After 2 months of learning about the Tabernacle in the wilderness, I learned that there are 50 chapters dedicated to this subject. That can only mean that God does not want us to miss this message. It is the foreshadowing of the Cross and how to obtain salvation through Christ. Since I take turns with another woman teaching Biblical lessons, I am responsible for the subjects that are taught when it's my turn to teach. Often times the subjects are chosen for me as I feel the tugging of the Holy Spirit directing me. With so much left to discuss on this subject, I felt led to go deeper into certain parts of this study. One of them is the “strange fire" that was offered up to the Lord by two of Aaron's sons. Not only is it a part of passage, but it also has an important message for believers today. If we aren't offering up the right kind of praise and worship to the Lord, we will ulitimately face the same consequences that Nadab and Abihu experienced for their grave disobedience. . .death!
When God talked to Moses, He set up 4 things that would set the platform for His ultimate plan of salvation. The first thing we learn about is His Law of the Ten Commandments. This reminds us that we are all sinners and need to recognize them. The second thing He gives us is the foundation of Christianity through the Tabernacle. Then He gives Moses the sacrificial offerings which also lead us from sinful man to salvation through Christ who became the Sacrificial Lamb. It is His blood that appeased God and made our salvation possible. And lastly, God gave Moses the Levitical priesthood that points to our High Priest, Jesus Christ. God is very explicit when He gave Moses His plan. God does things in detail and it's not for us to assume that anything has changed. What was true in Moses’ day, still rings true today. Why have we veered so far off the path? I do believe that if we don't sit up and smell the roses, we will be in for a rude awakening soon. Time is running out for all of us. What can we learn from Nadab and Abihu?
In Exodus 28, God is telling Moses that He is appointing his brother Aaron to be His high priest in order to minister to Him. Since we are all priests through the blood, we are still responsible to minister to God. That is our main duty in life to this day. (1 Pt. 2:9). God also calls Aaron's 4 sons into the ministry. God is giving Moses in detail the clothing that they must wear. This also typifies Christ as it describes “glory and beauty". The main duty for the priests were to deal with the sacrifices and the service. They had to go through an ordination much like priests and pastors today. If there is anything being done that God has not foreordained, it will be exposed eventually and destroyed. In other words, we cannot change the way God has commanded our service to Him to be. He will not accept any “strange fire" that is offered, no matter how sweet it may smell to us!
"Now 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
The Bible doesn't say exactly what this “strange fire" consisted of, only that the Lord did not command it. The original fire for the Brazen Altar was started by God and it was not to go out. The priestly duties were to keep that fire going. Perhaps these two overly confident young men thought they could use something different or act irreverently towards God and He wouldn't notice. But not so, God saw them just as he sees us today.
"Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored. ’ " So Aaron therefore, kept silent. " Leviticus 10:3
It is clear that both Nadab and Abihu violated both requirements of God's absolute standard. The priests had received repeated and solemn warnings as to the necessity of reverence before God (Ex.19:22; 29:44). For this reason, Aaron could not grieve and complain for his sons. He had to submit to the reverence of God or risk being struck down as well. Due to their disrespect of the Lord, they were considered defiled and none of the priests could touch them for fear of defiling themselves as well. Aaron's cousins, Mishael and Elzaphan were instructed to carry the ashes out in their coats to be tossed outside of the camp with the ashes of the animal sacrifices. This was a lesson for all to see and take heed of God's wrath towards disobedience. To make matters even worse for these two men, it is possible that they were intoxicated when they did this. Leviticus 10:9 might suggest this is what happened.
"Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die~it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations~and so as to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses. " Leviticus 10:9-11
What we are to take from this today is that aside from Christ, we simply can NOT please God. We are instructed to always be sober minded. This doesn't just mean sober from alcohol, but to be ‘spiritualy’ sober. This is to be steadfast, having self-control and to be clear headed with the ability to be moraly decisive. This speaks of a ‘sober’ Christian who is correctly in charge of his priorities and not intoxicated with allurements of lust. Apparently Nadab and Abihu were not thinking clearly. We have a very real advocate who roams around as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. This enemy is spreading his lies in the churches today by telling us that God will over look our sins because He loves us. If Christ is not in that equation, God's judgment will come quickly. Like Nadab and Abihu, His wrath will destroy us. It doesn't paint a pretty picture but it is truthful. Satan would have us believe that God doesn't care about our sins.
It's time God's people take back the truth that it's spelled out in the Old Testament. Why? Because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does not change. He will never adapt around our so called “no relative truth" theory. His truth is relative and His rules don't pick and choose. They are the same rules and apply to everyone. If the speed limit is 55 mph, then everyone must obey that rule. We can't pick the speed that we feel suits us. If we go over that speed limit, we will pay a steep fine and consequenses will follow. It's our choice, we can approach life with a sober mind and live or we can get drunk on self importance and die. In life and in the spiritual, we have been forewarned!
There are “strange fires" being lit all over the churches today. We are making our own strange brand of doctrines to please ourselves. Just listen to the news and what we are accepting of. There apparently is no right or wrong way to live anymore. For more information on your Christian rights, visit the website for the ‘American Family Association’. If you want to get involved with keeping God's moral laws alive, sign up for their petitions and make a difference.
In a world that's constantly changing, you can trust in God's unchanging Word.
All scripture is taken from “The MacArthur Study Bible"-New American Standard version.
Vivian Gordon is led by the Holy Spirit to reach out and give the Christian and non Christian alike something to think about in their own lives. These articles are meant to edify the reader and bring them deeper. They are based on spirituality, inspiration, and today's morals and how we need to get back to basics.