I’m doing a Bible study on Leviticus and Hebrews. I started it on February 29th. One week before, I believe God gave me a sermon title called Eternal Flame. I made some initial notes about how this sermon would be outlined and developed and what some of the points would be. Now, on day nine of my Bible study God has confirmed and provided more relevant material for that sermon. I would like to go ahead and share some of those insights here.
As I read through Leviticus, the first thing I notice is there are many sacrifices and there are many details concerning these sacrifices. God was very careful to lay out specific instructions to his priests who would be assisting the people with their sacrifices. One of the details in reference to the burnt offerings was that the fire was to burn continually; it must not go out. (Lev. 6.12-13) In Lev 9.24, fire comes out of the presence of the LORD. God provided the flame or the fire. It was the responsibility of the priests to keep the fire going. It was the responsibility of the Israelites to continually bring their burnt sacrifices. The fire on the altar was NEVER allowed to go out.
Think about the work involved in keeping that fire burning at all times. I know how difficult it is for me to keep a fire going here at home. I often would tell my husband, “If you start the fire, I can keep it going.” Sometimes I could; but, sometimes things would happen. I would get busy, distracted and before you knew it… the fire was out. Sometimes it just looked like it was out. But, if I checked it,there would still be some burning embers I could stoke and get it built back up again. Other times, like when I would go to bed and sleep all night without waking to tend to the fire, it would be cold…no chance of stoking and bringing back to life. My husband would have to start the fire all over again.
I know it must have been difficult and took a number of priests to tend to that fire to ensure it continued to burn. It took preparation and constant care. They had to be diligent and intentional when tending to the fire on that altar.
In each of us, who have accepted Jesus as Christ, God has originated a flame or a fire if you will. Just like in Lev. 9, a flame or fire comes out of the presence of the LORD. The Holy Spirit is depicted as tongues of fire in Scripture. (Acts 2.3) Therefore, when the Holy Spirit indwells us we have a flame burning within that God provided. Now, it is our responsibility to keep the flame burning continually. We must “fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Tim. 1.6) and be diligent in our efforts to maintain that flame with our “sacrifices of praise.” (Heb. 13.15) We must “do good and share with others” because these sacrifices please God. (Heb, 13.15) We must also be willing to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” daily as a form of true “worship.” (Rom 12.1)
I don’t know about you, but I want a eternal flame from my Father in heaven to burn bright and holy within me until that day where I will be in His presence forever.
Kelly J. Laminack