Consequential Fire

white book page on brown wooden table

Aaron, brother of Moses, had two sons. Nadab and Abihu. Like many of us, they played with fire. Unfortunately, they suffered consequences most of us never faced.

These were the oldest two sons of Aaron and his wife Elisheba. You can first read about these two sons in Exodus 24 and in Numbers 3. As two leaders of Israel who came before the Lord, they had the special privilege of seeing a vision of God.

Unfortunately, you’re going to find them most famous for their misfortune and consequential bad decision with fire.

Leviticus 10:1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.

Why did God put them to death? This seems harsh, right? Moses then explains.

Leviticus 10:3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” So Aaron held his peace.

This fire was not authorized by God. Those who served as priests before the Lord were to keep that service Holy. Unfortunately, Nadab and Abihu did not do that. But what did they do wrong?

The Lord commanded them to only use fire from the brazen altar. Leviticus 16:12 says “Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil.”

Take another look at Leviticus 10:1. It says they “each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord”. That’s not a good thing. First they were held to high standards. Then they were offering profane fire.

There are consequences to our actions against the Lord’s laws. He makes it clear and easy for us to follow the path He gives us, but we often fall short. Sometimes those shortcomings have dire consequences. Sin not only affects your life, but it may also, and probably does, affect others lives around you.

God does not change. He is the same God he was in the beginning. He will be the same God in the end of times.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

I encourage you to pray each day that God helps you stay on your path. Remember, if you don’t wander from God’s path, you’ll never question what God wants you to do next. It will all fall into place, and you will never have to worry about consequential fire.

Written by Dan
This is my collection of bible study lessons and book reviews. I am the Executive Pastor of Cross Waves Church and graduate of the Willmington School of the Bible, part of the Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity.