Fire Proof Day Twelve – The Wrong Kind of Fire

Day Twelve – The Wrong Kind of Fire

That same day Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, took their censers, put hot coals and incense in them, and offered “strange” fire to God—something God had not commanded. Fire blazed out from God and consumed them—they died in God’s presence. After the death of Aaron’s two sons—they died when they came before God with strange fire—God spoke to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to enter into the Holy of Holies, barging inside the curtain that’s before the Atonement-Cover on the Chest whenever he feels like it, lest he die, because I am present in the Cloud over the Atonement-Cover. Leviticus 10:1-2, 16:1-2

Some passages simply stretch our understanding of who God really is! For instance, why was Cain’s veggie offering unacceptable, yet Abel’s sacrifice pleased God? Grain offerings were clearly a part of the acceptable Old Testament practice according to later verses. And what about the two guys who tried to steady the Ark of the Covenant as they traveled along the road, and God took their lives? We almost want to cry out, God can you explain some of these things a little more clearly?

Aaron’s two sons (and by implication, Aaron) had been loose with the worship commands. In Aaron’s case, he had become too casual in his relationship with the Lord. In his sons’ case, they had not just been casual, but had chosen to come to God by a completely different path from the way God had given His people. They brought incense from a common fire (fires of offering always start with the fire God gave them from heaven at the altar), they took the place of the high priest in offering it (one man alone and chosen was to provide the incense sacrifice), and they ventured into the Holiest of Places (the curtain to the Ark’s place was closed to all but one.)

The lesson is clear: we come to God by the Way God provides. But look at the last part of verse 16 for one more “How could that be?” verse. The God of All Power, I Am That I Am, Creator of the Universe and Beyond, yes God… is in the cloud over the atonement-cover. Think about this: He is not distant, but He has drawn near. He is not silent, but He has spoken. He is bigger than the universe, but He is fully present in a cloud in the Tent of Meeting. And most importantly, He chooses to meet us at the Cover of Atonement (Mercy Seat is its name in another translation.) The New Testament identifies this Mercy Seat with the fully accomplished work of mercy by Jesus on the Cross.

Today is another “fasting day” and you may choose to skip one, two or three meals. Take extra time today outside of your Quiet Time to read up on the Mercy Seat. (Hebrews is a good place to look.) What was it? Why is this important to God’s people? What happened there? Where does it show up in the New Testament? Think about His mercy. Thank Him for the mercy He has shown you personally. Let this day cause you to be aware of His awesome, consuming, beyond understanding, super abundant merciful presence when you worship Him.

All For Him – Rick

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