“A fire came forth from before Hashem and consumed what was on the altar; the burnt-offering and the fats. All the people saw and they sang songs of praise, and they fell on their faces.” 9:24
- The fire descended down like a pillar from heaven to earth. – Rashi o And They Fell on Their Faces – They prayed the Divine Presence should continue to rest upon them in the future as well. – He’emek Davar
The joy experienced by the people was accompanied by the reality that the intensity of the moment probably would not last forever. Over time, enthusiasm wanes and mistakes are made. They prayed that their future mistakes not cause the Divine Presence to desert them as it had after the sin of the Golden Calf. This is the way of a spiritually conscious people who always plan for their spiritual future, and recognize that indeed, past performance is no guarantee of future success.