Nadab and Abihu

Text: Leviticus 10:1-3

God Must Be Treated As Holy

  • He is worthy of such treatment (Revelation 4:11; Jeremiah 10:10; Exodus 20:2)
  • We honor God through careful obedience (John 17:4; 14:15)

What Did Nadab & Abihu Get Wrong?

  • Strange fire “which He had not commanded them” (v. 1) — important principle of authority & silence (Hebrews 7:14)
  • Unauthorized use of the firepans/censers (v. 1) — instructions previously given for making the firepans (Exodus 27:3), they were made (Exodus 38:3), but instructions regarding their use would not be given until later (Leviticus 16:12)
  • Wrong personnel (v. 1) — two priests, sons of the high priest; when the instructions were given later we see this was to be done by one priest — the high priest (Leviticus 16:11-12)
  • They did not act thoughtfully — drunkenness condemned immediately after their deaths (Leviticus 10:8-11); they were perhaps drunk, but not necessarily; reminds us of the need to be sober-minded so we can serve God acceptably

We Must Respect God’s Judgments

  • Natural reaction for Aaron following the death of his sons could have been sadness or anger, yet he kept silent (v. 3)
  • Aaron & his other sons were forbidden from publicly displaying their grief (v. 6)
  • God’s judgments are always true & righteous (Psalm 19:9)

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