April 25, 2014
Leviticus 10-Part 1
And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
LET IT GLOW
Obedience-I demanded it from my children and from the children in my classroom at school. If they disobeyed, there were consequences to reap. Partial obedience was not acceptable. It had to be total obedience before it was acceptable. Isn't it that way with God?
The laws were written in stone for the Israelites to obey. If they obeyed, they received blessings from the Lord. If they disobeyed, they were to offer sacrifices for their sins. The sacrificial system and priesthood were in place and functioning. Then it happened. Two of Aaron's sons, who were doing their priestly duties, violated the order and procedure established by God. What they did didn't please God, so fire from the Lord killed these two priests. God had laid down the Law. Those sacrifices and offerings were to be done God's way, not man's way. God wanted everyone to know the seriousness of disobedience. What an example of its results to warn others.
The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains it this way:
The vessel in which the incense was burned in the Holy Place was to be used only for holy purposes. Though the exact infraction is not detailed, in some way they violated the prescription for offering incense (Ex. 30:9, 34-38), probably because they were drunk (see verses 8-9). Instead of taking the incense fire from the brazen altar, they had some other source for the fire, and thus, perpetrated an act, which, considering the descent of the miraculous fire they had just seen and their solemn duty to do as God told the, betrayed careless, irreverence, and lack of consideration for God. Such a tendency had to be punished for all priests to see as a warning.Nadab and Abihu were not ignorant of God's rules when they offered strange (unauthorized by the Word of God) fire, failing to use the fire from the altar, so God couldn't accept their worship. (Wiersbe)
In verse 3, the LORD had said, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified."
Hebrews 12:29 states, For our God is a consuming fire.
The priests were the ones referred to as "them that come near Me." They had the privilege of ministering in the tabernacle where God dwelt in the Holy of Holies. Privilege always brings responsibility, but Nadab and Abihu proved themselves to be irresponsible. (Wiersbe)
Do we take seriously our service and obedience to the Lord God?
LET IT GROW
What happened in the remainder of this chapter?
- Moses had two guys remove the bodies of the two disobedient dead priests. (Aaron and his other two sons were not allowed to be near dead bodies lest they become ceremonially unclean.
- The LORD spoke directly to Aaron prohibiting the priests from drinking wine or strong drink when they went into the tabernacle, or they would die.
- They were to distinguish between holy and common, clean and unclean.
- They were to teach the children of Israel all the statutes.
It is possible that the two priests sinned as a result of being intoxicated. The same restriction is placed upon God's kings (Prov. 31:4-5). God refers to New Testament believers as kings and priests
(1 Peter 2:9; Rev. 5:10). Surely we are to be above reproach at all times in this matter. We are to abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).
Moses told Aaron's two remaining sons to continue the sacrifices and offerings. The priests were given a certain portion of some of the sacrifices and were to eat this food at the tabernacle. However, the family of Aaron's had not been allowed to mourn over the sudden loss of two sons, so they had fasted instead and did not eat the meat of the sin offering. So Moses rebuked them, but Aaron spoke up in their defense, because their hearts would not have been in it.
Would God want that kind of service? He wants obedience, not sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22) and hearts that are right with Him. Our worship must show the praises of God (1 Peter 2:9) and be acceptable to God (1 Peter 2:5).
[Reference: Wiersbe' Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]
Moses sympathized with Aaron's grief, however, and having made his point, dropped the issue. (MacArthur)
I think we see God showing grace and mercy.
Is our giving, tithing from the heart or routine?
Is our obedience partial or total?
LET IT GO
Love God with all my heart.
Obey God whole heartedly.
Glorify Him in all I do.