AND FIRE CAME OUT FROM BEFORE THE LORD AND CONSUMED THEM, AND THEY DIED BEFORE THE LORD.
After the Israelites left Egypt, God began training them as a nation, which included establishing a holy priesthood (Numbers 1:493:5-39). The Lord gave Moses specific instructions on how they were to handle the sacrifices that came to Him. Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, knew the correct protocol to offering a sacrifice; however, they decided to offer an unauthorized fire. As a result, they were instantly killed.
At the onset of the Christian church, Ananias and his wife Sapphira decided they would lie to the Holy Ghost about their offering to the ministry. They both knew that what they were doing was wrong but proceeded with it anyway (Acts 5:1-11). As a result, they died right on the spot individually after lying to Peter, and “great fear came upon the church” (Acts 5:11).
The deaths of these people, at the beginning of the Israelite nation and the church, set the precedence that God doesn’t play games with His holiness. Not everyone can accept that God means what He says. We live in a day and age where people believe they can do whatever they want because God “understands.” Yet God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore—He doesn’t change with the waves of our cultural tide. Sin is still sin, and sin will send people to eternal destruction.
God gives us grace; otherwise, all of us could instantly be wiped out. However, He won’t keep striving with our wrong choices. The consequences we suffer can bring us to closer to God if we are willing to humble ourselves and obey His word. God doesn’t discipline for the sake of it but rather because of His unconditional love for us to overcome sin to live in the freedom, peace, and joy He has set before us.
Dear Lord, I pray for the right attitude of my heart and mind to humble myself before You. Help me to live in honor and obedience to Your word. Amen.
In His Service,