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, Aaron, and 70 elders 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. 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). Perhaps they presumed to burn incense, symbolic of the prayers of the people, with unauthorized fire not kindled by God from 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 so 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 can not 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 all the needs of our hearts and is the final and only source of absolute truth.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (II Timothy 3:16), and all New Testament doctrine is based on Old Testament principles. Consequently, 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 (insult) to 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; Hebrews 4:14).
Government Official: Res. Comm Anibal Acevedo-Vila (PR) · for the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Ora Mae Irby · Country: Niger (10 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: French and Hausa · Christian evangelism is limited · 89% Muslim; 10% animist; .4% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice in the Lord, for He is forgiving to those who call upon Him (Psalm 86:4-5).
Optional Reading: Mark 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9