Helaman 5:21- 27
vs 23 encircled about as if by fire - were not burned - the fire was not a physical fire of this earth. It was a heavenly fire that protected them from those that did not believe. God protects those that do his work. He provides a way for us to do his work. We need only believe. We may not always see the fire that he encircles us with, we may not always know exactly how he carries us when we need him the most, but he does. He has encircled my family and protected us from those that would harm us.
vs 24 their hearts did take courage - When you are within God's fire, you are not burned. It is a fire (like Moses burning bush) that burns but does not consume. It empowers, teaches, and directs you as you go about doing the Lord's work.
vs 25 dumb with amazement - for an unbeliever I can see why they might be struck dumb. If you did not believe in dinosaurs and then one day you saw one, you might be amazed. If you did not believe in God and then you saw his work in action, you might be amazed. But to see his work undo your own selfish work, that is amazing and somewhat fearful. It might just mean you are not on the right track.
vs 26 It is God - What else could the explanation be. Let's review the facts.... 1. Nephi and Lehi were teaching when they were thrown into prison. 2. the people did not want to believe but wanted to slay them 3. God protected them by encircling them with fire. 4. The people want to kill them. 5 Instead they see a miracle
vs 27 the earth shook exceedingly - an earthquake? the power of God? both? What caused the walls to shake? So now the people are seeing the fire and feeling a quake? They are being prepare to hear the truth. We begin to see that the ones who will be converted are not the ones who want to slay Nephi and Lehi but rather the ones who were once converted but had left. I imagine if I had it in my heart to slay someone and when I went to do so, a few mighty miracles happened, I might rethink my actions and motives.
I believe we can all live in the midst of God's fire. The fire of testimony. The fire of the HOly Ghost. The fire of righteous living. The fire of friendship. The fire of desire to serve God. The fire of loving others more than ourselves. The fire of the Gospel of Jesus Christ's atonement. There are many fires that the gospel brings into our lives. These fires serve to warn us, to empower us, to protect us, to teach us, and to light our paths as we strive to serve God.
What fire are you standing within today? What fire am I striving to keep burning. I know that if I can keep the fire of God's love around me, he will protect me from the evil I cannot see. I know that the day will come when I will look back (it's been ten years now) and see with clarity the fire that encircled my family and brought us safely from the prison walls.