Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the Lord by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the Lord ‘s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the Lord .
Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant when he said,
`I will display my holiness
through those who come near me.
I will display my glory
before all the people.’”
And Aaron was silent. (Leviticus 10:1-3 NLT)
Leviticus 10:1-3 displays the significance of God’s calling on leaders of His worship and the consequences of disobedience. It says in Leviticus that God displays His Holiness through those who come close to Him so
that people may see and distinct clean from unclean through it.
God is perfect, there is no need for our ideas how to alter worship so it tops what God already created and instructed us to do. Plus, we can’t top anything related to God, because He is the creator of all thins seen and unseen!
I sense that the actions of Aaron’s sons were a display of selfishness in the attempt to get attention and astounded “wow-s” for their “special effects”.
It reminds me that as we worship God, we never need to do something that will wow the people with special effects, but to serve just as instructed by God with the motivation and attitude of an obedient servant who loves God deeply and respects His commands. Love is a commitment, and responsibilities come with it.
So with a leading role in a congregation or other involvement supporting the church, we share the responsibilities that Aaron’s sons had. His holiness should be seen through your worship. Although worship is far more than just the singing or preaching, the offering ceremonies, etc., this scripture specifically speaks to leaders and their helpers. Crowds watch them. Lost sheep are evangelized by them. Disciples are equipped through them. Leaders are being followed. Where would Aaron’s sons have led God’s people through their special effects? Away from God! If God had allowed this to go by without consequences (a showcase?), we would have followed ourselves looking for the best entertainer. Hello Hollywood! Leaders represent God and His holiness. If that is not seen in people who lead, then the crowd who follows will not be able to see what holy looks like and will be mislead. Misleading is definitely not God’s will for us.
Since leaders have such a big influence, their responsibility is huge and their roles are of great importance. That explains the stricter judgement and need for the prayers of the church for discernment, obedient hearts, so they will do what they are called to in the exact way they are called to do it so they wont corrupt worship and won’t mislead the rest of us in the process! It helps me get over the shock of the moment when I first read the scripture quoted above and understand the significance of our role better, even if we have only small roles. They are not less important in the representation of God’s holiness.
That said, I am thankful for great leadership and for obedient, humble hearts in leadership and a level of discipline required in them to worship as instructed in every detail and pray that it will be this way without ever being corrupted!
Glory to God!