Today’s Reading: Leviticus 9 –11
One of the odd things I have seen here in the Netherlands is the fascination that some Dutch have with the mega preachers of America. They seem to be a somewhat popular programs for people to watch here. Personally, I have never been a fan of those big churches with huge choirs, large sanctuaries and their large personality preachers. Any church that is referred to at “insert pastor’s name here’s Church” is a church I will most likely pass up.
Too be honest I have to believe my dislike of those types of programs is that they remind me of the late 1980’s during the Christian scandals of Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. To me, those men took the true things of God and turned them into something different. They took what God considered a high calling – being a pastor of people and turned it into something else. Something that honored themselves over God.
I believe that is what happened in today’s reading. Nadab and Abihu, the first two sons of Aaron had taken something what was to honor God and had somehow changed it or ruined it into something that put them first.
Leviticus 10: 1 – 3 NLT
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the Lord by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. 2 So fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the Lord.
3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant when he said,
‘I will display my holiness
through those who come near me.
I will display my glory
before all the people.’”
And Aaron was silent.
I have read a few commentaries on what happened and the consensus is that there were a few problems that all related to them doing their own thing. They went ahead of Aaron. They determined when they could make their own incense etc. They had taken a very holy and honored ceremony for God and had turned it into something for themselves.
In the early church, Paul had to deal with some who had taken the simple truths of Christ and had turning it into something more. They had taken it and made it there own, twisting the truth, adding rules that weren’t there. Creating stumbling blocks for the people. They had placed themselves higher than the the truths of God.
Colossians 2:20 23 NIV
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Our goal should always to put Christ first, to place our thoughts on how the faith should be last. Christ sets the model, we follow it. We don’t add to it, or build additional rules and controls.