Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
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(24) The Lord thy God is a consuming fire.—The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews makes use of this in Deuteronomy 12:29, to enforce the lessons not of Sinai, but of Pentecost, and of the voice of “Him that speaketh from heavenby the Spirit whom He has sent.

Deuteronomy 4:24. A consuming fire — A just and terrible God, who, notwithstanding his special relation to you, will severely punish you, if you provoke him. A jealous God — Who, being espoused to you, will be highly incensed against you if you follow after other lovers, or commit whoredom (so to speak) with idols, and will bear no rival or partner.

4:24-40 Moses urged the greatness, glory, and goodness of God. Did we consider what a God he is with whom we have to do, we should surely make conscience of our duty to him, and not dare to sin against him. Shall we forsake a merciful God, who will never forsake us, if we are faithful unto him? Whither can we go? Let us be held to our duty by the bonds of love, and prevailed with by the mercies of God to cleave to him. Moses urged God's authority over them, and their obligations to him. In keeping God's commandments they would act wisely for themselves. The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. Those who enjoy the benefit of Divine light and laws, ought to support their character for wisdom and honour, that God may be glorified thereby. Those who call upon God, shall certainly find him within call, ready to give an answer of peace to every prayer of faith. All these statutes and judgments of the Divine law are just and righteous, above the statutes and judgments of any of the nations. What they saw at mount Sinai, gave an earnest of the day of judgment, in which the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in flaming fire. They must also remember what they heard at mount Sinai. God manifests himself in the works of the creation, without speech or language, yet their voice is heard, Ps 19:1,3; but to Israel he made himself known by speech and language, condescending to their weakness. The rise of this nation was quite different from the origin of all other nations. See the reasons of free grace; we are not beloved for our own sakes, but for Christ's sake. Moses urged the certain benefit and advantage of obedience. This argument he had begun with, ver. 1, That ye may live, and go in and possess the land; and this he concludes with, ver. 40, That it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee. He reminds them that their prosperity would depend upon their piety. Apostacy from God would undoubtedly be the ruin of their nation. He foresees their revolt from God to idols. Those, and those only, shall find God to their comfort, who seek him with all their heart. Afflictions engage and quicken us to seek God; and, by the grace of God working with them, many are thus brought back to their right mind. When these things are come upon thee, turn to the Lord thy God, for thou seest what comes of turning from him. Let all the arguments be laid together, and then say, if religion has not reason on its side. None cast off the government of their God, but those who first abandon the understanding of a man.Divided - i. e., "whose light God has distributed to the nations for their use and benefit, and which therefore being creatures ministering to man's convenience must not be worshipped as man's lords." 20. But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace—that is, furnace for smelting iron. A furnace of this kind is round, sometimes thirty feet deep, and requiring the highest intensity of heat. Such is the tremendous image chosen to represent the bondage and affliction of the Israelites [Rosenmuller].

to be unto him a people of inheritance—His peculiar possession from age to age; and therefore for you to abandon His worship for that of idols, especially the gross and debasing system of idolatry that prevails among the Egyptians, would be the greatest folly—the blackest ingratitude.

A consuming fire; a just and terrible God, who, notwithstanding his special relation to thee, will severely punish and destroy thee if thou provokest him by idolatry, or other ways.

A jealous God, who being espoused to thee, will be highly incensed against thee, (if thou followest after other lovers, or committest whoredom with idols,) and will bear no rival or partner.

For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire,.... To his enemies; his wrath is like fire to burn up and destroy all that oppose him and break his commands, and especially idolaters; whose sin of all others is the most provoking to him, since it strikes at his being, his honour and glory; wherefore it follows:

even a jealous God; who is jealous of his honour in matters of worship, and will not suffer his glory to be given to another, nor his praise to graven images, without resenting it or punishing for it.

For the LORD thy God is a {p} consuming fire, even a jealous God.

(p) To those that come not to him with love and reverence, but rebel against him.

24. a devouring fire] Cp. Deuteronomy 9:3; a frequent description of God in Isaiah: Isaiah 29:6; Isaiah 30:27; Isaiah 30:30.

a jealous God] Deuteronomy 5:9, Deuteronomy 6:15. J, Exodus 34:14, Jehovah whose name is Jealous is a jealous God. These two expressions always occur in Sg. passages; and the Sg. here may be explained as a quotation. On Jealous see Driver on Exodus 20:5.

Verse 24. - A consuming fire. When God spoke to Israel at Sinai, his glory appeared "like devouring (consuming) fire on the top of the mount" (Exodus 24:17); and in allusion to this Moses here calls God "a consuming fire." He is so to all his enemies, and to all who disobey him; by severe inflictions he will punish, and, if they persist in their hostility and rebellion, will ultimately destroy them (comp. Deuteronomy 9:3; Isaiah 10:16-18; Amos 5:6; Zephaniah 1:18; Hebrews 12:29). A jealous God; LXX., Θεὸς ζηλωτής God has a burning zeal for his own glory; he guards it with jealous care; and he will not spare those who do him dishonor, especially those who are guilty of idolatry, whereby they "change the truth of God into a lie" (Romans 1:25; cf. Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 6:14, 15; Deuteronomy 32:16, etc.; Psalm 78:58, etc.; Nahum 1:2). He is jealous also over his people, because he loves them, and will not endure any rival in their affection and devotion.

CHAPTER 4:25-49 Deuteronomy 4:24The bringing of Israel out of Egypt reminds Moses of the end, viz., Canaan, and leads him to mention again how the Lord had refused him permission to enter into this good land; and to this he adds the renewed warning not to forget the covenant or make any image of God, since Jehovah, as a jealous God, would never tolerate this. The swearing attributed to God in Deuteronomy 4:21 is neither mentioned in Numbers 20 nor at the announcement of Moses' death in Numbers 27:12.; but it is not to be called in question on that account, as Knobel supposes. It is perfectly obvious from Deuteronomy 3:23. that all the details are not given in the historical account of the event referred to. כּל תּמוּנת פּסל, "image of a form of all that Jehovah has commanded," sc., not to be made (Deuteronomy 4:16-18). "A consuming fire" (Deuteronomy 4:24): this epithet is applied to God with special reference to the manifestation of His glory in burning fire (Exodus 24:17). On the symbolical meaning of this mode of revelation, see at Exodus 3:2. "A jealous God:" see at Exodus 20:5.
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