Leviticus 10

Leviticus 10 begins with a rather stark example of what happens when people are disobedient to God.  Two of Aaron’s sons, men that were serving as priests in the tent of meeting, “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”.  Nadab and Abihu did not do as the Lord had commanded.  They did things on their own, did them their own way, and it was sinful.  No where did God give them any direction that was even close to what they chose to do.

On the surface it seems pretty harmless.  They took their censer, put incense on it, and burned it.  They didn’t sprinkle the incense on the altar and burn it there as they had been commanded.  The reality is that God had not authorized or commanded a single one of the things they did.  They did things their way rather than God’s way, and paid a price for their sin, in this case immediate death.  The bottom line is that they offered unholy fire before God.  They did not follow His commandments but did things their own way and violated what He had instructed.

Seems pretty harsh doesn’t it.  But it just shows us how very crucial sin is in our lives.  It is not something we can just take lightly or ignore.  There is a real problem with sin – it separates us from God and always has consequences.  Does that mean we will die when we sin?  Obviously not for all of us sin but we’re not all dead, at least not physically.  But sin does kill us spiritually in that it puts a chasm between us and God.  And when we don’t address sin, which in our case happens through seeking forgiveness and cleansing through the shed blood of Christ, we’ll experience eternal death and separation as well.

Throughout scripture we see that God holds certain people to different standards.  Here the priests are held to a high standard of obedience.  “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”.  God’s commandments are not suggestions, and are not open to interpretation.  Aaron and his sons were required to do exactly as God commanded.  Disobedience always carries a price tag.  In this case it led to death.  We need to heed God’s Word!


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