Read: Leviticus 10:1-20
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:1-2
This is a tough section of scripture. It can seem as if God had little patience on this day. There are a handful of times in scripture when God strikes people dead because of their sin. How sobering it is to read these occasions in scripture. We must let them be important reminders of the holiness and power of God and of the seriousness of sin.
Nadab and Abihu were Moses’ nephews (Aaron’s sons). These men had seen God work in amazing ways to free the Israelites from Egypt. They knew of God’s power and holiness. God had assigned them an important responsibility as priests. But after having just been instructed on how exactly to conduct worship, Nadab and Abihu were careless with that responsibility and disrespectful to God. It cost them their lives.
This is not one of those stories we tell our children and not one that we like to spend a great deal of time pondering. In our modern world, we prefer to think about God’s forgiveness and His love for us. But in doing this, we can become somewhat numb to the gravity of sin. We can forget the weight and magnitude of our sin. But the wages of sin is death.
The truth is, death is what we all deserve. We have all disobeyed God. We have all taken lightly what He has asked of us or called us to. Aaron’s sons died because of their sin, because of their lack of regard for what God had asked of them. And the wages of sin is death. That literal death can come quickly after a particular sin, as in their case, or can be a slow dying of our souls in a habitual sin.
So often we play with sin, or we play along the border of sin, testing how far we can go without falling. This is dangerous territory and this behavior is not respectful of God’s warnings.
Jesus died so we can live for eternity and he suffered the wrath of God in our place so that we could be in a right relationship with the Father. He did not die so that we could take sin lightly. Don’t fall into the thinking that because of Christ’s work on the cross, God isn’t serious about sin. He is completely serious about sin.
Step away from that sin you are toying with. Scripture says FLEE! Run and turn away from the destructive death grip of the enemy. Never take your freedom lightly. It was paid for with tremendous sacrifice. Our God of love is also a God of justice and holiness. He knows what is best for us and that is precisely why He wants us to flee and run from the schemes of the enemy.
Let Nadab and Abihu be a reminder to you that God is holy and we are not.
Let this story remind and warn you of the gravity of sin.
And let it really sink into your soul of how good God’s grace is!
Thank you, God, for your amazing grace. Thank you, God, that we have been extended your grace and mercy rather than your wrath which we fully deserve. Let us humbly remember what You have done for us. You are long suffering, patient, compassionate, and good. Help us to flee from those things that lead to death and let us unswervingly hold onto You, the One who brings us life. In Jesus name, Amen.