipping idols and say YES to worshipping only Him.

Akal Esh, we choose your fire of purification and not that of destruction. Thank You for all You have done, are doing, and will be doing, for us. To You be all the glory and praise, amen. – Kevin

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