Leviticus 10:1-2, “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. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.”
Your first reaction to today’s reading is likely, “Yikes!” If it seems God killed Aaron’s sons for a small infraction, it’s understandable. But God had been explicitly clear in His instructions for burnt offerings. He would be worshiped according to His standards — not theirs.
Was it pride or false ambition that led Nadab and Abihu to try to approach the Lord in an unauthorized way? We can’t know their exact motives, but God is adamant that we don’t set the terms in our relationship with Him. We don’t have the right to decide which of God’s commands we obey and which we ignore. When we try to do life our way instead of His, we won’t flourish, and we’ll find ourselves “in the fires” of consequence.
When we recognize God’s holiness and His right to rule our lives, we will approach Him with humility, reverence, and awe. Then, and only then, will we be ready to fulfill the amazing purposes He has for us.
Heavenly Father, I approach You today with reverence, in awe of Your almighty power. Your ways are higher than my own, and I seek to do life Your way to fulfill Your purpose. Amen.