Gail and I went for a walk in the smoke yesterday. This is how we dressed…. Well…. we didn’t actually wear the goggles. How do you deal with the smoke. We’ve been keeping our house, windows and everything closed up. We only use one door going in and out of the house all day and that is downstairs in the basement, through the garage, and out. That keeps us a little less filled with smoke.
The Bible speaks a lot about smoke. It is often fearful.
Exodus 20:18–19 (NIV) 18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
The people were afraid of God’s power. They were afraid of their own sinfulness. They were afraid that they would be struck down, by God’s holiness and power. So, they asked Moses to speak to God and tell them what God said.
Kind of a shame that we are scared of God. Kind of a shame that we don’t want God to speak to us directly. We pray, we seek God, but we usually want Him to do something for us. What would it be, if God spoke directly to us. What would He tell us to do? To get rid of? To stop? To go? How would we respond?
But there are times in scripture where smoke is a good thing:
Leviticus 16:13 (NIV) 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die.
Revelation 15:8 (NIV) 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power….
No, I’m trying to say don’t worry about the smoke outside today. I have three families who are friends who have been displaced by the current evacuations in Oregon and SW Washington. This is a strange time we live in. It’s a strange year.
But what I am coming to the conclusion of is that God is still in charge. He’s still on the throne. I don’t have to stress about all the signs of the times that are in front of us. I can rest in submission to God and let him have complete control of my life. You can too! When we see God and His smoke, we can rest assured that God delights in forgiveness, delights in grace and mercy. He loves us.
Don’t be scared of God. Don’t be scared of the smoke He produces. He didn’t come to condemn, he didn’t come to destroy, he came to love and save.
Psalm 145:8–9 (ESV) 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The LORD is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
1 John 4:7 (NIV) 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
John 3:16–18 (NIV) 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Go in God’s grace today. And be careful of the smoke (in Oregon and Washington – but not of God’s smoke).