Leviticus 10:1-3,8-11 (ESV) Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace… And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying, “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses.”
Feels like I’m at it after weeks and for that I apologize. How easy it is to fall away from our commitment to God and His work and today’s chapter certainly spoke to me.
Nadab and Abihu’s punishment for falling short of God’s commands seems to be a rather stern message from God to the Israelites but does that apply to us today?
Before we go there, we must first understand the issue. Apparently the two sons of Aaron offered God unauthorized fire which could have been offering fire at the wrong time or using fire from the pit of the burnt-sacrifices or using incense that was not approved and Moses had stock of the approved incense.
God had given the priesthood of Aaron very specific instructions and expected no slip-up in the way they were to serve Him. There also seems to be element of drunkenness as addressed by God to Aaron (Verses 8-11).
Clearly God does not appreciate any mockery or slipshodness of worship to Him and deals with such offenders with a harsh punishment. Worse still, if the offenders are the ones chosen to serve God from among men, God’s wrath on them would be far worse than for others and therefore was there any hope in human priesthood?
There was and is only one high priest who ever lived to earn God’s total favor and is today our intercessor and that is Jesus Christ, the son of God and the true high priest. Because Jesus lives even today as He did 2,000 years ago, we have no need of any other priest and we need not worry about how God’s own might fail because Jesus paid the price of sin of all mankind with His willing sacrifice of Himself.
Another key message today was drunkenness but is it specific to the Levitical priesthood only?
Drunkenness is the abuse of alcohol that makes us loose our senses and operate in ways that are not pleasing to ourselves, forget God. This was something that plagued man from the beginning of time and still does.
God’s warning to Aaron was for anyone who ministers to Him and after Christ became our high priest, those born again of His spirit are referred to as a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5) and as a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).
If we are saints in God’s kingdom by our rebirth, we are called to be mindful of our lives, our service to God and our testimonies of His faithfulness and therefore today’s chapter speaks to each of us and reminds us of what God has called us to.
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If yes, I pray that you and I will recognize God’s calling to us and will live a life worthy of His name by the enabling of the Holy Spirit inside of us.
In His Loving Service,
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
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