Throughout the Old Testament, we learn that God’s people were continually departing from Him, and one of the major reasons were the false prophets. Therefore, God commanded them to preach His word because it is like fire (Jeremiah 23:29). Let us consider the ways in it is like fire, and what it can do in our lives.
God’s word is like fire because it gives light. Just as light helps to see in the darkness and gives direction, God’s word is “a LAMP to [our] feet and a LIGHT to [our] path.” In other words, it allows us to see the direction that we should follow. Sadly, many are a blinded by the darkness (Ac. 26:18), because of the ignorance that is in them (Eph. 4:18). Yet, it is God’s words that “gives understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130).
God’s word is like fire because it comforts. Just like sitting by a warm fire on a cold day that causes cheer and comfort, God’s word is our comfort in times of trouble (Ps. 119:50; Jm 1). It comforts us in salvation (Jn 8:32; 1 Jn 5:13), and when we understand it, we can comfort others with it (1 Thess. 4:18). It is satisfying to know that we have a God who cares and gives all we need, but remember the farther we get from God’s word, the less comfort we will receive.
God’s word is like fire because it purifies. Just as precious metals are separated from the impurities by fire, the word of God’ purifies the souls of mankind (Jn. 5:13; 15:3). In Ephesians 5:26-27, we learn that the church is purified by the word of God. Yet, we must understand that the word does not purify alone; it is our obedience to that word (1 Pet. 1:22). This is how we burn the impurities from lives.
Finally, the word of God is like fire because it destroys. Just as the same fire that warms our homes can burn it down, God’s word works in the same way. If we obey it, it will save us. If we disobey it, it will destroy us (2 Thess. 1:7-9). In the final day, we will be judged by the word (Jn. 12:48). It can save or cause us to be lost, depending upon our response.