I am reflecting today upon a name of God given in scripture: “ESH OKLAH, EL KANNA”.
Its meaning? “Consuming Fire, Jealous God.”
“For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Ex. 34:14)
“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deut. 4:24)
Matthew Henry in his commentary expounds on this name further for us: “For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, as tender in the matters of His worship as the husband is of the honour of the marriage bed. Jealousy is called the ‘rage of a man'(Prov. 6:34), but it is GOD’S HOLY AND JUST DISPLEASURE. Those cannot worship God aright who do not worship Him alone.”
When we get lost inside our trials, lost in our preoccupation with life, with people, with family, with work and even church ministry, and we begin to wander aimlessly.
It happens to all of us….
Life itself becoming our idol; the intangible, tangible idol we serve.
It is that tangible part that becomes the naughty clown in the circus…..it is appealing, it draws you in, capturing your curiosity, your attention, and soon our initial focus upon the Father is lost in a heap of distraction.
God loves and knows us enough to put in place a commandment;” You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or SERVE them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God..” (Ex.20:5).
You know this already (but if you are like me, I need reminders constantly), whatever consumes your life becomes your “carved image”. For if it consumes you, it has been given an image, a “likeness”; if it drives you then it has mastered you and you serve it, whatever “it” is.
We don’t think of God’s commandment in this way, we think far more simple-like! Your personal inventory probably holds no artifacts from strange belief systems, or weird designs engraved on paper or metal or wood, but you live like a robot enslaved by what ever has mastered you or consumes you.
“Be sober-minded; be WATCHFUL. Your adversary the devil PROWLS around LIKE a roaring lion, SEEKING someone to DEVOUR. Resist him, firm in your faith…..” (1 Pet. 5:8).
If one of God’s names is “I am Jealous, and Consuming Fire” do you not think that it speaks of His character and desire for us to worship Him and Him alone? HIS fire consuming everything that stands in the way of our wholehearted devotion?
This is one of those blogs that could be so very long! There is so much more to this than I could write for one day. God has continued throughout my life to reveal Himself to me through these names. Day by day I surrender this stubborn life of mine and seek to learn all that He desires for me AS I worship Him and Him alone!
As I continue to learn what it means for my life to be consumed by my God whose very name is “Consuming Fire” and “I Am Jealous”, I discover great joy, peace, laughter, and colour.
It is amazing TRUTH to embrace!! We serve a God who desires our worship so intensely! A God who pursues us relentlessly! Who will stop at nothing to craft into a soul a purity of desire for Him and Him alone!
I am not suggesting we become idiots of simplicity, but courageous soldiers who have learned the secrets and mysteries of divine discipline; engaging the world we live in while maintaining a pure heart of devotion and worship to God.
I close with this poem from Anne Spangler’s book, “Praying the Names of God.” This poem is by Francis Thompson, a nineteenth-century poet. This man was an opium addict. Spangler shares this poem to highlight the “divine pursuit of (Thompson’s) soul”, and I add, for our souls as well!
“Adown Titanic glooms of chasm’ed fears,
from those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
and unperturb’ed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat–and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet–
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”