Allow me to set the scene: the turnpike or interstate is jammed with traffic, with cars, buses, trucks all vying for space, flying at breakneck speeds far above the posted limits, weaving between lanes in reckless abandonment, resembling a true-to-life version of Mario Cart. Then as you round a bend, you catch a glimpse of the flashing lights of a police cruiser. Drivers are immediately plunged into numb despair, pumping brakes, praying that they are not the culprit, the reason for the lights. A sigh of relief is heard as a car is pulled over…and it isn’t yours! It is not amazing that one set of flashing lights can serve as an effective warning to everyone who sees it.
Aaron and his sons were given a tremendous privilege, representing the people of Israel before a holy God, a privilege not bestowed upon them due to some goodness of perfection on their part, this honor was extended to them solely by grace. Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, who were born under slavery in Egypt, now found themselves standing in their priestly garments before the altar of Jehovah. Humble thankfulness and gratitude for this honor bestowed upon them should have overflowed in their lives. Instead, we are told that “they offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded not.” The “censer” containing the fire and the “incense therein” were fine, but the fire was “strange,” translated profane. Although we are not given much insight, in some way they violated God’s commands, they trivialized His holiness, and they did it knowingly. They sinned by fire, and would be punished by fire, for “there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” Just as fire had descended upon Sodom and Gomorrah years before, fire would come down and snuff out the lives of these two priests.
Nadab and Abihu had previously witnessed firsthand Yahweh’s consuming fire upon the altar of brass, His seal of approval upon His people’s obedience and humility, but Aaron’s boys ignored the flashing warning lights and took the holiness of God lightly. Their experience provides a staunch reminder that those who “draw nigh unto God” must never trivialize His holiness or disregard His commands. “Now these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” God gives us examples from His Word to flash warning lights for His children. Heed the warnings and “put difference between the holy and unholy, and between the clean and unclean.”
Leviticus 10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between the clean and unclean.
Lord, may we never trivialize Your Word or Your holiness. Keep us always in awe of You, humbled in Your presence, and aware of Your warning signs.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2806-62b6903dcd869' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2806&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2806-62b6903dcd869' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2806-62b6903dcd869' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>