Strange Fire…what does that mean?  Many people have speculated as to what this strange or profane fire was.  If you recall, there was a specific recipe for the incense that would be used in the tabernacle in the service of the Lord.  I believe, it was as simple as the priests, the sons of Aaron, using incense that was not approved by God for that purpose.  Another plausible explanation was the idea that they may have brought fire from a source not designated as appropriate, and thus disobeyed God.  Either way, disobedience was the issue that brought judgement on these two young men.  Moses acknowledged the word and action of the Lord as being in judgement of the priests unwillingness to recognize God’s authority, and therefore they were judged and died.  Moses instructed Aaron and his family not to mourn, but to continue to carry out the work of the tabernacle, for God was justified and they needed to obey His commands and instructions.

After this incident, further guidelines were put in place to govern the priests’ conduct.  One of the things spoken to them related to the prohibition of alcohol consumption by the priests, especially during service in the tabernacle.  Also, specific guidelines were made clear concerning where the burnt offerings were to be consumed.  These guidelines were not immediately carried out in regards to one offering made, the goat of the sin offering.  Moses scolded Aaron about where the offering was eaten, and Aaron expressed His fear of the holy place (where the offering should have been eaten) due to the death of his sons.

The ministry is a solemn responsibility.  It should not be taken lightly or frivolously. Therefore, men and women of God who feel called to ministry must rise up to a level of integrity and obedience to God that leaves no room for sinful or disobedient discharge of our duties.  Live up to the calling.  Live up to the standard.  And for Christians in general, when we go into the presence of the Lord in worship, we should not be flippant, sacrilegious, or casual,  Instead, seek God with a devoted and consecrated heart.

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