Monday, March 19, 2007

C.O.D.

For this discussion C.O.D. stands for 'cause of death' not 'cash on delivery'. However the idea of payment due upon receipt can be applied in a sense.

As this post unfolds I hope to show how it relates to the question presented in my last post: "What is God willing to accept from me/you?". The text is found in Leviticus 10:1-3, using the immediate context of chapters 8,9,&10 and an expanded context of Exodus 28,29,&30.

Leviticus 10:1-3
1)Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2)So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3) Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke of when he said: "'Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.'" Aaron remained silent.

Basic info: Aaron was the high priest. Nadab and Abihu were his sons. God had commanded Moses to consecrate them for the priesthood. The pattern for this consecration is recorded in Exodus chapter 28 and was followed in every detail in Leviticus chapter 8. The ordination ritual included ceremonial washings, putting on the appropriate clothing including undergarments, and the application of blood to various body parts. The duties of the priests were also clearly outlined.

Clearly scripture states that the fire offered by Nadab and Abihu was unauthorized. It does not say they were unauthorized to use fire. As sons of Aaron they were of the lineage chosen by God to be priests. By the physical ordinances, they had been consecrated/sanctified by following Moses' instructions. One of their duties was to keep the fire burning at all times. Fire in a censor was the means of lighting lamps and incense. However this time, the fire offered was not as God had commanded. The problem was not with the fire alone, it was with the priests who offered it.

Some insight as to the condition of Nadab and Abihu may be gleaned from the words the Lord spoke to Aaron in Leviticus 10:8-10. 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. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 10) You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses."

The death sentence was not put upon them because they were drunk, disorderly, or confused about what they were doing, although I believe they were all of those things. They died due to what came before being drunk, disorderly, and confused. They were consecrated on the outside, but not in their hearts. They were appointed by God, they were dressed right, they had been sprinkled with blood, they were in the right place, they had the right tools, but they did not reverence God. Why else would Moses remind Aaron of what God had spoken? (see verse 3 of our text)

For sake of space and time I'll cut right to the application of this passage. A person may be saved, called, and appointed by God. He/she may be properly instructed on required duties, and may be following orders to the letter. He/she may be dressed appropriately and fully equipped for service. But, their service will not be blessed if there is no reverence of God in their heart. The inner man must be clean in order to properly hallow the Almighty.

As my pastor would say,"now I'm going to meddle a little bit". It does not matter how holy you look, act, or talk. It doesn't matter how well you teach or preach. It doesn't matter how many gifts of the Spirit you operate in, or how many fruit of the Spirit you think you have, if you heart is not clean your service is merely a strange offering. Instead of ushering in the blessing of God you will only bring reproach upon yourself. Continuing in this deceitful charade will certainly hasten your spiritual death and perhaps even your physical death.

God will accept no offering without purity, no service without holiness, no action that does not honor Him. What is God willing to accept? Obedience and that with a clean heart.

9 comments:

Eddie said...

Hi There.

You are absolutely right. The sons of Aaron died for a lack of true reverence toward God. As you say, they looked the part and acted so, but inwardly they were contemptible of doing what they knew to be right before the LORD. Doing that which God commanded they do.

I have no doubt that the pivitol verse here is Lev.10:3. "This is it which God spoke..."

Sometimes I find that a passage of scripture seems to have many causes, but that behind the passage is only one true meaning-a lesson for believers.

The reading of Leviticus will put forth the complex laws of ritual purity. This gives us a solid focus on what was wrong in 10:1-3.

As long as something impure stays outside of something pure, then that which is pure remains pure. If however, the impure should move into the pure, then the pure is in danger of becoming impure.

So is it with the presence of God. Nothing impure shall enter into His presence.

Impurity can cover many aspects, but here we see the reason for impurity being "unauthorised fire."

A re-read of verse 3 here will show that God is a Holy God and He must be seen to be Holy before His people. He cannot, and will not, allow impurity in any way, shape or form to come into His presence.

I see this as the Cause Of Death. In disobedience to the commands of God, Nadab and Abihu paid the ultimate price.

What does God ask of us? Many things is the answer. But one of them is to show a due reverance for the Holiness of God in all we do and say.

It is so easy to grow in familiarity with God and not knowledge of or understanding. In this, we place ourselves in a precarious position before God.

God must be God!

Just Passing Through.

p.s. I have decided to publish my post here as a comment and not over on site. Hope you are o.k. with that?

Sprout said...

Oh, wonderful post and timely for me as I am seeking direction in new ministry opportunities.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. It's nice to connect with the remnant.

I had not thought about blogging as you described it – “driving me to study more and "boil the cabbage"” but it’s true for me too. It makes me process the thoughts God gives me and allows me to cook it up for a pleasing aroma even though some don’t like the smell of boiled cabbage. LOL

I really like the name of your blog.

Lisa Biggs Crum
http://lisacrum.blogspot.com
http://SproutofaMustardSeed.blogspot.com

e-Mom said...

Praise God our hearts are cleansed by the sacrifice of the Lamb, Jesus. Nothing I can do will ever replace the blood he shed on my behalf. He deserves all my honor and praise and worship. Blessings! :~)

Heidi said...

Excellent post. I knew nothing about this story before and this is an excellent personal reflection as well.

Thank you.

Sista Cala said...

Thank you my friends for stopping by and adding a touch of seasoning to my pot of cabbage.

For those who aren't on the inside of that: One of my professors said teaching was like cooking cabbage. You take a large amount of material and boil it down to a serving.

Michael said...

Very powerful indeed. This goes to the heart of the comment you left on one of my postings, yes? Thank you for this excellent lesson.

Godzheart said...

This reminds me of John the Baptist, he wasn't a good looking guy I suppose, because he wore some really weird clothes while he was preaching and preparing the way of the Lord. He ate locusts and wild honey. Yet he had received the task of preparing the way for the Lord, surely not because of his looks, but because he was greatly moved by his calling. When I imagine him, I cannot think of a clean white robed man, but a dirty nomad like man, yet his heart was for God. And God gave him the privilege to baptise Himself fulfilling the declaration of being separated for God.

I don't think people in our generation would even want to hear from such a man like him from a desert in camel hair clothes, yet the people then, were moved, because the Holy Spirit moved in their hearts as John did his work for the Lord, with his heart in it.

If we are not being moved by God, our works no matter how beautifully rendered can never move another soul into the Kingdom of God.
Wonderful post sister.

C. H. Green said...

Powerful stuff--but then cabbage always is--before going in...and on the way out...ughhh did i say that? LOL.

Granny B said...

I'm home sis. This made me go back and do some reading.
So many times scripture shows that it is our heart that matters the most.
Good post, thank you.

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