Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them,
and came down from offering the sin offering,
the burnt offering, and peace offerings
And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting,
and came out and blessed the people.
Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people,
and fire came out from before the Lord
and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar.
When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
Leviticus 9:22-24 (NKJV)
Can you imagine...
What if you were at church one Sunday morning,
and the praise and worship that begins your service was ending.
Your pastor stands before you and is praying.
He speaks words of blessing over all of you.
He prays a prayer, and upon the word, Amen...
the glory of the Lord appears
and fire comes out from before the Lord.
Would you shout?
Would you fall upon your face?
Would you know you were in the presence of the Most High God?
For I wonder how many of us consider...
in this day and age, what holiness is?
Or even understand the glory of the Lord.
Because I believe that our society... and even some churches,
have endeavored to neutralize God,
to even take Him down a notch...
or if possible, remove Him completely from His place of honor.
When did it become ok to diminish God's deity,
to abandon His authority,
to extinguish His excellence?
Let us not be like the world, forgetting to humble ourselves before Him...
let us consider that if we really encountered Him,
we would fall on our faces and tremble!
For in our reading today,
there is an example of this very thing...
when self-important man
forgets the holiness of God.
Aaron's has four sons who serve in the tabernacle.
But two of them paid a high price on this day...
They held out their censers with incense, and profane fire...
like they decided to participate in the ceremony,
and somehow share in God's Glory.
But God didn't ask them to...
and they burned for it... literally!
So fire went out from the Lord
and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
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.’”
It turns out, that God actually wanted the people to tremble...
to fall on their faces as they did.
But these sons of Aaron did not take the holiness of God
So what is it that these sons did...
with this incense and profane fire?
Scholars say that it is considered foreign, adulterous, common and unholy.
This incense, this fire, did not come from within the tabernacle.
It was not anointed to be used in the ceremony
and it defiled the holiness of God...
and showed utter and complete contempt to the most sacred.
These sons of Aaron...
had gotten too comfortable in their tunics,
and too prideful in their new jobs of the tabernacle.
And they paid the ultimate price.
God was showing His power,
making it known, that this was an honor...
to be given the right to serve Him in His holy tabernacle.
And those who failed to uphold it's commandments,
those who dishonored His deity,
who profaned His power,
who extinguished His excellence,
were certain to die.
God was showing His Glory that day,
and all too soon, His wrath for sin had to follow.
For we serve a mighty and just God who cannot look upon sin.
And also one who is Holy and worthy of all praise.
The same holds true when we add our own interpretation
of His holy Word.
For we must tread carefully...
how we use it.
We do not get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible
we like to believe,
and which we neglect.
It is all true, all holy, all for His glory...
and all to be honored.
Word of God... train me, today...
to remember the Holiness of my God,
to honor, glorify and serve Him faithfully... my Savior and King.
Lord, let me never forget
to tremble at the thought of Your power.
For although I live under Your forgiveness and grace...
You are still the mighty and great God of the universe!
Lord, let me never dishonor Your holy Word...
not one verse, one phrase, one meaning.
Let me ever pray to You first,
asking that You show me,
fill me with Your wisdom.
Let me not place anything profane before You,
for You are a holy God.
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.
Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you,
for your righteous deeds have been revealed.”
And I solemnly declare to everyone
who hears the words of prophecy written in this book:
If anyone adds anything to what is written here,
God will add to that person the plagues described in this book.
And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy,
God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life
and in the holy city that are described in this book
He who is the faithful witness to all these things says,
“Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:18-20 (NLT)
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