Bible Study

Glorifying God in the Fire

Michael Beck

Even as Satan seeks to exploit the “fires” of life to cause us to fall, God wants to use these same times as opportunities for us to worship Him.

Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. (Isaiah 24:15)

To experience temptation and to endure temptation are not the same.
To “endure temptation” is to undergo temptation without “going under.” It causes us to be “approved” of God.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12)

Jesus not only faced sore temptations, but He endured.

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:3)

Jesus faced and endured a barrage of temptations.

Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. (Luke 22:28)

Peter testified that he was a first hand witness to the sufferings of Christ.

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed (1 Peter 5:1)

suffering > Greek – pathema > KJV – suffering 11, affliction 3, affection 1, motion 1

– that which one suffers or has suffered
– externally, a suffering, misfortune, calamity, evil, affliction
– of an inward state, passion

Jesus was not the typical “Stoic” wise man, who experienced no “troubling” (i.e., agitation) in His spirit.

Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (John 12:27)

trouble > Greek – tarasso > to agitate, to cause one inward commotion, to disquiet

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled (John 11:33)

When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. (John 13:21)

When we are inwardly “troubled” by an outside event, various emotions spontaneously arise in our hearts.

And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. (Luke 1:12)

When we are inwardly “troubled” by an outside event, various thoughts spontaneously arise in our hearts.

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? (Luke 24:36-38)

Outward events produce an inward agitation that is an opportunity to worship God in the “sanctuary” of our heart.

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. (Psalm 4:4,5)

“stand in awe” > Hebrew – ragaz >

KJV – tremble 12, move 7, rage 5, shake 3, disquiet 3, troubled 3, quake 2, afraid 1

– tremble, quake, rage, quiver, be agitated, be excited, be perturbed, be disquieted, be perturbed

If we miss the “window of opportunity” to worship God when we become upset, we open the door to the enemy.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26,27)

In the Old Testament, putting one’s trust in the Lord meant fleeing to His “tabernacle” (i.e., presence) for refuge in a time when of heart distress.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. (Psalm 61:2-4)

Emotions (i.e., affections) unleashed in our hearts can move us to come to conclusions, make decisions and take action that is not of God.

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! (Isaiah 30:1,2)

The hastiness of our spirit is directly connected to our soul being without the knowledge God would give us.

Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. (Proverbs 19:1,2)

Moving in the haste of our own spirit, having not received God’s instruction, always ends with us in WANT.

1.) It never puts us further “ahead of schedule,” it always ends in more delay

2.) It never throws greater “light” on a situation, it always causes greater confusion.

3.) It never lifts us up in a positive way, it always leaves us in shame.

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want. (Proverbs 21:5)

The threat of Assyria, marching through the land toward Jerusalem, struck distress and fear in the hearts of Jerusalem’s inhabitants. The temptation was to run to Egypt for help.

Therefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves (Isaiah 28:14,15)

God spoke at this time of a “tabernacle” of refuge whose “corner stone” was the Messiah.
Isaiah prophetically declared that all who would put their trust in Him (i.e., fled to Him for refuge) would not move in a rash, hasty, ungodly fashion.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16)

haste > Hebrew – chush

“… (This word) comprehends not only observable spatial movement but also the inward stirring and agitation of a person.”

“The attitude of the faithful believer is described in Isa. 28:16: ‘He who believes will not be in haste.’ Here as in Ps. 55:8, chush refers less to literal flight than to inward agitation.” (Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Vol. IV)

The agitation and heat of our spirit, if not tempered by the Holy Spirit, will always result in hasty actions and reactions.

They angered Him also at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses because of them;
For they embittered his spirit, and he spoke rashly with his lips. (Psalm 106:32-33)

My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, (Psalm 39:3)

Only by pursuing a life of godliness (i.e., true worship) will we become one known to have a “cool” spirit.

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. (Proverbs 17:27)

excellent > Hebrew adj. > cold, cool, calm

Hastiness of spirit will win us the reputation of a fool.

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame. (Proverbs 12:16)

He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated. (Proverbs 14:17)

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20)

Without a diligent seeking of God’s involvement in the affairs of our heart and a ready willingness to worship Him, we will presumptuously act; rashly judge; and foolishly speak. We will be hot headed, quick-tempered and easily provoked.

I said in my haste, All men are liars. (Psalm 116:11)

Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste. (Job 20:1,2)

Moving in the heat and haste of our own spirit aborts an opportunity to worship God and interferes with our being guided by His Spirit.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:29-21)

While even strong cities like Lachish, could not stand in the evil day, God promised to His people a stronger “city” that they could flee to. “Perfect peace” belongs to a “righteous nation” that enters this “city” to worship God.

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength (Isaiah 26:1-4)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.