• William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 3, 2021

Daily Reading: Leviticus 8-10

Leviticus 10:1

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.

Some years ago my children all asked me the same question, "What do you want for your birthday?" I played a lot of golf in those days so I said, "All I would like for you to buy me is some golf balls." On the day of my birthday I received some nice gifts from my children, but no golf balls. Christmas came around a few months later, same question from my children, same answer, same result; no golf balls. So, I asked them, "Why didn't you give me what I asked for?" They basically all said the same thing summed up like this, "Golf balls are a boring gift, I wanted to get you something else." Now any gift is nice, and I am glad they love me enough to give me gifts, but I have to say this, they wanted to give me what they wanted to give me not the gift that I desired.

This oversimplified illustration shows forth a flaw in our worship of God Almighty. We want to give Him what we want to give Him and not necessarily that which He desires, which He has commanded. Nadab and Abihu did this. They brought strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. It is one thing to ask for a certain gift and not get it, happens all the time, no big deal right? Right! But to not give God, our Heavenly Father, that which He commands, that is a big deal. In fact, it is the biggest of big deals.

As we read the book of Leviticus notice how precise, detailed, and specific God is about the various offerings, washings, rituals, rites, and processes that accompany worship. Today we have it simple in comparison. Our worship is to basically be comprised of appropriately presenting ourselves before Him routinely, giving Him tithes and offerings, giving Him praise through songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, being instructed through a message from His Word, and bowing ourselves before Him in prayer and contrition. All of these are to be done through the local church and in the beauty of Holiness. All things offered to Him are to be Holy, including our lives.

Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord because they violated His clear teachings about the type of incense to be offered before Him. An example in the New Testament of this is found in I Corinthians chapter 11 wherein the local church ordinance of the Lord's supper is explained. Paul said of those who violated this ordinance, For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (I Corinthians 11:30)

Evidently God is serious about that which He desires from us in worship. May we be ever careful to make sure that we don't give Him what we want to give Him, instead of giving Him that which He commands.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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