Numbers 3 -- 4
Moses related to the new generation that, about 40 years back, before their parents left Mount Sinai, Aaron had offered the first sacrifice to God on the Brazen Altar (near the Tabernacle). And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed on the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces (Leviticus 9:24). It appears that while the people were seeking the Lord in prayer, the newly-ordained priests Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai (Numbers 3:4). They presumed to burn incense, symbolic of the prayers of the people; but their "worship" was done with strange fire not kindled by God from off the Brazen Altar (Leviticus 9:23-24; 10:1-2).
Nadab and Abihu, the two oldest sons of Aaron, had been greatly honored by being included with Moses and 73 others on Mount Sinai to hear the voice of God (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. Nadab and Abihu may have said: "Who will know the difference if we make a few exceptions to the way God said it should be done? Fire is fire isn't it?"
If the fire had been right, the incense would then have ascended with the prayers of the saints (Luke 1:9-10; Revelation 8:3-4). Their strange fire underlined the seriousness of departing from the commandments of God. There is much worship today that is conducted by men and women who are not qualified for spiritual leadership. It points out that no one becomes so important or popular as a "spiritual" leader that God overlooks their disobedience of His Word. To be a minister or even to become a member of a church with no intent to submit our lives 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 provides the only source of fully meeting the needs of the human heart; it is the final and only source of absolute Truth.
The Old Testament worship was the figure of the true, a shadow of good things to come (Hebrews 9:24; 10:1). These things were our examples. . . . written for our admonition (I Corinthians 10:6,11). What God demands from His people and His leaders today is based on Old Testament principles. He that despised Moses' Law died without mercy . . . Of how much greater punishment, do you suppose, he shall be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has despised the Spirit of Grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29). God alone, through His Word, is the Source of true Christian doctrine. The Pharisees were zealous in their "worship of God"; but Jesus said: You have made of no effect the Word of God by your traditions (Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:13).
Although it may not be popular, let's keep our hearts set on the One who said: The way is narrow . . . and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14).
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 Pet. 2:5,9; Heb. 4:14).
3:10 wait on means have charge; 3:12 matrix means womb; 4:3 all that enter into the host means those who qualify to enter the service; 4:6 staves means carrying poles; 4:10 bar means a carrying frame; 4:24 for burdens means to carry when on march.
Government Official: Del. Anibal Vila (PR) · BPM Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for United Prayerline Ministry and Edith J. Cain · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Helen M. Prater · Country: Turkey (66 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe · Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic · Official resistance to Christian witnessing · 99+% Muslim; .5% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to the Lord (Psalms 30:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: