Warning: this article is more for me than public consumption. I want to come back to study this point but don’t have time at the moment.
Leviticus gets a bad wrap as far I am I concerned. Sure, it is one of the few books full of do’s and don’ts but it also shows just the depth of depravity humans will stoop to. It is a kind of snapshot of the troubles with all humanity. After all there were and still are in some occasions,really people looking to do the things God forbid.
But one passage I really struggled with was the passage of the death of Nadab and Abihu. They were the sons of Aaron who offered up unauthorized or strange fire before the Lord. As a result of not following God’s prescription for his own worship they were struck down instantly.
This passage is a major proof text for those who believe in what is called the Regulatory Principle. If you aren’t familiar with the Regulatory Principle of Worship it is summerized in the idea that the Bible tell us explicitly how we are to worship God and implicitly excludes everything else. So if the Bible doesn’t say it we can’t do it. Taken to the extreme this would mean we can sing only the psalms, and can not sing the name of Jesus.
I really don’t know much past that and while I don’t believe it is a sin to sing the name of my savior I do wonder if there is still a particular way in which God desires to be worshiped? I always seem to be writing in a hurry and I wish I had more time to study these types of things out.
3 responses to “Leviticus strikes again…”
I always thought that it was because they had sin in their hearts. Need to research further.
Aaron and Moses had sin in their hearts so did Aaron and Moses for that matter, if it was a matter of sin no one could have made sacrifices.
The Bible didn’t say because of sin but the nature of the sacrifice.
“Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered a unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.”
Its funny – I just had a conversation about this issue (although not this passage) with my sister.
The Law was given to show that we cannot met God’s standard of perfection in our actions – like the one in this passage. Jesus came and showed us that God’s standard of perfection is greater than the law with comments like “if you lust after a women, you have already committed adultery in your heart” (paraphrased).
People learn by analogy – God first gave us the law to show us we cannot live a sinless life. Then He used physical actions as an analogy to address matters of the heart – i.e. lust is a sin just like adultery is sin.
In all cases the goal is to show us that we require intervention from God to get back to God – we cannot do this with our works and righteousness. The action in your passage is the act of following the explicit rules for worship – the analogy in my opinion is to Acts chapter 5 with Ananias and Sapphira. One is a matter of action, the other a matter of the heart. In both cases, man fails and requires a divine solution.
Balanced with Romans 6:1,2 – shall we continue to sin for the sake of Grace – certainly not. (paraphrased), We cannot and should not attempt to follow rules in order to please God – we will fail.