Accepting God's Way: Leviticus 10:3-10

Leviticus 10:3‑10  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
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Leviticus 10:3-10
We have noticed the solemn judgment that fell upon Nadab and Abihu because of their sin, and how God said, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” We can realize a little of what this meant to Aaron, their father, and how keenly he must have felt it; but we read that “Aaron held his peace.” He would not, he must not, question the righteousness of God in dealing as He did with his sons. This is a deeply searching scene for Christian parents in this day, for too often we take our children’s part, even when we know they are in a path of disobedience to God and His Word. Naturally we might be inclined to say that we must take our children’s part, and truly this is what nature would feel, but “Aaron held his peace.” He was in a place of nearness to the Lord as a priest, and the “honey” of nature had no place there. He must continue in his faithful service to the Lord in spite of this deep sorrow in his family.
God’s Claims Above Nature
Of course we need hardly remark that natural affections are given of God and are quite right and proper in their place, but the claims of God are above nature. Faithfulness to God must come first, even in our dealings with those naturally near and dear to us. Let us seek grace always to remember this, whether it be a boy with his brother or a father with his son, for the Lord cannot bless those who give Him second place in their heart, life, or home — nor in the assembly of God.
Aaron’s nephews were called upon to come near and carry the bodies of Nadab and Abihu outside the camp. The relatives must not shrink from this task, for they, too, must learn the cost of faithfulness to God. How often division among the Lord’s people is caused by a whole family standing together in a path of disobedience, instead of taking part in the discipline according to the Word of God. These things are very solemn, and as we feel our own weakness, let us utter the prayer of the Psalmist, “Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1).
Proper Sorrow and Proper Service
If Aaron or his two other sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, had taken part in the mourning, they would have had to give up their priestly service, and God would not allow that. He did, however, tell the whole house of Israel to “bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled.” Christian sorrow is right and proper in its place. Would to God we all felt any case of sin among the people of God, but it is wrong for us to allow such things to hinder our worship or service to the Lord. How beautifully God keeps everything in its proper place, preserving us from being extremists in one direction or the other.
Aaron and his sons were also warned not to drink wine nor strong drink when they went into the tabernacle. These things, we know, excite nature and this was not to be allowed in their priestly service. We find so much of that which appeals to nature in the religious activity of our day, but it is not according to God, and it hinders spiritual discernment. When people have their eyes upon some man with a very pleasing personality, they find it hard to “put [a] difference between holy and unholy,” because they do not have the single eye for Christ and His glory. Real issues are often clouded in this way.
For Further Meditation
1. Why did Aaron “hold his peace” instead of complaining against God’s judgment?
2. The Bible teaches us clearly that we should have brotherly love and also to bear one another’s burdens. How is this different from showing solidarity with a brother or sister that has gotten into ideas and practices that are contrary to God’s direction?
3. You can find some themes similar to those of this chapter in the pamphlet Hindrances to Fellowship by E. Dennett.