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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

What would it be like if today, God would IMMEDIATELY bring judgement / punishment when we sin/disobey? Here are two priests who saw the handiwork and miracles of God, who were probably second in command under Moses and Aaron. They KNEW what was expected of them in their priestly roles and KNEW the instructions of God regarding the way sacrifices were to be done. Yet, they disobeyed. It is presumed they were drunk too freely during the peace-offerings. But regardless of the excuse/reason, they clearly took liberties in their duties and worship.

I believe we will be held accountable for not only GOING to church, but for WHAT TYPE of church we attend. These two priest "did" the duties they were supposed to do, but did not do it God's way. Does your church go through the routine/rituals of a church service without following Biblical guidelines for worship? Some churches push aside the Holiness of God and make church services a carnival atmosphere.

But this not only applies to churches, but to our own personal lives. Do we fill our eyes and ears with TV, movies, songs, etc. that would not be pleasing to the Lord? Do we really pay attention to the prayers being said during services or consider the words of the songs that are sung? Do we even sing or try to sing the songs - or just stand/sit there wishing, waiting for it to be "over". Do we give grudgingly or out of a sense of obligation our money and time. Do we distinguish between the holy and the common, both in manner and method, in attitude and action, in spirit and in truth?

A refiner's fire does not consume completely like the fire of an incinerator. A refiner's fire refines. It purifies. We were created in God's image to reverence, trust, obey and glorify Him. But we were born with sin and continually fall short of God's plan for our lives. I pray that I will not take lightly my worship for God and will seek to be refined by God's fire.

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