Lev. 10:1-2 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over it. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him a different kind of fire than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD.
Abraham had four sons who served alongside of him as priests before the Lord, Eleazar, Ithamar, Nadab and Abihu. We are told in Exodus 24:9-11 that they had gone up the mountain with Moses and had seen God. They were given enough of a glimpse of God to recognize Him. Can you imagine what that moment must have been like for them? As amazing as this experience was for them, Nadab and Abihu didn’t let it change the rest of their lives. Nadab and Abihu took it upon themselves to offer incense before God that was forbidden. They did not treat God as holy, nor did they fear Him.
Scripture records that they put together incense that they offered up to God that was contrary to what God had instructed them to do. God made it very clear what was and what wasn’t acceptable to Him. Nadab and Abihu got the notion that either God didn’t mean what He said or it didn’t matter what God said. They tried to offer an incense of their own making and paid the ultimate price for it. They did not treat God as holy. They treated with contempt their sacred office as priests. They became arrogant in the presence of God. The Lord sent a fire from heaven that consumed them on the spot.
We must be careful that we don’t become like Nadab and Abihu. We must always strive to be holy before God. We must never disrespect Him by disobeying His commandments. We must consider it serious business to enter into the presence of the Lord. There is a price to pay for treating the Lord with anything but our highest respect. Don’t profane that which is holy. And most of all, don’t profane He who is holy.
We must not treat lightly what it means to be in the presence of the Lord. We must allow the Lord to change us so we will be and do that which is pleasing in His eyes. It is important for us to seize the opportunities the Lord gives us to be transformed by his Word and Spirit. It is not a trivial thing for us to gather together before God in worship. Only those made holy in Christ are fit to enter into God’s presence.
Letting Jesus make us holy should be every believer’s number one priority in life.