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What Nadab and Abihu did was an act of deliberate sin made because they felt they could either rely on their own ability to start the fire or that their power from being a priest would enhance the power of God. Either they saw no reason to keep the altar fire burning as instructed in 6:12-13 because they knew they could easily relight it themselves which is probably what happened - or - the fire was still as burning as instructed but they decided that their priestly positions gave them power equal to the power of God which they demonstrated by adding their own additional fire to the altar. In either case God punished them by consuming them with fire.

Aaron had just seen his two oldest sons and his two remaining sons Elezar and Ithamar had just seen their brothers burned to ashes. Moses instructed the three of them not to leave the tabernacle to grieve with the people or to tear their clothes or let their hair go uncombed as a sign of mourning because they were to continue performing their priestly duty of offering sin sacrifices to God on behalf of the people and they did as were instructed. They did not turn their backs on God or refuse to perform their duties. However, after they burned the sin offering for their own sin and the sins of the people, they did not eat the meat as instructed. Moses approached them angrily demanding to know why they didn’t eat the meat. Aaron basically explained to Moses that they had done all they were suppose to do except they were to upset to eat after just watching Nadab and Abihu having been burned to a crisp, and then Moses understood and had compassion on them.

This is comforting to me because just as Moses had compassion when he realized how much Aaron, Elezar and Ithamar were hurting, Christ has compassion for us when we are deeply upset or hurting. God knows and considers what is taking place in our hearts. There are times when we hurt too deeply to pray and the Holy Spirit intervenes for us during those times. There are times when we have such pressing matters going on in our lives that even though we read the Scripture we are not aware of what we read, but God knows we are doing the best that we can do at that time. There are times when for some reason or another we cannot make ourselves enter the door of the church, but God still loves us and stays with us.

God bless!
Pat

The death of the two sons of AAron,reminds me of the disobedience of Moses at striking the rock twice. Moses lifted himself as God to the people. His temper got the best of him,which I can relate to,and cause him to respond the way he did. Moses didnot intentionally intend to dishonor God, but God still chose to punish him. The disobedience of Arron's sons could have been willful therefore calling for the wrath of God. I like what you said about the parbles of sowing. I don't like to wait. I just recently started growing tomatoes. Watching the process unfold has been amazing. I would go out everyday to see how my vines were doing. I was the caretaker of this garden. The fruit from these vines were in my hands. Watching my father in law grow tomatoes taught me the principles of caring for the vine. If I take this knowledge and applied to what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life and into the lives that he leads me, then God will supply the needed ingredients to make it grow.

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