The Fire, the Water, & the Desert Three Elements Necessary for Divine Revelation
by Daniel Botkin
(this article is an excerpt from the May-June 2005 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)
“When Israel received the Torah at Mount Sinai, the revelation of God’s Word was given in the context of fire, water, and the desert. “And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because Yahweh descended on it in fire,” and “Yahweh spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire,” Moses said (Ex. 19:18 and Deut. 9:10). Later, in the Song of Moses, the revelation of God’s Word is compared to water: “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass” (Deut. 32:2). The same Song of Moses mentions the desert as the place where Israel received instruction. “He [Yahweh] found him [Israel] in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about. He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye” (Deut. 32:10).
Thus we see that the revelation of God’s Word to Israel is connected to these three elements, the fire, the water, and the desert. We need to experience these three elements in a spiritual sense if we want to receive Divine revelation from God’s written Word, the Holy Scriptures. Some people read the Bible as nothing more than literature or history. If that is all you want to get out of reading the Bible, you do not need to experience the fire, the water, and desert for that. The Bible is a great literary masterpiece and a good source of historical information, but the Word of God is meant to be much more than that. It is meant to be a source of revelation to God’s people. Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus was “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Eph. 1:17). If we want to receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation, we need to experience the fire, the water, and the desert. Let’s consider each of these three elements…”
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