Did you know that God killed Aaron’s sons? No? Well, as hard as it might seem to believe (because God is love), He really did. In Leviticus 9 and 10, we read that God shot out fire and consumed them. We often wonder why. What exactly is it that they did that made God so mad.
That’s the crux. We think God was angry with them. We also tend to think, if we are truly honest with ourselves, that God was too harsh, that the punishment didn’t fit the crime – if there even is one. After all, they were excited about serving God and rushed to keep the worship going. And God killed them for their enthusiasm?
If we are truly, truly honest with ourselves, we realize that we want to know exactly what sin they committed so we can avoid doing the same thing. Yet we miss the most important point – they did something that God did not tell them to do. They sinned. It is as simple as that.
A few weeks ago, a group of us were discussing this portion of scripture. We kept going around and around, trying to figure out what, exactly, they did wrong. After all, (as my rabbi pointed out), it was their first day on the job. Don’t all newbies make mistakes?
But we were missing the most important point – ‘they did something that God did not tell them to do.’ They sinned.
Sin is missing the mark of God’s perfect standard. The result of sin is death. Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than in the story of Nadab and Abihu.
We’ve all heard that sin can’t stand in God’s presence, right? But do we really understand what that means?
Let’s try. Think of God as this incredibly bright light – a light so bright that nothing else is visible.
Now here comes a small spot of black – maybe a small, black dot like the one you find on a polka-dotted shirt. Here’s this small polka-dot floating toward this intensely bright light. As it moves closer, it simply disappears, consumed by the brilliant white light. It simply could not exist in the presence of this blinding light.
Did the light purposefully kill the little polka-dot? Or did the little polka-dot go someplace it ought not to
Does it make sense now?