A CONSUMING FIRE
Daily Devotional Leviticus 10: 1-3
Is a fire always bad? According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire, forest fires serve some important roles. They clean the forest floor, provide wildland habitats for animals, and rid trees of dangerous diseases. While a fire may destroy, it also provides life for future generations.
What will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 PETER 4:17
The fire described in Leviticus 10 is shocking. Everything had been going so well for Israel. The priests were consecrated for their ministry and God had accepted their sacrifice. That same day, Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu offered incense in an “unauthorized fire”, and everything changed (v. 1). What did Nadab and Abihu do wrong?
Well, just about everything. First, they were not the right people to offer incense in the Holy of Holies, that was the high priest’s job (v. 1). Second, they offered this incense at the wrong time. It was only on the Day of Atonement that the high priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies to burn incense (Lev. 16). Third, they offered the wrong kind of incense. The word translated “unauthorized” is more literally “strange” or “foreign” (v. 1). Nadab and Abihu could have been introducing a foreign or pagan ritual into the worship of the Lord.
Because of their disobedience, “fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them” (v. 2). Instead of a fire that consumed the sacrifice, they were themselves consumed in judgment. Their essential problem was thinking they knew better. They didn’t take God or His word seriously (v. 3), they didn’t treat God as holy. God wanted to make sure that Israel knew they could approach Him only on His terms, according to His commands.
>> On this Resurrection Sunday, we celebrate our risen Savior who has conquered death forever. This truth should impact our worship! The writer of Hebrews reminds us: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Heb. 12:28–29).
Pray with Us
On this Easter Sunday, Lord, as we celebrate Your resurrection, we also remember what You delivered us from. In compassion You endured our just penalty so that we could be made holy!