April 7, 2022
Today’s reading: Leviticus 10:1-2
We read in Leviticus 10:1-2:
1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.
2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
When reading about the death of Nadab and Abihu, from a 21st-century mindset, it seems that God was harsh in his judgment.
We read that they “offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them” (Leviticus 10:1).
Surely, if you read this, there are worse sins than what they did. Yet, God instantly struck them for their disobedience.
Is God being unfair, unjust, and sadistic here as some atheists suggest?
Of course not.
God’s judgment is perfect. He is both merciful and just.
We just read in Leviticus how Yahweh completely forgave Aaron for his rebellion during the golden calf incident. In fact, we see here that Aaron was not simply forgiven, but given the role of a high priest.
So, why did God seem to severely punish Nadab and Abihu?
For one, we must remember that those who hold a higher position are also held in higher accountability.
We just saw how the children of Aaron were consecrated and just a few verses later, we read about their disobedience to God.
In this case, God is making a statement and He was serious about obedience.
Moreover, could it be that God sees something in Nadab and Abihu that we don’t see?
God is the discerner of the heart. He knows exactly what motivates us and the driving force behind every action we take.
For Nadab and Abihu, their presentation of the profane offering wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t done in ignorance. It was done out of rebellion and carelessness.
Moreover, the death of Nadab and Abihu taught an important lesson to the Israelites. Yahweh later would say:
‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.’ ” Leviticus 10:3
This should also teach us a lesson. God is merciful and forgiving.
However, He is also serious about sin and rebellion.
If we are sinning willfully and continually, without any remorse, regret, and intention to repent, then we might as well become like Nadab and Abihu.
However, our punishment may be severe as we will not simply suffer physical death, but also spiritual death.
🔥 To learn more, I highly recommend you read, “What does the Bible Say About Death Penalty or Capital Punishment?”
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