Playing with Fire
March 1, 2022 • By Ed Wrather
Who among you fears the Lord?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord
And rely upon his God.
Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment. – Isaiah 50:10-11 NKJV.
The Message puts Isaiah 50:11 as: “But if all you’re after is making trouble, playing with fire, Go ahead and see where it gets you. Set your fires, stir people up, blow on the flames, but don’t expect me to just stand there and watch. I’ll hold your feet to those flames.”
On a Sunday afternoon in Provo, Utah a science experiment went wrong. A student says he was just attempting to make some rocket fuel on his stove when it blew up. The massive fireball that resulted caused 22 residents of the apartment building to be evacuated. Thankfully, the student and other residents did not suffer any injuries. Why was the student wanting to make rocket fuel? Did he have a rocket he needed fuel for? No one knows and so far, he has not been charged criminally although it has been referred to a prosecuting attorney. At least he wasn’t trying to build his own nuclear reactor in his apartment as one man in Scandinavia once tried to do. (USA Today 02.22.22; New York Post 02.21.22)
Isaiah 50:10-11 sets before us a choice in life. The choice is that of believing there is a God having reverence for Him or to seek our pleasures from the world “playing with fire” as the Message puts it. There is no question that temporary comfort can be derived from worldly pleasure just as in the days of Isaiah standing near a fire could give you relief from the cold. It is a temporary relief from the pains of life.
Sadly, there are those who choose to play with fire, to enjoy wicked pleasures and ignore the will of God. There are those who value money above anything that God has to offer. There are those who hate any thought of God and attack anyone who reverences Him. On two of the Facebook pages that I have there are always those who feel the need to mock God.
In a category almost of their own are the murderous dictators like Putin, Hitler, Pol Pot and all the rest down to the Roman Caesars, Egyptian pharaohs and more. It seems like civilization has always been plagued by these evil people who insist on “playing with fire.” They have and are committing their evil deeds as it were standing over the open pit of the fires of hell where some already are and soon Putin will be too. As Isaiah says about them, “You shall lie down in torment.”
What are we to do when we are faced with the evil deeds of these people? Isaiah tells us, “Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.”