Old Testament: Leviticus 9:7-10:20
Aaron did what he should.
Fire came from the Lord and charred the offering along with the wood.
His two sons disobeyed and they were the ones burnt.
It was a lesson that by their brothers wasn’t learnt.
Leviticus 9: 7 – 23 Doing It Right
Verse 7 is another verse with the word “command” in it. (We saw 16 in our last reading.) Moses told Aaron to bring a sin and burnt offering to secure the people’s relationship with Yahweh. Aaron brought a calf and he offered it according to God’s rules. It’s interesting that Aaron had gotten things very wrong by making a calf for the people but now is offering a calf.
Again, blood was smeared on the horns of the altar and the rest poured out at the base of the altar. He burnt up the fat and kidneys and liver as he was supposed to. He burnt the rest and the skin outside the camp as commanded.
Aaron then offered the burnt offering just as he was supposed to. He did the same with the goat offering for the people as well as the grain offering. He also slaughtered an ox and a ram.
The sin, burnt, grain and peace offerings in verses 15 -18 symbolized atonement, dedication, sustenance, and communion (see Ryrie).
Aaron then blessed the people and he went with Moses to the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people and the glory of the Lord appeared to the people. Fire came from the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat. The people saw it, shouted and fell on their faces. You would, too.
(Ryrie believes the fire was the same fire that was not to be extinguished according to Lev. 6: 12 -13).
Note: As previously mentioned, if you want the presence of the Lord, then do what He says “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” John 14: 21)
Leviticus 10: 1- 20 Drop Dead Fred!
Nadab and Abihu were the sons of Aaron and the other priests. I’m guessing they were so impressed with what had happened after Moses and Aaron were leading the worship that they, too, wanted to have the glory of the Lord appear. They wanted the offerings to be consumed with fire from “the presence of the Lord.” Unfortunately, in this case they were the offerings! They went about things all wrong.
As mentioned the word “command” occurs multiple times in the last passage. It means that what the Lord says, we are to do! Nadab and Abihu didn’t get that. They offered “strange fire” which the Scripture (v. 10) says, “that He [the Lord] had not commanded them.” That’s like opposite of doing what He commands . . . doing what He had NOT commanded. Fire came from the “presence of the Lord” and “consumed them”! They held high positions but didn’t believe God’s Word. So Moses quoted Ex. saying, “by those who come near Me I will be treated as holy.” Peter knew how this worked. In the first chapter of his book, he quotes Leviticus (11:44, 45 and 19:2, take your pick), “you shall be holy, for I am holy” 1Pet 1: 16.
It’s not clear exactly what they did wrong. They may have offered fire that didn’t come from the altar (16:2) or may have offered at the wrong time of day (Ex. 30:7-9). They may have tried to enter the Holy of Holies which was only available to the High Priest and only on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16: 12-13). They have gotten wasted violating what is written in v. 9. Judgment was immediate! They dropped dead. People who are closest to God have more responsibilities than others (e.g. teachers, James 3:1, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment”).
The stories that most scared me coming out of cemetery, I mean, seminary were the stories of Moses forbidden to enter the Promised Land and Uzzah getting zapped by God for trying to keep the Ark from spilling off a cart. What I failed to realize was that Moses clearly violated a command from God as did Uzzah. It’s a bit clearer to see in the story of Nadab and Abihu but the principle is the same.
Just as this incident occurs at the beginning of the Mosaic dispensation of law and illustrates that God means what He says, so the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) illustrate the same thing at the beginning of the church dispensation. God means what He says. A and S both dropped dead in the middle of a church service for lying to the Holy Spirit. You don’t see that every day. Aren’t you glad?
In Romans 5, the Apostle Paul emphasizes grace. He emphasizes that we are saved by grace to such an extent that he is afraid some will misunderstand and think that we can just willy-nilly sinny in the Christian life. He calls such thinking meshugah (Rom. 6:2). That is Yiddish for crazy!!! (Yes, with three exclamation marks!!!) Well, actually, he uses the Greek, “Mey Genoito.” Literally, I have goiters. No. Wait. Literally, “are you unbelievably crazy?” More literally, “by no means” should we sin!
Now, it is true that we can sin as much as we want as a Christian and the sacrifice of Christ will cover us. There is still a problem. In 1Corinthians 11:31, Paul says Christians had “fallen asleep” for disrespecting the Lord’s Supper. I don’t think that meant they literally fell asleep. I don’t think they woke up again . . . on earth, anyway. I think they got an immediate pass to heaven. Their opportunity to achieve reward down here was done.
In the book of 1John, chapter 5 and verse 1John 5:16, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.” Eeesch. A sin “leading to death”? When do you ever hear about this in church? Maybe we should quit messing around in church and take things a little more seriously? Just sayin’.
Notice Aaron shut up about the whole thing. He knew . . .
Aaron’s sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, took over in the place of Nadab and Abihu (vv. 6, 12, 16). Guess how they did? First thing they did was botch things up. They didn’t eat the goat as they were supposed to have done. Instead they burnt up the whole goat. Moses was really torqued. Kindergarten, “follows directions”: fail. Aaron took up for them. Apparently, they erred given the circumstances of their brothers’ deaths. Moses let them off the hook.
Aaron offered the sacrifice of a bull just as he was ordered. A fire came down from the Lord and burnt up the offering.
Aaron’s sons, the priests Nadab and Abihu, wanted to replicate what Moses and Aaron had done but disobeyed God. Aaron’s other two sons took their place and they also didn’t follow instructions.
New Testament: Mark 4:26-5:20
Jesus said the kingdom like mustard or a seed would take a new form.
The disciple were tested by a fierce storm.
Many demons were cast into s couple thousand pigs.
Because their revenue was lost, the businessmen wanted Jesus to find new digs.
Mark 4: 26 – 5: 20
Mark 4: 26 – 29 Getting Seedy
Who knows how seed comes up? No one. Jesus said the kingdom of God was that way. Seed is sown, then later on the blade pokes out and then a whole plant! Then the whole thing has to be harvested. Charles Stanley used to always say, “you reap WHAT you sow, LATER than what you sow and More than what you sow.” Sow ‘nuf!
Mark 4: 30 – 34 Give It A Little More Mustard!
Jesus went on to say that the Kingdom was like a mustard seed. Even though it was the smallest seed known to man at the time, it grew to be so large that birds could get shade from it. The kingdom was going to grow like that.
Mark 4: 35 – 41 Sea Sick
At night, the disciples were in a boat with Jesus when a storm cropped up. Waves were breaking over them and filling the boat because the wind was so strong. Jesus was sleeping comfortably on a cushion. They woke Him up saying, “HEY, huh?” So Jesus told the winds to shut up. The weather chilled out. Jesus said to the disciples, “What is your major malfunction?” But he knew it was their faith because He said, “Don’t you have any faith?” So the disciples were afraid and about wet themselves.
Mark 5: 1 – 19 The Great Swine Dive (Mark’s account)
Jesus and the boys reached the other side of the Sea of Galilee, the country of the Gerasenes. “Immediately,” (there’s that word again) a demon-possessed man came out to welcome them to town. He lived in the “tombs.” Know anyone like that? He had been shackled and chained but he always busted out. He screamed all day long and gashed himself with stones. He ran up to Jesus and bowed down before Him. He asked, “what business do we have to do together?” Jesus answered, “like none.” And then He told the demon to come out the guy. The demon asked Jesus not to torment him. Jesus asked the demon’s name and the demon replied, “Legion ‘cuz there’s a bunch of us!” He slobberingly begged Jesus not to throw him/them out of the country. They begged to be sent into a herd of pigs nearby that were getting down with their slop. Jesus said, “OK.” So the demons entered the swine, rushed down the hill and jumped into the Sea. You may have heard of it? The Great Swine Dive? They became . . . wait for it . . . “deviled ham.” (It doesn’t get much better than this. If you don’t like it, find another blog to explain the One Year Bible to you.)
There were like 2,000 pigs that drowned that day. Unlike the pigs, the man was “cured.” All the townspeople came to witness the guy. He was sitting on a park bench (I made this up. He was just sitting) with clothes on tweeting away on his phone. The townspeople all wet themselves and asked Jesus to leave town. They didn’t want to lose any more income from loss of their livelihood. The guy wanted to get in the boat with Jesus but Jesus told him to tell his family what great things the Lord had done for him and about the Lord’s mercy. Then they guy absconded, telling everyone he could what happened and they all said, “Awesome!”
Jesus said the kingdom would grow like a seed or mustard. The disciples’ faith was tested by a storm. Jesus cast demons out of a man into some pigs who dove off a cliff.