Read Numbers 3 - 4
In Today's Reading:
Census and duties of the Levites: the Kohathites, the Gershonites, and the Merarites; the redemption of the firstborn
Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's two oldest sons, had been greatly honored by being included with Moses and Aaron and 70 elders on Mount Sinai to hear the voice of God (see Exodus 24:1,9). They had been given national recognition and God-ordained spiritual leadership. But, all this did not protect them from the consequences of their disobedience. The newly ordained priests Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange (unlawful) fire before the LORD (in His presence), in the wilderness of Sinai (Numbers 3:4). They presumed to burn incense, symbolic of the prayers of the people, with unauthorized fire, that is, fire not kindled by God on the Brazen Altar (Leviticus 9:23-24; 10:1-2).
Their unauthorized fire underlined the seriousness of departing from the Commandments of God. It points out that no one becomes so important or popular as a "spiritual" leader that God will overlook disobedience to His Word. To be a minister, or even to become a member of a church with no intent to submit one's life to please Christ is hypocrisy.
The decision to ignore any command of God is sin. We are not to use circumstances to justify an exception to His Word. Neither is there a choice of what part of His Word we can neglect or reject, for all is God-breathed (inspired). The Word of God is the source for meeting the needs of the human heart; it is the final and only source of absolute truth (see John 17:17).
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (II Timothy 3:16). All New Testament doctrine is based on Old Testament principles. For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful (terrifying) looking for of judgment. . . . He that despised (rejected) Moses' Law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer (more severe) punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant (agreement), wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite to (insulted) the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29).
3:10 wait on = care for; 3:12 matrix = womb; 4:3 all that enter into the host = those who qualify to enter the service; 4:6 staves = carrying poles; 4:10 bar = carrying frame; 4:24 burdens = to carry when moving.
By Aaron, the high priest, who was served by the Levites (Numbers 3:6). As a holy and royal priesthood, we serve Christ, our great High Priest (John 12:26; I Peter 2:5,9; Heb. 4:14).
Pray for Government Official: Res. Comm. Anibal Acevedo-Vila (PR) · Country: Madagascar (15 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique · Major languages: French and Malagasy · Increasingly anti-Christian · 43% witchcraft, ancestor worship, and some astrology; 21% Protestant; 21% Roman Catholic; 2% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding of the Word of God so you can share it with others (Psalm 119:27).
Optional Reading: Mark 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 5:7