(September 24, 2013)
This chapter really struck me, but to understand part of the reaction I will need to tell you an experience. I can recall listening to the news on the radio and hearing about a young four-year-old boy who had died in a house fire. He snuck some matches to play with, and he accidentally started a fire in his room. He was found burned to death in his closet.
This experience gave (gives?) me nightmares. I think of that poor boy as the flames surrounded him. Did he hide in the closet thinking that he could hide from the fire? Did he die thinking that he had broken the rules and was being punished for being bad. What pain he must have felt. How could God in Heaven not have heard his cries and come to save him? The story tears and my soul to think about it even now.
Not surprisingly, then, my heart goes out of the children that were burned in the fires of Ammonihah. How could a people become so depraved that they would willingly and deliberately burn children? How could they not rescue those poor children (their friends and neighbors) as they screamed in pain for mercy?
But as much as this chapter affected me emotionally, the intellectual side of me also responds to it. For there is a powerful principle shown here. These children are being burned, and the people of Ammonihah are rejoicing in the fact that God did not save them. Meanwhile, what they fail to realize is that it is truly them who are in danger of fire – the fires of Hell. They taunt the Lord at the very time He allows them to sin but lovingly desires their return to Him. Eventually, though, they burn themselves by burning others.