1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.
2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.'” So Aaron held his peace.
I am wandering a bit from my ruminations on the “Red Letters” today.
I read the above text as part of my OT reading this morning in Leviticus, and it caught my attention. Seems I have been hearing a lot lately about being Holy and being in right status with the Lord.
The setting for my verses above is this:
The tabernacle is done and Moses has just completed the rituals to install Aaron and two of his sons as priests in the new structure.
Just before my verses for today in Leviticus 9:24 it says – “and fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
Then in Verse 1 above – two other sons of Aaron’s, those not appointed to be priests decide that it would be cool is they could also do some of that “stuff”. So they go and get censures and try to copy what big brothers have done.
And… they paid with their lives for their foolishness.
I hear a warning here and in a few other words that I have encountered in the past week. The warning is that if I wish to be involved in ministry and in leadership in my church, I must also pay careful attention to the state of my life. For those who are not involved in ministry, the rules are a little more lenient. For any who desire to stand as part of a modern day priesthood to our Heavenly Father, the rules get a bit tighter. Fire may not fall on us today, but if God even removes a little bit of His covering from me and exposes us to the gods of this world – we are indeed toast!
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
We minister today in the Power of His Holy Spirit, not our own spirit. It’s imperative that we listen to the Holy Spirit closely and continually, and that we make changes to our lives as He convicts us of problem areas. I see it as an extension of all the purity and cleanliness laws of the Book of Leviticus that I am reading. I don’t have to sacrifice a bull for my sins – Jesus paid that price. However, I need to pay attention to my own personal behaviors and cleanliness according to the same kinds of rules that the OT shows us.
If your offering your life and services to Him, make sure that there is no “Strange Fire” in there!