February 3, 2007
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- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
- Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;
- And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
- And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
- And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.
- And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.
- And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.
- And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.
- And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.
- And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.
- And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.
- And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.
- And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses.
- And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering.
- And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it.
- And he took all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses burned it upon the altar.
- But the bullock, and his hide, his flesh, and his dung, he burnt with fire without the camp; as the LORD commanded Moses.
- And he brought the ram for the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.
- And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.
- And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses burnt the head, and the pieces, and the fat.
- And he washed the inwards and the legs in water; and Moses burnt the whole ram upon the altar: it was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet savour, and an offering made by fire unto the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.
- And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.
- And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.
- And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.
- And he took the fat, and the rump, and all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and the right shoulder:
- And out of the basket of unleavened bread, that was before the LORD, he took one unleavened cake, and a cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, and put them on the fat, and upon the right shoulder:
- And he put all upon Aaron's hands, and upon his sons' hands, and waved them for a wave offering before the LORD.
- And Moses took them from off their hands, and burnt them on the altar upon the burnt offering: they were consecrations for a sweet savour: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
- And Moses took the breast, and waved it for a wave offering before the LORD: for of the ram of consecration it was Moses' part; as the LORD commanded Moses.
- And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.
- And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of consecrations, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall eat it.
- And that which remaineth of the flesh and of the bread shall ye burn with fire.
- And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you.
- As he hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you.
- Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.
- So Aaron and his sons did all things which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
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- And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
- And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD.
- And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering;
- Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day the LORD will appear unto you.
- And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD.
- And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you.
- And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded.
- Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
- And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar:
- But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the LORD commanded Moses.
- And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp.
- And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar.
- And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar.
- And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar.
- And he brought the people's offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first.
- And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner.
- And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning.
- He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about,
- And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver:
- And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar:
- And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded.
- And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.
- And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.
- And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
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- And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
- And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
- Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
- And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp.
- So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said.
- And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.
- And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.
- And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying,
- Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:
- And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
- And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
- And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy:
- And ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, and thy sons' due, of the sacrifices of the LORD made by fire: for so I am commanded.
- And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy due, and thy sons' due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel.
- The heave shoulder and the wave breast shall they bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before the LORD; and it shall be thine, and thy sons' with thee, by a statute for ever; as the LORD hath commanded.
- And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying,
- Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
- Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as I commanded.
- And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD?
- And when Moses heard that, he was content.
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Thought for the day:
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These chapters deal with the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood, and the subsequent punishment of two of his sons, Nadab and Abihu, for offering "strange fire" before the Lord. There are several different opinions as to what this "strange (foreign, profane) fire" was, but it consisted of some violation of God's prescribed method. It may have been kindled from the wrong coals (
16:12), or at the wrong time (
Ex. 30:7-9), or in the wrong place (
Lev. 16:12-13), or by the wrong men (
Lev. 9:8), or contained the wrong incense (
Ex. 30:9). Whatever the issue was, the offense was so severe that it warranted their execution, which was accomplished in an appropriate manner; for God destroyed those who offered profane fire upon the altar with holy fire from the altar. God's laws are never to be trifled with, nor ignored in any way.
Many believe that the root cause of Nadab and Abihu's sin was the consumption of alcohol. The story of their death and burial takes place in
verses 1-5. In verses
6-7, Moses instructs Aaron not to publicly mourn the passing of his sons, because that would show a displeasure in the judgment of God, and would result in his death as well. Then in verse 9 God speaks to Aaron for the first time, and His first statement is
"Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die".
In light of the fact that Aaron's sons have just died in the tabernacle, it does not see far-fetched to assume that alcohol may have played a part in the decisions that resulted in their deaths. God gives two reasons why the priests should not drink. The first is found in
"And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean".
It is clear that Nadab and Abihu had failed to distinguish between the holy and unholy when they burned their incense. The context would appear to show that their senses had been dulled by drink. The second reason given by God is so that they could
"teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken..." (
In God's omniscience, He reveals that a man who consumes alcohol is incapable of properly teaching the Word of God.
Our modern society loves alcohol. No party is complete, no holiday truly celebrated, no recreational event really enjoyed unless alcoholic beverages are included. Even Christians have fallen prey to the lure of strong drink. Many believers have the occasional beer after a hard day, or a glass of wine with a special dinner. They attempt to justify this foolishness with statements like "As long as it is done in moderation, it isn't a problem", or "I don't have a problem with it - I'm not a drunk". Yet they willfully ignore Biblical principles such as in
"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise",
Proverbs 23: 29-31:
"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright...".
They fail to understand God's injunction:
"Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink" (
Hab. 2:15), and His warning that
"Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart", (Hosea 4:11).
As a result, these Christians fail to differentiate between the holy and the profane in their personal lives, and fail to be effective teachers of the Scriptures.
The recreational consumption of alcoholic beverages is both sinful and foolish. Thousands of homes and lives are destroyed by it every year. Those of us who know the Lord and His Word need to rise above the crowd, and remove alcohol from our lives.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery