This quote is part of the Bible’s earliest record of God. The Hebrew people leaving Egypt understood God as a devouring fire (Exodus 24:17), especially when Moses entered the mist on top of Mount Sinai to receive God’s commandments. Moses spoke of God as a devouring fire (Deuteronomy 4:24) when he explained to the people why he, their leader for forty years, could not enter the promised land with them.
And the image of God as a raging fire consuming sinful enemies is common in Old Testament sinful enemies is common in Old Testament poetry (Psalm 97:3). The metaphor alters us to aspects of God’s character that inspire awe and holy fear: God’s jealousy (He wants priority in our lives), God’s judgment (His will governs our lives), and God’s power (He will prevail over enemies).
HEBREWS 12:29 – 29 For our God is a consuming fire.