We’ve all heard of preachers who preach hellfire and brimstone. We’ve also heard of fire refining precious metals to purify them, but hearing about fire from heaven may be a new one. It happened a few times in the Old Testament and predominantly with the prophet Elijah, but it did happen. Fire from heaven is a quick sign of God’s judgment on those who are rebelling against Him. We may not see it today but don’t think that God won’t do it again.
“Elijah responded to the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.”
A Unique Character
Elijah is one of the more unique characters in the whole Bible. He fully embraced the role of the prophet and lived a life separate from the normal way of the world. He also saw more miracles performed than any other prophet in the Old Testament. When he spoke kings shuddered, and lives were changed. He was the precursor to John the Baptist in that he wore camel hair and looked different than any other person in all of Israel.
In this scenario, King Ahaziah was inquiring of a foreign god, and God sent Elijah to confront them and send them back. King Ahaziah sent two groups of fifty men to bring Elijah to him, and both were consumed by fire from heaven at Elijah’s question if he was a man of God. God was sending a strong message to Ahaziah that they were being judged for being a godless country. Finally, the third group came humbly asking if Elijah would go with them, and they weren’t consumed.
Fire from Heaven
Fire from heaven fell because God needed to send a sign. This was a unique situation that proves a fundamental principle. We serve the Almighty God, who is capable of sending fire from heaven at any moment. He did it a few times with Elijah. Don’t ever underestimate what God can do in your life. When we sell him short by our lack of faith, we miss opportunities to see Him work.