Did you ever have God smack you upside the head, in order to get His message across? Maybe He doesn’t need to do that with you, but I tend to be a thick-headed Italian. So there are times He has to hammer His point home.
For instance, yesterday a rabbi’s wife commented on one of my posts about presumption. In my response to her, I brought up the heavy responsibility that Jewish people have. I also brought up the ‘grace gospel’, which promotes all privilege and no responsibility.
Then today I was reading in Leviticus about Aharon and his sons. They served Adonai in the tabernacle at the highest ‘level’ of service. Great privilege, right? Well, two of Aharon’s sons found out the hard way that with great privilege comes great responsibility.
Leviticus 9 says that when the glory of the Lord appeared to the people in the tabernacle, fire shot out from the presence of God and consumed the offerings. The people shouted and fell on their face. Wouldn’t you? After all, the Creator of All Things just appeared and torched the offerings!
But what did Aharon’s sons do? Did they realize the glory and power that stood before them? Did they fall down in awe? No. They presumed, given their privileged status, that they had the right to offer something Adonai did not tell them to offer. They died for their presumption.
Aharon, the man given the highest privilege of serving God face-to-face, was not allowed to mourn for his sons. He had the responsibility of standing in agreement with the Almighty that what his sons did was wrong.
Further, Adonai said to him, “Do not drink wine or fermented drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, so that you do not die. This is to be a statute forever throughout your generations.”
Why? Because he was to “make a distinction between the holy and the common and between the unclean and the clean.” Moreover, he was “to teach Bnei-Yisrael all the statutes which Adonai has spoken to them through Moses.” (Lev 10:10-11)
With privilege comes responsibility. In today’s age of the ‘grace gospel’ we water down the message. Like Aharon’s sons, we walk in disobedience to a holy God taking all the privilege (like spoiled rich kids) and none of the responsibility.
Where do we find our responsibility laid out? In God’s Word – His Law – His Torah.
Yeshua/Jesus, the Living Torah, summed up the totality of the Torah in simple terms. Quoting Deut 6:5 and Lev 9:34 He said, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
He also said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” That begs the question: ‘Do I believe Yeshua is fully God?’ If so, ‘Is God the same yesterday, today, and forever?’
If we answer yes, then our responsibility starts with obedience to Yeshua – the Living Torah. We will find that as we walk in obedience to His Word, it is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Then, as it is etched on our heart, the light then shines through us because we are now temples of the Living God with the Glory of the Lord filling the temple. This leads to the people walking in darkness seeing a great light.
Bottom line is this: All privilege and no responsibility lead to a world filled with spoiled brats. On the other hand, great privilege coupled with great responsibility lead to salvation for those around us.