Nadab & Abihu (Leviticus 10)September 25, 2022 | Brandon Cooper
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You can open up to Leviticus chapter 10. Leviticus chapter 10. As we continue in our series, people got killed this morning. Now, here we are week three of people God killed. And as I’ve said throughout, we’re proceeding by steps here, step one, Isaiah six, we looked at the holiness of God, that he is transcendently other than we are morally perfect, infinitely pure last week, because we looked at Second Samuel sixth and the story of Uzza. We saw our own sinfulness, the depths of it, the fact that as fate should be all of ours, we should have perished long ago in the presence of so holy of God as this. This week, we’re kind of drawn out the tension of those two statements, because if God is holy, and we are sinful, how can we possibly draw nearer? How could we ever stand in His presence? That’s the question we want to answer this morning. Every so often, the United States briefly turns its gaze to the United Kingdom, because we are fascinated by monarchy, even as we sort of disdain the idea as a government. So that happened, of course, in these past couple of weeks with the Queen’s death, and the funeral and all of that. I think part of what fascinates us is the simple protocol of what happens these ceremonies, we don’t have anything like them in the US not big on ceremony here. But there is this sense like I’ve heard hilarious stories about the protocol that comes with meeting royalty. Someone shared once who met then Prince Charles now the king and gave him a copy of his book and gave him a second copy and said, Could you get this copy to your mum for me? One does not call Queen Elizabeth mum. Okay. First of all, it’s not a real word word of mom. All right. But second of all, no. And Prince Charles was very gracious and said, Yes, I will be sure to get this to Her Majesty. That’s the idea. Right? There is a protocol, there are rules to follow as you meet someone like this, the more important the person, the more impressive the protocol, right? So you see your friend, I see my friend in the hallway, it’s the obligatory bro hug. Yeah. But that’s a little bit different than say we hosted the Safe Families event a little over a week ago now. And I met the speaker at that point, he’s a minor celebrity. He’s published books he’s been on talk shows, you approach a little bit differently a little bit farther away, there’s the handshake, all that kind of stuff. And then when you meet the Queen, or the King, I mean, you actually have to like go through training before you can do that the more important the person, the more impressive the protocol, who we approach dictates how we approach and as far as the heavens are above the Earth, so high is God Almighty above even the king. So rushing royalty without an invitation is not going to end well for you. How much more so God. So you would think it would be the easiest thing in the world for us to approach God because we would approach with such care, knowing how high and mighty he is. But as we’ve seen in this series, we often grow familiar with the things of God, we often get a wrong conception of God to see in our passage this morning. And this can lead us astray. That’s our main ideas. The point I’m gonna try and prove this morning as we go through Leviticus 10 We must not approach a God of our making in a way of our choosing. That’s not going to end well for us, we must come to God as He is the God who is there on his terms, not on our terms we approach carefully. So how do we approach we’re gonna see, in this passage three ways, how we approach God Almighty. First of all, we approach with reverence. Let me read Leviticus 10 Verses one to seven.
Aaron’s sons and the dog and Nabil who took their sensors, put fire in them and added incense, and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, this is what the Lord spoke of when he said, among those who approached me I will be proved holy in the sight of all the people I will be honored, and Aaron remains silent. Moses summoned Michelle and Elsa found sons of Aaron’s uncle ozio and said to them, Come here carry your cousins outside the camp away from the front of the sanctuary. So they came and carried them still in their tunics outside the camp as Moses ordered. Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons, Eleazar and Ithamar Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes or you will die and the Lord will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives all the Israelites may mourn for those the Lord has destroyed by fire. Do not leave the entrance to the tentative meeting or you will die because the Lord’s anointing oil is on you. So they did as Moses said, a little bit of context here always important to put a text in context, before we look at it. We are almost certainly here dealing still with the first day of worship. Maybe it’s day two, it doesn’t give us a clear time indicator. But this is very early on. In fact, if you’re looking at a Bible like mine anyway, Leviticus nine the heading there is the priests begin their ministry, like they had just offered the first sacrifice in the tabernacle with this new priesthood, that very day. And what’s so important to see that is that in chapters eight and nine, as they’re beginning this ministry, they do so as the Lord commanded future chapters eight and nine, I believe that phrase shows up 12 times in those two chapter chapters, just look at the end of almost every paragraph in chapter eight, as the Lord commanded Moses, as the Lord commanded Moses, as the Lord commanded Moses again, and again. And again, this is how their ministry is going to work until we come to chapter 10, verse one, we read that they offered fire, contrary to his command, no longer as the Lord commanded, but contrary to His command doesn’t say what they did wrong. Exactly, we get some clues. And we’ll look at those clues in a moment here. But it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that it was contrary to what the Lord commanded. So like us last week, and they knew what to do, and didn’t do it. And so they’re no excuses. No excuses, especially as leaders, those who are supposed to represent God to His people and the people for God. They’re mediators between God and the people of Israel.
And yet, they have failed here. So let’s pay very careful attention now to the text and see if we can figure out what exactly they did wrong. It is not that they offered unauthorized incense. That would make sense Exodus 30, verse nine says, do not offer on this altar, any other incense, so there, we would have a clear command and all that, but that’s not what it says here. And don’t say they put incense in. But it was the unauthorized fire. Specifically, they’re taking fire from somewhere else, the root word for unauthorized there is the word for it, or alien, and by implication, then becomes strange or even on Authorize. The way that word is often used in the Old Testament is to refer to foreign as in pagan peoples. And so are we talking about importing a pagan practice into the pure worship of Yabe? That is, did they take fire, potentially coals from a different altar, an altar to an a different and false god? If so, this would be such a dangerous syncretism, where they’re compromising the pure worship of one true God by conforming to the world around them. There are also some hints that they might be trying to usurp Aaron’s role as high priest. We see this a lot in the early stages of Israel’s life, we’ll see this again, in the series, even when people come to decide who are Moses and Aaron anyway, how come they get to have all the fun? Maybe we should be there instead, did they enter the holy of holies. without authorization, then, in just a or In Numbers, chapter 16, verses one and two, I talks about the death of these two sons of Aaron. And it seems to hint at that it says this, The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, who died when they approached the Lord. The Lord said to Moses, tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the most holy place behind the curtain in front of the Atonement Cover on the ark, or else he will die. So it’s interesting that the background for those instructions is the death of Nadal Dobby, who maybe that’s what they had done, whatever it is, we cannot say with certainty here. We know that it is an inflection point in Israel’s history again, the first day of these new practices of worship that God has given them on that first day will there be a rift in the priesthood, competing factions for how to worship God, with a pure and holy worship of Him compromised? The seriousness of this moment then becomes clear, even if we don’t fully understand at all. This is not excessive punishment, but proper, how proper even though they’re consumed by fire, since that was the cause of their sin in the first place. It fits the crime. But we see that there’s this ever present danger for us the danger that we see in the data and data whose lives too To combine what you like from Christianity, with what you like from culture, from the other gods just bring that into our worship, it is very easy to follow God. Right up until he says something you don’t like, which you will to all of us at some point, right? So what do you do in that moment? Well, why not just supplement a little bit? Let’s bring in a command from somewhere else draw from another, maybe another religion, or maybe just the secular culture in which we live, why not get a quid pro quo God? Not one, we got to offer ourselves as living sacrifice one of those gods where if I do certain things, he’s got to do certain things. For me. It’s important to know that these are not actual Gods these days, I don’t think for the most part, any of us are going oh, so how do they worship Molek. Let’s see if maybe some of that would make sense in my Christianity, it is it is culture that we’re looking at here. That’s where the strange fire is going to come from, like, give you an example. It’s probably a bad example, given the announcement I just made about the parking lot. But if you chafe at the Bible’s instructions, Jesus’s model of sacrificial giving, well, why not grab from another altar? Why not take from our culture’s view of wise financial planning, which usually involves a whole lot of security for you and yours, instead of a trust in the Lord. You see how easy it is to create a God in our image, who’s easier to follow, because he doesn’t ever challenge us where we don’t want to be challenged.
For something like this, nutjob and ABA who perish in the sight of their father, and you can’t even begin to imagine what Aaron is feeling in this moment. And so it’s no surprise that it’s Moses who has to speak here because Aaron is dumbstruck. Moses has to speak the hard truth to him and to all of Israel. Among those who approach. That’s code for the priests, by the way, those who represent the people and represent God to the people among those who approach God must be proved holy. Because the closer you get to the Lord, to the things of God the whole year, you need to be that really is the burden of Leviticus. If you’ve ever made it all the way through Leviticus in your yearly Bible reading, there’s a whole lot of unclean, clean, holy, and then there’s even like holier. So what happens on Yom Kippur, for example, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year, the holiest person in Israel, the high priest goes into the holiest place in Israel, the most holy place to make a sacrifice there, the closer you get to God’s holiness, the greater caution is required, the greater sanctity and solemnity of the moment, again, just like approaching royalty, as opposed to approaching your neighbor down the street. But if the leaders are lacks in that moment, what will become of the people mean Do as I say not as I do is not ever a good strategy for leadership. And the Lord knows that and he knows what like this is how the priests are acting, there is no hope for the people they will all perish as they’re led astray in this moment. So we must see this as God’s judgment. Yes, absolutely. God’s judgment and Uddhav anNabi who but it is also his mercy on the people that he acts here. He’s protecting his people by nipping this sin in the bud before it can spread. We’ll see that much more in a few weeks. By the way, when we look at a Can you see in verse three that Aaron remains silent, and he is probably struck dumb with grief. But it’s interesting to note that he also offers no rebuttal. He doesn’t question God here. There is a tacit though painful acceptance. Remember, Tozer as we think about this, quoted him last week that God is holy, and he has made a holiness, the moral condition necessary to the health of his universe, whatever is holy is healthy. Evil is a moral sickness that must end ultimately in death. And that is what Aaron sees and understands. Here again, he’s not shocked that his sons died. He is shocked, as we talked about last week than any of us are still alive. He has no doubt looking at himself will see this in a moment and wondering how come I didn’t perish in this moment, also. So that’s what Aaron sees and understands as holiness as the moral condition. The health of the universe makes sense of verses four to seven, by the way, they feel out of place, don’t they know if you were reading this in preparation for today and going It’s interesting how much emphasis the rest of the day gets. There’s a much longer description than the sin of the data Manabi who and their death that’s Like brief, perfunctory description, and then there’s this huge long section about how to respond. But the community needs to know how to respond. So that they can stop the contagions spread, which we all understand post pandemic and all of that. We don’t want sin to spread through the community, we want the community to be spared, what should we do so that this doesn’t continue. And so part of that is that the priests, which is, unfortunately, their father, and brothers can’t partake of the morning rituals, because they have been set apart as holy and holiness and death are in conflict, because death is the result of an holiness. Why the whole lot of laws about priests not being able to touch dead things. This might be the hardest part for us. You read this and you really think that’s just not fair. To tell a father he cannot grieve his dead children, we feel tremendous pity. What the Bible is uncompromising on this point that nothing not even a beloved child, can you serve God’s place in our hearts? We think of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac, although of course, the Lord has mercy stayed his hand before he actually sacrificed him. But the Lord was testing Abraham in that moment, do you love me even more than your beloved child? Have you valued the supremely only what is supremely valuable,
which is the Lord Himself, Aaron’s morning in this moment to could be taken as a rejection of God? In the community, you might be looking at him, if he’s weeping, pulling out his hair, ripping his clothes, was the punishment too harsh? Was he showing a greater concern for the sinner than he would show for God’s holiness? These are questions to ask ourselves as well. When God’s punishment falls, we often feel pity for the sinner long before we grieve the dishonor that God has been given. So no doubt this is a strange story to our modern ears, once again, you know, second week in a row, and it won’t stop there. God might seem capricious, or vengeful, unworthy even of our worship. But we must remember in the words of Deuteronomy, the Lord your God, is a consuming fire. a jealous God. That word jealous throws us off a little bit, because we hear jealous and we think that middle schooler who’s got the crush on the girl and she’s talking to another boy, that is not the Lord, there’s want to be so clear about that. Because there is a proper jealousy. It would be good of me to be jealous for my marriage, for example. And if someone were messing with my marriage, I ought to step in and act in that situation. We all should. Well, is it good for me to keep my marriage? Absolutely. It’s also good for my children. It would be good for my wife to adultery has never brought anyone more joy than they would have in sticking it out in a marriage. So that’s the jealousy that we’re talking about, especially because spiritual adultery is in fact, death and eternal death at that the Lord is where our joy and our satisfaction is found. So he’s zealous, jealous that we would know Him and Him alone. But our God is a consuming fire. Yes, he is. We just saw it in the story. And you think about fire we don’t think about it as much today fire is a is quaint for us today. You had a campfire in your backyard. Back then the fire was your heat. It was your cooking, it was all sorts of things. So fire was powerful, beneficial, but also dangerous as it is today. And fire can refine and purify but it also destroys when we are careless with it. And that’s what God’s holiness is also, God’s holiness brings life and health. I said last week, the word the holy and healthy come from the same root word, Anglo Saxon Heilig. And so to profane God is to choose unhealth it is to choose death. Here’s why Matthew Henry, the commentator on the Bible said it he said those that hate to be refined by the fire of divine grace will undoubtedly be ruined by the fire of divine wrath. Those are our options, right refinement, or destruction. But refinement is an option. It doesn’t have to be destruction. That’s not the only option. We don’t need to fear the Lord’s holiness because God has made a way for those who are currently on the holy to approach him. I mean, look at the verse just before our passage, chapter nine, verse 24, we read this fire came out from the presence of the Lord fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted for joy, and fell face down. Of course they would. I mean, here fire is coming. assume that they know that God is real. This is the one true God, and He is holy. There’s the reverence that they fall facedown, they fall facedown with joy. Because this God dwells in their midst, they’re allowed to dwell in His presence. That’s how this story should have gone. That’s how our story should go to. But we need to approach him rightly, if we’d experienced that Reverend joy, where we approach with reverence and greater reverence as we ascend the ladder of dignity, and greater punishment. If we fail to do so, well, man, you know how this works, right? Like if I’m in a fight with my my buddy or something, words are exchanged, and one of us throws a fist.
That’s a big deal. Might have the cops called, maybe can resolve it right there. Let’s say you call the cops and then you punch that cop. That’s a bigger deal than punching your friend. And then now try punching King Charles, you’re not going to make it. Right, they’re not gonna give you a chance to figure out just how dangerous you are, you will be killed on the spot. Remember caterpillar and Ark Angel, finite chasm between them. Infinite chasm between us and God, punch King Charles ends in death, to throw fists at the Lord Almighty. what hope is there we must not approach a God of our making, you know, sprinkle in that dash of culture in the way of our choosing, we approach with reverence. Second, we approach with discernment. Let’s keep reading in verses eight to 11. And the Lord said to Aaron, you and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting or you will die. There’s a lasting ordinance for the generations to come so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common between the unclean and the clean. So you can teach the Israelites all to decrease the Lord has given them through Moses. So this is the central section here. And it is marked by an important heading. Because this is the only time in Leviticus that the Lord speaks to Aaron alone. And that’s important its own right, because it means Aaron is still the high priest. So he has not lost that right as a result of his son’s sin. But it is interesting. Why does he mentioned wine and liquor here? It is possible that that played a role in a domino whose folly, it’s not clear. The text does not say that. But you do kind of wonder why this one prohibition in this moment, so the certainly the later rabbis took it in that way. But in any case, even if that’s not what they did, it could lead to a similar situation. When you’re approaching God, you need to be clear headed. I’ll just give you a ridiculous example. But you know, we’re in a series like this, where we’re talking about things like God’s holiness and grace and judgment when it hit topics like hell and a holy war. And I’m up here trying to explain this stuff very carefully. Would you want to hear from me if I’d had three shots of Jameson before I came into the pulpit? No, write a topic like this requires nuance, like choosing words very carefully. People have had three shots of Jameson do not choose their words carefully, quite the opposite. And so that’s the seriousness of this moment, we’re dealing with a holy, we need to be careful to approach with reverence and alcohol is not going to help you to be careful. Especially so because the duties of priests are to help people distinguish between holy and unholy, clean, clean, and unclean. And then to teach. So these are the questions that they’re getting. That’s what Leviticus is. It’s just a whole series of questions basically, Am I cool? Am I okay to enter the sanctuary in this state? No, you got to wait three days, you wouldn’t want to come in, in the state you’re in now, can I be a part of this community? Or do I need to be kicked outside the camp? What’s the right decision here? These are big questions. Now. It’s really easy to read some of the stuff in Leviticus and go. I’m gonna read that fast because this has no relevance to my life today. Quite the contrary. This is so tremendously relevant to us as Christians, because who are we as Christians? First Peter to nine, we are the royal priesthood. If you are in Christ, you are a priest of God Almighty. Which means you’ve got the same duties. This is our job. We need to distinguish. And we need to teach one another. This actually makes sense of Paul, famous passage you probably read many times. I’m pretty sure it’s a commentary on Leviticus 10. Here’s Ephesians, 517 and 18. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. There’s your distinguishing right? Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, instead be filled with the Spirit. That’s it. That’s everything we just read in Leviticus 10 and Paul saying, it’s really important that you do this, like he said a little bit earlier in verse 10. Find out what pleases the Lord. Those are hard questions. Some of them are harder than others, right? How would the spirit have you respond to criticism that you just heard? Maybe even criticism offered on lovingly? That’s a hard question. We probably turn to some tax that would help us along with it’s a hard question. It gets harder than that, too. How about this? What would the spirit have you do for your next vacation?
Where would he have you go? Stay hewed? How do you see with whom do you have you go? Not gonna find the answers to that. And here, find out what pleases the Lord. That’s tricky. Paul says in that same chapter, we need to be very careful how we live because the days are evil, there’s the influence of culture again. And so to do that, we need to live under the influence of the Spirit, you fill yourself with a wine instead you will be led astray. Because you will numb your sensitivity to the Spirit. When I gotta say, hear, especially in a Baptist church, it’s not just wine, okay? You can numb your sensitivity, the spirit and all sorts of ways. You think media consumption will numb your ability to distinguish the Lord’s voice clearly? Yeah, you know, it has. What about community, just the people we associate with, we hear from regularly walk with wise become wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. So when a lot of ways are back to the question I asked in Jude, who is really discipling you, who is shaping your worldview, and informing your behavior? The answer must be the Spirit, who illuminates the Word of God? Because that’s how we know God’s will. We think of how gracious the Lord has been to us that we have this whole book helping us to understand what we should do what would please him. So if we’re going to approach God in the right way, the right God and the right way, not a God of our making, in a way of our choosing. The big question is, well, how would I know? How would I know that I’ve got the right God, and that this is the right way to come to him or broaden the question in some ways. What do you base your knowledge of truth and reality? I can’t defend the Bible’s authority. Today. I’ve done that. And other times you want recommendations about how to check that out, I’d be happy to give it to you. The Bible is trustworthy, I’m sure of that. But I want us to see you’ve only got two options, in terms of what to base your knowledge of the truth on either an external standard, like the word of God, or an internal standard, you, you are the final arbiter of truth and reality. Which seems very dangerous to me. But you get to see that even among Christians, even among the followers of God, like Nadal, banaba, who we can make ourselves that ultimate standard, you see that as soon as you put an asterisk next to any passage in scripture, as soon as you go, yeah, but not here. If the Lord knew what I was going through, he would never have asked me to do something like that. As soon as you as soon as you reach any point where you go, I will file the Lord this far, and no further you have made yourself God. Because you are now sitting in judgment over God says the sin of Eden, of course, I read this and Daniel Taylor this week, I thought it was perfect. It’s like as Christians, we don’t want God dead. But we do want them housebroken. We want them to act dead. Sometimes. Just be polite and leave us alone. That’s the problem. That tendency is in all of us. That’s why we submit to the world to that external standard, because we don’t trust ourselves. And why by the way, would you trust yourself? How many of you here have made a mistake in your life before? Okay, so you’re not perfect. You know that? So why would you make yourself the standard, by the way, you also don’t ever make yourself the standard. Because if you lived 50 years ago, you’d have a totally different standard. So it’s actually your culture that’s getting you that standard. How many of you live in a perfect culture? You’re reading the newspaper headlines going these people know what they’re doing. Yeah, I should listen to them. I should put my life in their hands. Absolutely not. So you got to watch out as soon as you start saying things like I couldn’t worship a God who are what I feel Jesus saying to me here you are drunk on either culture or emotion. God has revealed himself and he has supplied abundant reason for us to trust Him and to trust His Word. Again, you got questions about that? Come and ask me. We’ll talk about it. Pay careful attention, so that you can distinct English, especially if those hard moments. I mean, it’s interesting. Look back at verse three. So they die in the presence of all the people. What is the first thing Moses does? He gives them the word of the Lord. That’s what they needed at that moment. They didn’t need emotion. They didn’t need a pity party. They didn’t need to talk about their opinions on the subject they needed to hear you remember what God said.
We must not approach God carelessly, God of our making a way of our choosing, but with discernment, according to the word third, then we approach with covering, we read the rest of the chapter, Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar. Take the grain offering leftover from the food offerings prepared about yeast and presented to the Lord and etoposide the altar for his most holy you did in the sanctuary area, because it is your share and your sons share the food offerings presented to the Lord, for so I have been commanded. But you and your sons and your daughters made the brass that was waived and the fire that was presented. Eat them in a ceremonially clean place they have been given to you and your children as your share of the Israelites fellowship offerings. The fire that was presented in the breast that was waived must be brought with the fat portions, the food offerings be waived before the Lord is a wave offering. This will be the perpetual share for you and your children if the Lord has commanded. When Moses inquired about the go to the sin offering, and found that it had been burned up, he was angry with Lea Tsar and Ismar Aaron’s remaining sons and ask Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area, it is most holy, it was given to you to take away the guilt of the community, but making atonement for them before the Lord. Since his blood was not taken into the holy place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area as I commanded. Aaron replied to Moses, today they sacrificed their sin offering and the burnt offering before the Lord. But such things as this have happened to me with the Lord had been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today. When Moses heard this, he was satisfied. Okay, another strange section to our minds. Important to see at the outset, though, that the priestly duties resume immediately. And those are essential if God is going to dwell among his people still, but as they’re talking through the normal priestly duties, and what they’re supposed to eat, not supposed to eat, and all that Moses discovers that they didn’t eat the sin offering, and then instead burned it before the Lord. You see in verse 16. And that’s significant, they’re supposed to eat it. And somehow in that act, that is part of the ritual of expiation. Big word that basically means that the taking of sin away the removal of that guilt, atonement, and so Moses is angry, you kind of understand where Moses is coming from here, like, did you not all catch how important it is to follow the Lord’s instructions? Exactly. Any examples you can think of recently that would make you think that should be important, because this is how they make atonement, especially. But Aaron’s response is significant. He says, After the day’s event, how could this is not by the way, that he’s so grief stricken that he couldn’t eat because he ate the rest of it. It’s not grief stricken, but he is guilt stricken here. As patriarch of the family, he knows that he bears some responsibility for the sins of His children. There’s a communal nature to sin that we will see in the coming weeks, by the way. And so you can see Aaron is reflecting on his own life had he been lacks in teaching his sons had they learned from his example, something about a golden calf comes to mind. And so Aaron is sitting there going, who will expiate my sin. I can’t eat to expiate and we else’s sin. It’s true, by the way, it’s not until Leviticus 16 that we read how the high priest is supposed to take care of his sin so that he can offer sacrifices for the sins of others. One of the reasons why we’re so grateful we have Jesus, because Jesus did not need to offer any sacrifices for his sins, but Erin did. And so he knows I can’t do this, I can’t be the one to do this today. It is worth my pausing for a moment here to speak to parents directly. Do not wait until a day like this, to worry about your children’s salvation. With all the caveats in place, please hear me carefully. Okay. You cannot raise your children so well that God is obligated to save them. And I cannot draw a straight line from how you raise your children to how your children turn out. I wish it were that easy. It is not with all those caveats in place that the Lord has given us some pretty clear responsibilities. You want to find out what pleases the Lord when it comes to your parenting. It’s here like we got some stuff. Kyle teaches this class all the time. But there should be an urgency to our parenting. Because we know how this story could end. So do you have zeal in your prayer life for your children? Are you besieging heaven regularly asking the Lord to save your children and Are you faithful in instructing them. Because that’s your job. That’s what the Lord has given you to do. And also to correct.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to correct your children. If you see children in your care going down a dangerous path, act, and act quickly. I put up in the polls this week, one of the articles was help, I think I messed up my kids technology, which is true of 99% of this population. And what I loved about the article was that it didn’t say, dang, well, better luck next time. If you have another kid. No, do something, change your apparent act and act with urgency. What we see here, Moses accepts Aaron’s response, he sees that Aaron is not disobeying God, he’s not floating God’s standards. And God is also understanding of what Aaron has suffered that day, which I think is significant. We keep saying that this is a study in holiness and grace. And look, the holiness is very evident in this series in the conflict with sin, holiness, will destroy it necessarily. It’s like bringing light into a dark room, they can’t coexist. The light eradicates the darkness. And that is what will happen with the holiness of God and sin, ultimately. But we’ve got the same questions as last week, don’t we? You read a story like this, and you’re still going talk to me again, about God being slow to anger, being compassionate. Is he judging too harshly? Here? Again? How about a warning? Nevermind, the big questions like hell and holy war that we’ll get to, in the next two weeks, by the way, we are next week looking at Saddam. And we will be tackling hellfire and damnation head on. You do not want to miss it. Because these are some of the biggest questions that people are asking. Today. They’re probably some of the questions you’re asking as well. So the holiness is evident. But I want you to see that the abundant, amazing, unthinkable grace of God is evident everywhere as well. And it is especially so here at the end of the chapter, like Let’s not miss the fact that God is approachable. He is, in fact, dwelling with his people at that time, he had given them instruction so that they wouldn’t be destroyed, provided a way for them to make atonement knowing that they were not holy. I’m holy. He’s saying your symbol, you should be destroyed. That’s what you deserve. But here’s how I’ll take your guilt away. Like that’s mind blowing the grace there. And we approach with fear and trembling, absolutely careful to be reverent and discerning. Absolutely. But we approach we’re commanded to approach because we’re covered. We are covered by the grace of God and the blood of Christ, even more so than Moses and Aaron right? In the Levitical system, they had the shadow we have the substance. It’s what Caitlin read part of earlier Hebrews 911 to 14, it’s the point it makes exactly when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of His creation. So Jesus, the the true high priest enters into the true temple he did not enter by means the blood of goats and calves but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, He is the true and better sacrifice as well, thus obtaining eternal redemption, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean. Sanctify them so that they’re outwardly clean outwardly, how much more than the blood of Christ within the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from Acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God. Jesus sprinkled his own blood on the mercy seat in heaven. If you want to use the language of this passage, fire consumed him. He became unholiness personified, and a fire came from heaven and destroyed him. How do we respond but to fall face down with joy? Because now we can approach God without fear of judgment. We enter boldly into His presence to find help mercy in our time of need, because we are covered. In this commentary on Leviticus Allan Mosley shares a great story that I think captures this well. It’s a story of pioneers who are heading west. And as they’re making their way they see a cloud of smoke coming at them. And there is a prairie fire raging and they discover quickly that it is moving in the wrong direction. It is gaining ground on them and it will overtake them shortly. They’d crossed a river you know a while back, but it was too far away for them to get back. So what did they do? I mean, they’re stuck like there are going to be consumed here in a moment. So knowing that the wind is blowing a certain direction they lit fire Are to the prairie behind them. Let it spread. And they went and stood in the burned section.
As the flames closed and of course the wide eyed kids are looking at their dads going, Are you sure we won’t be burned? And what are the dads say the flames can’t touch us here, because we’re standing with a fire has already burned. When we hide ourselves in Christ, the flames can’t touch us. Because we are standing with a fire of God’s judgment has already burned and we are secure. And if that’s true, by the way, why would we want to make a different god? You’re not going to imagine a better God who provides greater joy nevermind greater redemption than Christ. That’s why it’s so insane that Nadal and Avi who should take fire from another Holter there’s only one altar and which are redemption is sealed. Why would you not pull from that one. Steven Charnock says it. Well, Puritan preacher, it is too common for men to fancy God not as he is. But as they would have him to strip him of his excellency, for the sake of their own security. That’s what happens when we stripped god of His Excellency thinking that we can somehow provide for ourselves a better option, there is none. Let’s come to God as He is. And as he commands with reverence, discernment, and the covering that he provided, I would be remissed by living and close with just a few words of application to the gathering. After all, that’s what this story is about. We are being built into God’s temple, when she dwells by His Spirit. The lesson from last week in so many ways was that we shouldn’t presume upon God’s grace. And so when we come together to worship the Lord, we come before him humbly, the recognition that we should not be here. We have no right to be here except in Christ, we approach with reverence to, again, like you were coming to see royalty only infinitely more so than royalty. Like if you’re getting ready to meet the Queen, the king today. Would that change what you did this morning? Because you got ready to come and understand what people used to wear their Sunday best, right? There’s just communicating that something we’ve grown so familiar with the things of God, what about coming in late to a service? Show? I know some of you are like, he’s talking to me. Yeah, I know who you are. If you are meeting the king, would you have gotten up on time, so that you could be here, part of our problem, I think, is that we think this service is for us. So if I don’t like the opening song, then it doesn’t matter if I’m here that worship servers are not for you. So when they call a worship service, guess who it’s for? God, gonna be on time to guide you with your brothers and sisters in Christ to worship all mighty God. We come in time we we come in prayerfully. We come in having examined ourselves, especially on weeks when we take communion together. It’s why we let you know we’re going to take communion. When the weeks that are coming up, you think, well, this is Leviticus, it doesn’t happen like that anymore. We’re in the New Testament. Now, really. Here’s Paul, First Corinthians 11, talking about communion. This is why many among you are weak and sick and a number of you have fallen asleep. You’ve died because you didn’t take the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. They said last week, I’ll say it again. Enthusiasm is no substitute for discipline and discretion and discernment. You can come sincerely, but it does not help if you are sincerely wrong. Do not worship a God of your making in a way of your choosing. Come to God as He is in Christ, in whom you are covered, let’s pray.
Father, how grateful we are that we can stand in your presence even now. Because we know that we should not be here. The fire that consumed the dog and other who should consume us as well. We are every bit as guilty as they were. our consciences are seared our souls are stained by sin, and yet we come into Your presence covered by the blood of Christ. Our sin taken away or guilt taken away, having experienced atonement. And so, Lord, we come with joy. But we come with reverence also, would you help us to fall facedown before you not to grow familiar with the things of God, not to treat you with indignity with familiarity, Lord, but with reverence and discernment, because you are worthy of all worship and All glory and all honor just what we offer to you even now. Amen.