7 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Leviticus 9:7–10:20
Mark 4:26–5:20
Psalm 37:30-40
Proverbs 10:6-7

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Leviticus 10:1-2 (CSB): “Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own firepan, put fire in it, placed incense on it, and presented unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them to do. Then fire came from the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

When we read our Verses for Today, if we are truly honest with our heart’s reaction, we might get a little upset that two men died for such a seemingly small infraction. They brought “unauthorized fire before the Lord,” so He killed them.

How are we to think about this? How can we see the justice in this action?

Let me share the two answers that immediately come to mind…

First, we observe over and over in the Bible that God is holy. In fact, in today’s Bible reading, we see that “holy” and “holiness” appears five times in Leviticus 10.

So, what does holy mean?

Many people who hear this question would answer: “It means to be clean, pure, without sin.”

While that answer is correct, it is not the primary definition of holiness. It doesn’t tell us what holiness is in its essence.

So, what is the essential meaning of “holy”? It means to be set apart. It means that it is removed from what is common. It is special and is to be treated as such.

When we speak of God’s holiness, we refer to the fact that He is so set apart from humanity and sin that mankind would die if he stumbled into God’s presence.

Just listen to what God said when Moses asked to see the Lord’s essence, His intoxicating, beautiful glory.

Exodus 33:19-20 (CSB): “He said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the LORD’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ But he added, ‘You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.'”

God is not to be trifled with. His holiness sets Him completely apart from humanity. While His holiness can be such a compelling force that people like Moses crave to experience it, we are reminded that if we were to experience too much of the Lord, wandering too closely to Him, it would seal our death sentence.

So, God’s holiness is beautiful but it is dangerous, even deadly.

Second, we acknowledge that there are scenarios in life that are dangerous, that are made worse by human error.

  • Someone who is inebriated and makes their way to a cliff at the Grand Canyon … where there is no railing.
  • Someone who is preparing to work on electric wiring … while standing near a puddle of water.
  • Someone who is at a gas pump, filling up their car … while preparing to light a cigarette.

On and on we could go with scenarios that move from the category of “dangerous” to the category of “potentially deadly” by human negligence. We acknowledge that there are things that people carelessly do that put them in harms way, and could possibly kill them.

Conclusion

So, when we acknowledge God’s holiness, that He isn’t to be trifled with, and that mankind can do stupid things that make dangerous things deadly, we come to understand a little bit more of what took place in Leviticus 10:1-2.

Leviticus 10:1-2 (CSB): “Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own firepan, put fire in it, placed incense on it, and presented unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them to do. Then fire came from the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.”

Friend, God is the same God today that He was in Leviticus 10:1-2. God isn’t “the man upstairs.” He isn’t your buddy. He isn’t to be trifled with. He is completely and utterly holy, set so far above and apart from us that He becomes completely dangerous and deadly to those who do no fully appreciate His holiness and act accordingly.

Because of what Jesus did on the cross, and what He has done in your heart if you have trusted in Him for forgiveness and eternal life, you have come into relationship with the Lord. He is your Father and Jesus is your elder brother. But, God is still holy and must be treated as such.

Questions:

How does the knowledge of God’s holiness change the way you think about God?

How does the knowledge of God’s holiness cause you to see the seriousness of every sin you might commit?

How does the knowledge of God’s holiness move you to think about the cross and what Jesus did to make you right in God’s eyes?

from C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:”

“Is—is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”