Leviticus 16:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Day of Atonement
16 Now the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the Lord, and died; 2 and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.
We were meditating on this verse this morning – as instructed by the Lord and wondering to ourselves what the reason was why He would have us meditate on this particular verse which seemed rooted very deep in the ‘Old Covenant mindset’. As every Christian should know two of the main keys to be used in order to understand the Bible, and be enabled to preach it from the ‘New Covenant mindset’ is to find Jesus in the verse, and show what He had accomplished when He died on the Cross and rose again from the dead. Our main task is to show Jesus in the verse so that believers may ‘experience Jesus Christ, and be changed’.1
Upon this revelation the Lord instructed us to find the reason why the sons of Aaron died when they offered before the Lord, and how that can be applied practically in your ‘walk-with-Me’ today.
Our investigation led us to Leviticus 10 verse 1 and 2
Leviticus 10:1-2 King James Version (KJV)
10 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.
2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
After an in-depth look at various study materials which included the Tanakh, and the Talmud, etc., this is what we found:
The sins of priests Nadab and Abihu (only the most important with relation to this revelation is mentioned, in order to keep straight to the point):
- In the process of divine services, did what was not commanded. (Lev 10:1)
- Offered strange fire – that of their own making and not the fire of the altar, before Jehovah2
- Offered incense at the wrong time and place.
- Failed to sanctify themselves before Jehovah and the congregation who were in a state of religious ecstacy.3
- Got drunk and sought to carry on the holy services in this state.
- They entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. This was forbidden since only a High Priest alone could enter it on this appointed day.
- The Talmud teaches that neither the kohanim (priests serving under the high priest) nor the Kohen Gadol (high priest) were fit to minister unless they wore their priestly vestments: “While they are clothed in the priestly garments, they are clothed in the priesthood; but when they are not wearing the garments, the priesthood is not upon them”.
- In Judaism what you wore on the outside was supposed to reflect what was on present on the inside. This is apparent when we look at the Hebrew word for ‘garment’, mentioned in Exodus 28:2 and how it’s exactly the same Hebrew word used in Isaiah 64:6 for the word ‘rags’.
Out of all the sins committed by Nadab and Abihu the Lord chose to only mention one, and make it more important than the others. This sin was ‘offering strange fire before the Lord’. The question is WHY?
The term ‘strange fire’ represents fire not taken from the altar of the Lord, but that of man’s own making.
This story carries the same principle of why God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected Cain’s. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because it pointed to His Son dying on the Cross for the sins of the world. It speaks of the sacrifice of Christ by which we obtain our blessings, holiness, and righteousness. Cain’s speaks of the sacrifice of the work of his hands by which one tries to obtain righteousness – thus in essence shunning the work of the Lamb of God. To trust or not to trust in His sacrifice, that is the question.
Nadab and Abihu’s sacrifice is similar to that of Cain. They trusted not in the sufficiency of the High Priest’s sacrifice, but went in a second time to offer unto the Lord again when He had not permitted them to do so. They were cursed and died because of this. The truth about this for a believer today is that it is only in Him that we are complete.
The same truth applies for both unbelievers and believers alike today. It is a ‘John 3:16 truth’.
John 3:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)
16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
When we don’t trust that the sacrifice/offering of the High Priest, Jesus Christ, is sufficient we tend to follow the same path of Nadab and Abihu. Question is do we want to follow the same path that they had? Do we want to walk down the same road of WORKING to attain our blessings, salvation, righteousness, peace, and holiness? Or do we TRUST/REST in the fact that God wants us to inherit THROUGH FAITH that which His Son had died to give us on the Cross? There can only be ONE HIGH PRIEST, you or Jesus.
Which do you choose?
Thought for the day:
‘Examine where you trust in yourselves more than you trust in Me’ Jesus’ saying. “In order for you to fly like eagles, you need to let go of the ‘chains’ which secure you safely to the ground. True flight is only attained when My eagles walk off a cliff, and trust that I – the Wind beneath their wings will not cause them to fall, but to soar high.’
Just as the Jess8 is used to train birds of prey, and keep them safe and secure when they rest on the arms of the trainer, so in My loving embrace that you will only fly when I release you to do so. Believe that I will not to let you go, but hold you safe. Even more than the amount of faith put into the process of successful take-off , let your faith be more in the Instructor and His Jess, than in your ability to fly. You are My eagles in training – both big and small; young and old. Never grow tired of needing Me..
This’ a walk on the wild side..
- 2 Co 3:18; Song 1:3
- Lev 10:1; Num 3:4
- Lev 9:24
- Lev10:3,9 ; Lev 16:8-9
- Zevachim 17:B
- 4:3-5; Heb. 11:4