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I was away due to travel but after reading the posts from February 19th re 'paying those who do vocational ministry' I was reminded AGAIN why I will not encourage any of my sons who are passionate to know and serve God, into vocational Christian ministry. I have been in vocational ministry for over 30 years and lived under the 'perception' that 'why should ministers/missionaries get paid?' This is killing to one's soul, especially if one has experienced some kind of authentic call from the Lord which has been confirmed by others. In other words, "the set apart' thing spoken of in Acts 13:1-2. Let's ease up and cut our 'paid staff' some slack. Sure, there are those who fleece the flock, so to speak, but a lot of the guys and gals I know are well educated and could be doing other careers that paid a lot better but then again most of us didn't go into for the money to begin with.

Luch,

Thank you for putting yesterday's discussion in perspective as well as giving it a face.

Leviticus 9:7-10:20


I think I’m going to “skip,” at least for now, the two “former” sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and focus on the order of the sacrifices offered. In truth that was the thing that caught my attention; although having two of your sons burn up in front of your eyes will catch your interest.

I believe the order of the sacrifices, sin, burnt and then peace/fellowship gives us a window into our approach God. We cannot come in peace to His alter, whatever and wherever that may be today, without dealing with the “sin” issue, then offering ourselves up as a “living” sacrifice. God is a God of order, not of chaos and confusion.

During my years that I professed my hatred of God, if he did exist (I was judging God by the disciples I met in His church and at home.), some people would ask me questions about my anger and rage juxtaposed to the issue of Jesus and God. I would flippantly say, “Well, if there is a God then He knows what happened to me so he would forgive me,” and/or “If there is a God and as you say He is merciful, then He would show me mercy.” What I know realize is that confession of sin and becoming a living sacrifice has nothing to do with God’s mercy as much as it had everything to do with Identification with Christ. It is being under that “cover: that protects us from a Holy God and the only way to be protected by that is through the Gift of Salvation. Nadab and Abihu walked out from under that cover of protection by trying to do it “Their Way.”

Grace and peace,

Ramona

A few things that I found interesting in our readings today:

1) When Nadab and Abihu were struck down, Leviticus 9:4 states that "Aaron was silent." He must have known there was no defense or excuse for their actions. Later, when Moses confronts the other two sons in v. 16 - 18 for how they handled the meat of the sin offering, Aaron answers Moses and defends his remaining two sons and 9:20 says that "he (Moses) was satisfied." While I do believe that "sin is sin", I have often wondered about gradations of sin - is one sin worse than another in God's eyes, or does He see all sin the same way? Both sets of sons were disobedient, yet some are struck down and the others are forgiven. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas on this?

2) Leviticus 10:10-11 - "You must distinguish between what is sacred and what is common." (NASB uses the words "holy" and "profane".) In v. 11, we read "you must teach the Isrealites all the decrees that the Lord has given through Moses." This reminded me of Matthew 28:20, where Jesus says "Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."

Both of these passages remind me of my responsibility to study God's Word daily, to be able to discern between the "sacred and the common" and to go out and teach others with my life, my actions and my words.

3) Finally, I would encourage everyone (who has the time) to read Mike's links to the bible.org commentaries. I am in an in-depth study of Leviticus right now and have found those commentaries to be really helpful in understanding Leviticus, as well as the foreshadowing and how it all plays out in the New Testament. I have found my study of Leviticus has given me a much richer understanding of the New Testament, and especially the book of Hebrews.

Mark

Legion: Many in one to one going to many.

The area was known as the Decapolis. There is some disagreement as to whether it was Jewish or Gentile, but I lean toward Gentile because of what we see later in Mark's Gospel.
http://www.spring.arbor.edu/printable_template.jsp?show_print=no&backPageID=1557&smpl_sakey=4591

The demons asked Jesus not to be tortured. How ironic that the demons who were torturing the man inside were afraid of the One who never practiced torture. [Is their some relation today to how non-believers perceive believers?]

The Demon(s) said his name was "Legion" "for we are many". The many did not want to leave the region [where they had been assigned?], but wanted to be sent into the herd of pigs.

"Why pigs? The Canaanites had sacrificed pigs to the demons. The archaeologists have found altars erected for that purpose...So this special relationship between pigs and demons becomes understandable. Moreover the emblem of one of the most famous legions, the Decima Fretensis, was that of the wild boar"
http://www.pbcc.org/sermons/morgan/1115.html

"such as the pig which was a standard Canaanite sacrifice"
- R. de Vaux, Les sacrifices de porce en Palestine et dans l'Ancien Orient, in J. Hempel (ed.), Von Ugarit Hach Qumran, Topelmann, Berlin, 1953, pp. 250 ff.

Then the demons and the animals for demon sacrifice ran into the sea and drowned. Maybe it wasn't the hoped for Kingly act of Jesus ridding Israel of Romans, but it certainly spoke to his authority and power regarding demons.

The man was normal again, and the crowds when they came were afraid. Why? Maybe because Jesus had proven more powerful than "legion" and had destroyed the pig herd - what would he do to them???

The man wanted to go with Jesus, but was told to go home and "testify". [How often today do we think we need education or time to develop a ministry, when the best ministry may be just telling your story?]

The effect? Well later In Mark we will see people from the Decapolis area coming to Jesus for healing. Later still 4,000 are present for teaching and his miracle of feeding. All this happened from the same people who wanted Jesus to just go away.

THE MAN (formerly demonized)MUST HAVE HAD A PRETTY EFFECTIVE TESTIMONY.
======================================================
Ray Vander Laan hosts a video series: "That The World May Know". I just saw this episode on "Legion" last week - [Is God good with his timing or what?]. The series is well worth purchasing. He is a Historian who is also a Christian.

The link to some of his comments are here (could only call them up on google cache - sorry)

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:dQh8bTHp9RwJ:www.discoverthebook.org/message_detail.asp%3Ffileid%3D793+Decapolis+pig+demon+Ray+focus+on+the+family&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2


Lisa,

As far as the severity of punishment, I can only think of the phrase: 'to whom much is given, much is expected'. They apparently as priests did actions "contrary to his command" Lev 10:1, and paid a price.

When we get to Leviticus 16, we will see that they violated not just the manner of coming to the Lord, but the time and place as well.

I also think of the recount of Annanias and Saphira in Acts. It seems that when the Lord is setting up something (worship in the wilderness,the early church,etc.), an early "wrong" act can be severely punished to make an "example of" and to say 'take this stuff seriously'. There may be other examples I can not think of at this moment.

As far as the later sin of not eating the offering in the Tent. I think the difference is: Aaron because of what happened was thinking he and his sons were not worthy to be in fellowship with God. He was too embarassed or felt guilty. However, that is exactly the point - do your offering, atone for the sin, and rejoin God in fellowship.

In other words, the second one was not a sin of willful defiance, but one of human feelings of guilt and shame over the previous screw-up. And apparently Moses was satisfied that it was not a continuing pattern of willful disobediance.

[I certainly defer to other opinions on your question - these are just my off-thecuff responses].

The verse that stood out to me in today's old testament reading...to wash the inner parts of the offerings and the legs even if they were going to be burnt completely.I kind of thought of the bible verse,"present your body a living sacrifice"and thought about the heart(inner part)for the sacrifice to be pleasing...we need to be wash every part.
As I chewed on the "He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything"in mark 4:34..I wondered why Jesus didn't explain everything to everyone..to give them all a chance.Maybe because he wanted them to seek him,he wanted to be sure he didn't give pearls to pigs...maybe he wanted to separate those who only came for the"show" from those who wanted to hear the truth....

sorry I meant for the sacrifice to be pleasing to God we have to wash the inner part...renewing our mind with the word...the word does clean up our inner parts....

Anka,

I believe J. Vernon McGee in his bible commentary has it correct. The Pharisees had begun to plot for Jesus' demise. But it was not His time yet. Some (maybe many) of the crowds came for the miracles, but not the spiritual applications. Those were indifferent to spiritual truths.

This "necessitated a change to the use of parables so that those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness would be filled and those that wanted spiritual truth could have their eyes opened."

While the others had hardened hearts that made them unable to see and hear the Truth of God's Word as spoken by Jesus. They were just confused.

The application today:
"Now it is your reaction and reception to the Word of God that is going to determine whether you will be saved or not." - Mcgee again

Does the non-believer search for God with an open honest heart? Do they truly want to know the Truth? Are they playing games, or do they really want to understand God's message?

If they have a heart with no guile, want the Truth, want to understand - then God will reveal it to them. Otherwise, they will just be confused.

Once revealed, it is just a matter of a Choice.

WHOMSOEVER WILL

P.S. Then why were the apostle's spoon-fed? Because they were "chosen" and they followed, and Jesus chose to teach them separately to prepare them for when he was gone. {my conjecture here}

Leviticus 10 – The death of Nadab and Abihu

Comments:
1. from: HTTP://HEBREW4CHRISTIANS.COM -- Messianic Jewish website

This portion of the Torah reading begins on the eighth (shmini) day following the seven days of inauguration for Aaron and his sons as priests in the Mishkan (tabernacle). As the eighth day, it is a picture of grace, the renewal of the completed seven preceding days.

On this day Aaron and his sons made offerings as directed by Moses. The Kavod Adonai (glory of the LORD) then appeared before all the people and fire issued forth from God that consumed the offerings on the altar.

In the midst of the Tabernacle dedication celebration, however, tragedy strikes. Two sons of Aaron (Nadab and Abihu) offered “strange fire” (eish zarah) during their service in the Mishkan (tabernacle) and are consumed by fire from the LORD. THIS “STRANGE FIRE” MIGHT HAVE BEEN AN IMPROPER INCENSE OFFERING. AARON IS SILENT IN THE FACE OF HIS TRAGEDY AND NOT ALLOWED TO MOURN.

It is interesting that another Torah reading then shifts to 2 Samuel 6:1-9 (all of chapters 6 and 7).

This passage concerns a similar tragedy regarding the glory of God, a tragedy that befell Uzzah, son of Abinadab. The Aaron HaElohim (Ark of the LORD) was being returned triumphantly on a wagon from the Philistines who had captured it. The procession was being led by two sons of Abinadab, Uzzah and Ahio, with Ahio leading the oxen that are pulling the wagon at King David’s direction.

UZZAH WAS WALKING BESIDE THE ARK. HOWEVER, WHEN THE OXEN STUMBLED AND UZZAH REACHED OUT STEADY THE ARK, THE LORD BECAME ANGRY AND STRUCK HIM DEAD ON THE SPOT. KING DAVID, GREATLY AFRAID, THEN DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ARK AT THE HOUSE OF OBED-EDOM THE GITTITE.

David soon learned that Obed-edom the Gittite had been wonderfully blessed by the presence of the ark, so the decision was made to restore it to Jerusalem. David carefully removed the ark and every six steps made a sacrifice. The procession ended with the placement of the Ark in the Tent that David had pitched for it in Jerusalem.

Chapter 7 is the account where, because David’s heart for the LORD was to build Him a house, God honored David. The LORD promised David that He would instead build a house for David, and that a king from his line would sit on his “house” (i.e., his throne) forever. This is called the Davidic Covenant. The Father and the Holy Spirit, in Luke 1:31-33 reveal that the Davidic Covenant is completely fulfilled in the Lord Jesus—one from the line of David as the Eternal Messiah.

~~~

MY NOTE: A common thread to both of these powerful events in Leviticus 10 and 2 Samuel 6 can be summarized in Leviticus 10:10 (NIV) – “YOU MUST DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE HOLY AND THE COMMON, BETWEEN THE UNCLEAN AND THE CLEAN.”

I am personally surprised that the Messianic Jewish website noted above does not clarify how the "strange fire" might have been an improper offering.


The “Full Life Study Bible” has notes that I found particularly helpful in understanding more of why it was an improper incense offering:
Context: Exodus 30 (NIV) –
7
Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps.
8
He [Aaron] must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the LORD for the generations to come.
9
DO NOT OFFER ON THIS ALTAR [FRAGRANT INCENSE ON THE ALTAR EVERY MORNING] ANY OTHER INCENSE OR ANY BURNT OFFERING OR GRAIN OFFERING, AND DO NOT POUR A DRINK OFFERING ON IT.

Note from “Full Life Study Bible”:
“Nadab and Abihu put in their censors (i.e., fire pans) coals of fire from an unauthorized source (see Exodus 30:9). Note also that the offering of incense on the altar was to be done only by the high priest.

SOME INTERPRETERS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT NADAB AND ABIHU SINNED WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.”

The interpretation of alcohol is given because of these verse in Leviticus 10 (NIV):
8
Then the LORD said to Aaron,
9
“You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die.

~~~

MY FINAL NOTE:
Thank God that God is THE GOD OF GRACE in the New Testament. Yet also remember that Jesus said:
I and the Father are One
Before Abraham was, “I AM”

Since Jesus is Lord and since Jesus is God -- whatever the Father does the Son also does and is in full agreement with. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT JESUS HIMSELF SAID IN JOHN 5:17-19.

Finally, consider these verses from Hebrews 12 (NKJV):
22
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
23
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24
to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29
For our God is a consuming fire.

Vance

Hi guys

I am reading this book called "Winning Words" It's about making sure that we know what God says about us by readind the bible daily and applying it to our lives. I agree totally that the Bible is like a seed. Once it's sown we will reap the rewards as we are transformed from the inside out. The parables about the seeds have come up a lot in the last week. A friend of mine talked about it and referred me to the first two lines in John! The power of the Word of God will change our lives as we make it become a part of our being! Just thought I'd share this with you!

Bye

Hi guys

I am reading this book called "Winning Words" It's about making sure that we know what God says about us by reading the bible daily and applying it to our lives. I agree totally that the Bible is like a seed. Once it's sown we will reap the rewards as we are transformed from the inside out. The parables about the seeds have come up a lot in the last week. A friend of mine talked about it and referred me to the first two lines in John! The power of the Word of God will change our lives as we make it become a part of our being! Just thought I'd share this with you!

Bye

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