The Fire of God – Gospel in Life

The Fire of God

Tim Keller |  May 20, 2007

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  • Idolatry
  • Doctrine
  • God's Love
Deuteronomy 4:15-24; 33-36
RS 196-02


We’re looking at the book of Deuteronomy, and there’s probably no single book of the Bible that is more comprehensive in showing us how we should live if we’ve actually met God.

The primary concept of the book of Deuteronomy is the concept of covenant. The Bible says you can only relate to God covenantally. Right away, we say, “What’s a covenant? Is it a contract?” We’re going to see our relationship with God is far more personal and intimate than a contractual relationship. At the very same time, far more binding and solemn and accountable than a friendship. It’s covenantal.

In this chapter there are three awesome terms — awesome images — Moses introduces for us to understand what it means to have a covenantal relationship with God. Those three terms are jealousy, idolatry, and the fire of God. Let’s take a look.

Deuteronomy 4:15–24, 33–36

In the book of Deuteronomy, we learn about how God’s grace touches every part of our lives. It talks about our covenant with God, which is like a special promise that makes us accountable to Him. Three important ideas help us understand this relationship better: God’s jealousy, idolatry, and the fire of God.

1. God’s Jealousy

When we hear that God is jealous, it might sound negative. But actually, His jealousy shows His deep love for us. It isn’t about wanting what someone else has. Instead, it’s about God wanting the best for us and being upset when anything evil hurts our relationship with Him. This type of jealousy shows us how much God loves us and wants us to be truly happy.

2. Idolatry

Idolatry means putting anything else before God. It can make people lose their way and it upsets God. When we put more value on things in this world than on God, we’re hurting His heart and getting ourselves trapped. It’s important to remember that sin isn’t just about breaking rules; it’s also about hurting our relationship with God. When we put God first, it makes Him happy.

3. The Fire of God

God is often described in the Bible as a jealous God and a consuming fire. It’s a picture of His love, holiness, and power. This can be hard for us to handle because we are not perfect. But through Jesus, who took the punishment for our sins on the cross, we are not destroyed by God’s fire. Instead, it changes us for the better.



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