“By those who come near me, I must be regarded as holy; and before all the      people, I must be glorified” (Lev. 10:3).

Could what happened to Nadab and Abihu be called consequence of ignorance or willfulness? Does this not resemble what happened to Adam in the Garden of Eden? Were they not given enough instruction concerning the operations of the tabernacle? Undoubtedly, God gave enough instruction to Aaron and his sons concerning their functions in the tabernacle (Lev. 10:1-11).

Evidently, they offered a strange fire because the scripture says they were not commanded to do so. This act is disobedience, it is rebellion and it is unfaithfulness unto the Lord.

The problem was not the fire, but how and under what condition was the fire offered. The following posers need answers before we can conclude what went wrong and how to avoid this type of situation.

1.     Was there any command to make the fire? (Lev. 10:1)

2.     What was the source of the fire used?

3.     Was the fire made at the right timing? (Lev.16:2)

4.     What was the disposition of Nadab and Abihu when the fire was made? (Lev. 10:8-9

5.     What was the intent of them that made the fire?

6.     Was their intent for self-esteem?

7.     Was the fire offered to glorify God? (Lev. 10:3)

We know that they were not commanded, that is enough to attract the wroth of God. However, failing in any of the above posers would have dishonor the instruction of a holy God. Therefore, the fire offered was profane because it was made of their own will. It was self-glorifying and not for God. This is a grievous offense. Samuel called it, rebellion – which is witchcraft and stubbornness – which is idolatry (1Sam 15:23).

Another probable sin inferred apart from disobedience is the disposition that Nadab and Abihu could be while carrying out this function. They were likely drunk . This can be inferred from the statement said to Aaron following the incident of the death of his sons.

“And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations” (Lev. 10:8-9).

Could this be the cause of their death, operating or officiating in the presence of God under the influence of intoxicating drink? May be or not: however, this serves as warning to ministers of the word of God not to come to the presence of the Lord or discharging their duty under the influence of anything except of the Holy Ghost.

Intoxication sometimes may not be in form of drink; however, one can be drunk with drug, power, covetousness, anger, fornication, sentiment or any addiction. An intoxicated minister or child of God lacks discernment; such would not be able to

  • Distinguish between holy and unholy
  • Distinguish between clean and unclean
  • Teach the congregation the correct word of God
  • Check heresy and immorality in the church
  • Save the congregation from God’s wrath and destruction

A waning to all ministers of God; beware of manmade doctrine, which are in opposition to biblical principles. In fact, any new revelation from God cannot oppose biblical principles because they are His word. If it opposes biblical principles, it is not of God but manmade, to justify self-ego.

Mind you, what would be a blessing for faithfulness could be deadly when self-will or self-centeredness replaces God’s instruction. The Ark of the Lord on a new cart, which Uzzah touched and died, that same Ark, was dropped in the house of Obed-Edom and it prospers him within three months (2Sam. 6:1-15). Moses did not make the promise land because he dishonored God, striking instead of speaking to the rock (Num.20:12).

Every believer especially, those who minister the word of God must uphold the characteristics of God whom they serve. We must acknowledge His grace, righteousness, integrity, love, peace and mercy. Honor, obedience and faithfulness unto Him are paramount in our service unto Him.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of   conversation” (1Pet. 1:15)

By Lawrence Abitogun

Related posts:

  1. Strange Fire in the Church of God
  2. Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel
  3. Just in a moment of disobedience; judgment was pronounced
  4. A man of God is responsible to God

About the Author

Lawrence B. Abitogun, called by the special grace of the Almighty God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by the empowerment of the Holy Ghost, witnessing and preaching the gospel to the world, was born to a Christian parents at Uso, Ondo state, Nigeria. He received his elementary and secondary education in Nigeria from 1959-1971. He obtained a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Industrial Arts at North Texas State University, Denton TX USA in 1979 and 1982 respectively.

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