Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20000920.htm
LEVITICUS: GOD'S CALL FOR A SEPARATED WITNESS
Part I: The Path To Gaining Fellowship With God (Leviticus 1-10)
N. God's Revelation Of The Believer's Higher Accountability For Leadership Roles
Lesson: The opportunity for Aaron and his sons to serve God in the roles of example, teacher and priest before God's people came with a corresponding HIGHER level of ACCOUNTABILITY. Thus, shouldering oversight roles with God's people involves increased accountability, meaning an increased check on one's own interests and desires so that God alone is glorified in that oversight position.
- To whom much is granted of the Lord by way of responsibility and oversight, much is required by way of accountability to God: so taught the Lord Jesus in Luke 12:48.
- This fact is powerfully illustrated in the events and teaching of Leviticus 10:1-11 as follows.
- God's Revelation Of The Believer's Higher Accountability For Leadership Roles, Leviticus 10:1-11.
- As we discovered in Leviticus 8-9, God established Aaron and his sons as spiritual leaders in the nation to act as priests unto God in behalf of the people. As such they were to act responsibly as leaders.
- In their service, they had been told by God exactly how and when they were to perform sacrifices 6:9-13.
- However, Nadab and Abihu, two sons of Aaron, each put incense and coals of fire in his censer and offered an unauthorized offering unto God, Lev. 10:1. We do not if they errantly used coals that came from some fire besides the altar (Lev. 16:12), or if they errantly offered it at the wrong time of day (Ex. 30:7-9) or if they tried to enter the most holy place forbidden to all but the high priest (Lev. 16:12-13), cf. Bib. Know. Com., O. T., p. 189. All we know is that they did not function as prescribed by God!
- As a result, in severe judgment, God sent out a fire from His presence similar to the experience in which He ignited the altar's sacrifice in Lev. 9:24, and this fire killed Nadab and Abihu, Leviticus 10:2.
- When this judgment occurred, God told Aaron through Moses that this traumatic event signaled the high level of accountability God required of those who served as priests unto God before the nation, 10:3-11:
- God clarified to Aaron that this judgment on his wayward sons was delivered to show that He was to be honored and glorified in the service of His representatives to the nation, Leviticus 10:3. Thus, all who served the Lord were to subject their own wills and wants to God's will or suffer judgment.
- To insure this would be so, strict guidelines were established as how Aaron and his relatives were to respond to this event so that their human interests and agendas would all be subjected to God's:
- In the first place, Aaron's relatives were selected to pick up the bodies of Aaron's sons to take them in the priestly coats in which they had died outside of the camp "like the useless parts of sacrificial animals" were treated, Leviticus 10:4-5; Ibid.
- Second, though their brethren and the rest of the nation could mourn for the loss of his sons, Aaron and his related priests on duty were not to grieve as it would involve tearing their priestly clothes and uncovering their heads in disobedience to God while on duty, Lev. 10:6a,b. Their own personal needs and agendas had to be subjected to obedience to God while they served in their offices.
- Third, Aaron and the priests on duty were not to leave the temple to mourn as God's anointing oil was upon them, not permitting them to leave at the time, Lev. 10:7a,b. Again, they had to subject their own human feelings and desires to do the will of God as leaders of the people, Lev. 10:7c.
- Fourth, Aaron and the other priests on duty were instructed not to partake of substances that could or would impair their capacities to minister with the best of their faculties in teaching the accurate truth of God's Word to the people, Leviticus 10:8-11. It may have been that Nadab and Abihu had been intoxicated and so had erred in what they had done with their censers, necessitating this order. (Ibid., Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 189)
Application: (1) It is a good thing to want to serve the Lord in oversight of God's people, cf. 1 Tim. 3:1. (2) However, as such a role carries greater INFLUENCE over GOD'S people, and as GOD wants to be GLORIFIED before His people, one must SACRIFICE his own desires and agendas and obey God fully for HIM ALONE to be exalted. (3) Otherwise, we face STEEPER discipline as a result!