Pastor Jim Stultz
God’s Planned Burn
The dry season is upon us in Southwest Florida. This is the time when we are in danger of wildfires. The dry forests and grasslands, with the added danger of high winds, explode into flame with the slightest spark. Destructive and even deadly fires take their toll on homes, property, and even lives. Firefighters use many ways to fight the fires and limit the damage. I remember during one of those wildfires in our area, seeing a helicopter transporting water in a huge container from a lake to the heart of the fire. However, firefighters have discovered another tool in their arsenal of combating wildfires. It is called the “planned burn” or a “controlled burn”. Fire officials purposely set fires ahead of the oncoming inferno. They do this so that when the fire reaches the burned over zone it no longer has the fuel to continue its destructive path, and therefore dies out, and lives and property are saved.
God is holy. By His very nature He must punish sin. The scriptures even tell us that our God is a consuming fire, and we are by nature children of wrath. We are born in sin and deserve to face the fire of God’s judgment. But there is some wonderful news. God has planned a way of escape. He tells us in Isa. 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him, the iniquity of us all”. 1 Peter 3:18 also tells us: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…” God’s fiery wrath was satisfied when it was poured out on His own Son, Jesus Christ. Christ became God’s “planned burn”. He suffered for us so that we do not have to experience God’s certain judgment.
The burned over zone saves the rest of the forest from the blaze. Jesus’ death on the cross provides you and I an escape from the fiery wrath we certainly deserve. Have you found safety in the person of God’s precious Son? Have fled for refuge to God’s burned over zone?