Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Aaron had 4 boys - Oops, now only 2!
This is a troubling story from any angle you look at it.
God has asked for some pomp and circumstance in the ordination and inaguration of the priests.
Leviticus 8:1 "Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Bring Aaron and his sons, along with their sacred garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams, and the basket of bread made without yeast, 3 and call the entire community of Israel together at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[a]”
4 So Moses followed the Lord’s instructions, and the whole community assembled at the Tabernacle entrance. 5 Moses announced to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 Then he presented Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. 7 He put the official tunic on Aaron and tied the sash around his waist. He dressed him in the robe, placed the ephod on him, and attached the ephod securely with its decorative sash."
All was grand and beautiful. Sacrifices for sin are instituted, and there is a lot of emphasis of "just as the Lord had commanded."
22 "After that, Aaron raised his hands toward the people and blessed them. Then, after presenting the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering, he stepped down from the altar. 23 Then Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole community. 24 Fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground."
Forgiveness of sin! Worship of God! Great joy! They all go together.
Leviticus 9:1 "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."
This was serious stuff! And the dad isn't even allowed to grieve his two sons.
4 "Then Moses called for Mishael and Elzaphan, Aaron’s cousins, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel. He said to them, “Come forward and carry away the bodies of your relatives from in front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” 5 So they came forward and picked them up by their garments and carried them out of the camp, just as Moses had commanded.
6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed[g] or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and the Lord’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of the Lord’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu. 7 But you must not leave the entrance of the Tabernacle[h] or you will die, for you have been anointed with the Lord’s anointing oil.” So they did as Moses commanded."
What are the lessons to be learned?
One - certainly God is to be respected, and not trifled with. Two - He wanted to create fear of God among the people. Three - These were to be spiritual leaders of 3 million people. With priviledge comes responsibility.
What other lessons can you think of? Any way you cut it, this is a troubling passage...