Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Strange Fire

“Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them.  And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” (Leviticus 10:1-2)

Let’s first look at this example in its context.  The placement of God killing Nadab and Abihu for offering “strange fire” comes right after the description of finalizing the purification of the tabernacle and the ordination of Aaron and his sons.  The close of chapter 9 describes Moses and Aaron blessing the people, then “…the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.  Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering…and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” (Leviticus 9:23-24)

At the second part of 10:1 it says that “…He [God] had not commanded them."  So the Lord had not told anyone of the priests, including Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, to offer anything.

We may not be able to determine exactly what those two did, but seeing their dead bodies, Moses said to Aaron “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, by those who come near me I will be treated as holy…” (v.3)

But this tragic consequence for jumping the gun on trying to serve the Lord, and not treating the service of God as holy, should give us a moment’s pause.

Has God called you into some sort of ministry, or are you trying to make other people happy.

How seriously do we take worship?

Am I going to church to be entertained or to actually worship the one true Living God?

Perhaps we might want to realize that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

Jesus may be our savior, but he is also the Sovereign Lord.

Now that is something to meditate on.

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