God used fire to seal his covenant with Abram that although his "offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years", they would inherit the promised land.(Genesis 15).
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land."
God spoke to Moses through the fire at Horeb (Exodus 3:2-6).
And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush...When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
He then guided them out of Egypt in a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21-22).
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.
God spoke to his people through the fire from Mount Sinai when he gave them the 10 Commandments (Deut 4-5).
And you said, 'Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man and man still live. Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?
Finally, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed recently. I started a new job a few months ago and, while I love it, it is so very busy. I have an exam in a few weeks that I can't see myself passing. My shifts mean I work every second Sunday so I feel at church as if everyone else is sailing past in a big ship but I am just struggling to keep up, furiously rowing in my little boat, trailing behind.
When I feel like this, I return to these pieces of Scripture, Zechariah 13:9 and Isaiah 43, to remind myself of who God is and his mighty power. Please take the time to slowly savour this, reminding yourself, as I continually have to do, that God is speaking to YOU here!
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.They will call upon my name, and I will answer them.I will say, 'They are my people'; and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"
But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.