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The fire came down from Heaven, and consumed
the Burnt‑Offering. 2 Chron. vii. 1.
IT was a very gracious and immediate response to the prayer of King and people. If we make room for God, He always comes and fills. If we seek Him, He is instantly with us. Directly the soul confesses, it is forgiven; or consecrates itself, it is accepted; or claims deliverance from the power of sin, it is cleansed. Do you really want the Lord to come to you? His glory has even now begun to shine in on you, to grow and enlighten you for evermore.
The fire stands for the Divine Presence. Oh to have always a consciousness of it! Nothing would so soon arrest and destroy the impurity and evil within; as sunshine does fungus‑growth. We are told that the fire was to be kept burning on the altar: it was never to go out. Thus, we should always perpetuate and practise the presence of God, feeding the fire with the fuel of prayer and meditation.
Fire also stands for the Divine Purity. As the Plague of London was stamped out by the Great Fire which destroyed the nests where it had bred: and as the furnace rids the ore of dross ‑‑ so the Holy Spirit in thy heart and mine is a guarantee of holiness and righteousness all our days.
Fire also stands for Divine Fellowship. It consumed that part of the offering which was placed on the altar; and it seemed as if the Divine nature was therefore feeding upon the sacrifice, whilst the remainder of it was consumed by the offerer. Thus, also, we have communion with Cod, as we eat the bread and drink the wine in the Lord's Supper. We feed on Christ in adoration, faith, and identification. God feeds on the completeness of Christ's obedience, ar.the glory of his character. Thus we have fellowship with the Father and the Son, by the Holy Ghost.