Leviticus 10: Lessons from the Death of Aaron’s Sons for Being a Priest for Jesus

Introduction. During the seven-day ordination process, Aaron and his sons carefully followed God’s commands (Lev. 8:33-26). They then carefully followed God’s instructions in fulfilling their roles as priests by atoning for the sins of the nation (Lev. 9:1-23). In response to their obedience, God showed His approval by allowing Aaron and his sons to see His glory (Lev. 9:23). When God consumed their sacrifice, Aaron, his sons and all the people shouted in joy and fell on their faces (Lev. 9:24). Yet, Aaron would soon go from an emotional high to an emotional low. God would kill his sons for their disobedience for their improper worship. There are only two times in the Bible where God killed someone based upon the way they worshiped Him. Ananias and Sappira’s death following their lies when presenting their tithes is the only other recorded example (Acts 5:1-11). Each time, God killed the person to set an example and send a message. Because Christians live under His mercy and grace, many assume that this story is irrelevant. Yet, this story is relevant today.

Every Christian is called to be part of God’s “royal priesthood.” (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). As one of His priests, there are several important lessons for every believer in this chapter. First, although a believer cannot lose his or her salvation by disobeying God, sin can temporarily break your fellowship with Him. If you rebel against God, He may discipline you. Your prayers may also be “hindered” through sin (1 Pet. 3:7). Conversely, God can also bless those who obey. Second, from these passages, He instructs believers not to murmur or complain in the face of adversity Third, from these passages, He advises believers to be temperate as witnesses in consuming alcohol. Fourth, also from these passages, He advises believers to be sanctified and set apart for Him. Fifth, He also instructs believers to be teachers of His Word. Sixth, to overcome adversity, He encourages believers to seek His fellowship. Finally, from this account, believers are advised to be grateful for God’s grace. This includes making your life a “living sacrifice.” (Ro. 12:1).

1. There are consequences for being disobedient to God. Lev. 10:1-3.

  • The death of Nabad and Abihu for their irreverent worship. Aaron’s sons Nabad and Abihu died for burning “strange fire” that God “had not commanded”: “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.’’ So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.” (Lev. 10:1-3). Nabad and Abihu may have deviated from God’s Word regarding how they were required to prepare the incense (Ex. 30:34-38; Lev. 16:1-2). Or they may have been drunk when they performed their duties. Although we cannot know for certain, the later explanation appears to be the most likely one. God’s first words to Aaron following the death of his sons was warning that neither he nor his sons drink wine or “strong drink” when entering into the Tent of Meeting (Lev. 10:8-9). If they had been drunk or impaired, it is possible that Aaron's sons failed to prepare the incense in the correct manner. They may have come at the wrong time. They may have had the wrong motives. Or, they may have failed to show proper reverence in approaching God while under the influence of alcohol. What we do know is that they were irreverent and disobedient in their worship. God’s love will never leave us (Rom. 8:39). Yet, He is also a consuming fire (Heb. 12:28-29). Sin of any kind cannot be in His holy presence. Even if we have been walking with the Lord a long time and even if God has recently blessed us for our obedience, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are sinners, and He is holy (Ps. 14:1; Rom. 3:10). The more we study the Law, the more we understand His holiness and our many sins (Rom. 3:20). There are a number of other specific lessons from their deaths.

God’s holy fire destroys Nabab and Abihu1

Wood carving of the death of Nabab and Abihu (circa 1499 AD)2

  • God disciplines those whom He loves. God will mostly not kill a believer for being disobedient. But He may discipline a believer out of love: “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” (Heb. 12:6). “For the Lord reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Prov. 3:12). “Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt. 8:5). “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3:19). Hardships can sometimes, but not always, be a sign of God’s discipline. God uses hardship for good as a way to remold our behavior (Rom. 8:28). He will not punish you for your past sins from before you were saved (Rom. 8:1). Yet, He may punish you for ongoing sins in your life. If you are experiencing hardship, have you examined your life for any hidden sins? If you find that you have sinned, repent (Rev. 3:19). You should also be grateful for God’s discipline (2 Cor. 12:10). Restoring your relationship with God is more important than any pain or loss that you may experience.

  • An unrepentant sinner may also “hinder” his or her prayers. In the Old Testament, God warned that sin could also block a believer’s prayers: “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.” (Is. 1:15). “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness.” (Is. 59:2-3; Ps. 66:18; Prov. 28:9). In the New Testament, God also warned that sin can “hinder” a believer’s prayers (1 Pet. 3:7; cf. “We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but he does listen to anyone who worships him and does his will.” John 9:31). The reason for this is that sin cannot be in His presence. He also “cannot look on wickedness.” (Hab. 1:13). By contrast, when you act righteously through Christ, your prayers are a “sweet aroma” to Him (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3). Are you doing anything that may “hinder” your prayers? (1 Pet. 3:7).

  • Don’t allow God’s blessings to make you complacent. After seeing God’s holy presence, Nabad and Abihu must have felt special. As a result of their careful obedience to God’s Word, the entire congregation saw Him consume their sacrifice to atone for the nation’s sins (Lev. 9:24). Nabad and Abihu would have become famous. They would have been viewed the same way that people view movie stars today. Possibly as a result of their pride, Nabad and Abihu became sloppy and casual in their worship. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Prov. 16:18). “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.” (Prov. 18:12). “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.” (Prov. 11:2). Have you allowed success or blessings to cause you to become complacent or filled with pride in your walk?

  • Be reverent in your worship of God. Although the exact actions of Nadab and Abihu before their death are a mystery, their lack of reverence is not. They felt free to ignore God’s Word and casually worship Him in the way they wanted. Today, many churches embrace the laudable goal of finding people wherever they may be. Jesus met the sinners at their level. Yet, Jesus would then encourage the person to sin no more and be transformed (e.g., John 8:11). A church should be seeker friendly. Yet, it should still encourage new believers to be reverent in prayer, thought, actions, dress, and decorum. Some people dress at church in clothes that they would never wear to a dinner party or even work. Others call Jesus their home boy or their “buddy.” Although the exact words of the Lord’s Prayer were never required, many openly ignore the components of a model prayer that Jesus suggests. God exhorts each one of us: ‘“You shall be holy, for I am holy.”’ (1 Pet. 1:16; Lev. 11:44-45; 20:7). “A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness.” (Is. 35:8). Do you treat your encounters with God whether at church or through prayer like a meeting with the King of Kings or a casual gathering in a nightclub?

2. Do not murmur or complain in the face of adversity. Lev. 10:4-7

  • Aaron’s duties as a priest took priority over his own family. Moses then called upon Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel to remove Nabad and Abihu’s bodies from God’s holy place. “Moses called also to Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron's uncle Uzziel, and said to them, ‘Come forward, carry your relatives away from the front of the sanctuary to the outside of the camp.’ So they came forward and carried them still in their tunics to the outside of the camp, as Moses had said. Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, ‘Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful against all the congregation. But your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, shall bewail the burning which the LORD has brought about. You shall not even go out from the doorway of the tent of meeting, or you will die; for the LORD’s anointing oil is upon you.’ So they did according to the word of Moses.” (Lev. 10:4-7). Their bodies were unclean. Death came from sin (Gen. 3:19; Rom. 5:14-19). The prohibition against touching a dead body symbolized the need to separate ourselves from all that is sinful. It also protected people from diseases. Anyone who touched a human corpse was also temporarily unclean for seven days (Nu. 19:11). Even being within the tent of a dead person would cause uncleanness for seven days (Nu. 19:14). A priest could only allow himself to be ceremonially unclean by touching a dead body if the dead person was part of his immediate family (Lev. 21:1-2; 5:2; Nu. 19:11-14). Yet, as High Priest, Aaron could not touch the body of even a family member (Lev. 21:11-12). Aaron would likely have been saddened that God would not allow him to break this rule with his own sons. He might have also been saddened by the fact that his sons Eleazar and Ithamar could not remove bodies of their dead brothers. Under God’s rules, that would have only made them unclean for seven days (Lev. 21:1-2; 5:2; Nu. 19:11-14). Yet, God might have had a need for Eleazar and Ithamar. He may not have wanted to remove them from service for seven days while they buried the bodies of their dead brothers. His plans may not always be clear to us at the time. What is clear from this story is that He wanted Aaron and his surviving sons to place their service to Him above their own family desires. If we wish to fulfill our calling as priests for God (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6), we also cannot place our families, our jobs, our self interest, or worldly matters above our service to Him (Lk. 14:26). This test is more common than some may think. For example, if we wish to convert someone trapped in either a cult or another religion with strong family ties, sometimes helping the person to put Christ in front of their family can be the hardest part of their decision.

  • Your sorrow, murmuring, and complaining could turn a person away from God. As the High Priest, Aaron was God’s representative. If Aaron had grieved publically about God’s punishment of his sons, that would have undermined the people’s trust in God. Thus, God placed a high penalty on Aaron if he disobeyed. As part of God’s royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5, 9), you are a “messenger for the Lord Almighty.” (Mal. 2:7). Paul adds that God’s people are also “ambassadors for Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 6:20). An ambassador speaks on behalf of someone. If we murmur and complain, what kind of a witness about the power of Christ in our lives to non-believers? By contrast, Paul found “delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, [and] in difficulties.” (2 Cor. 12:10). His joy in the face of adversity turned countless people to Christ. Are you filled with God’s joy in the face of adversity? Or, are you filled with only bitterness?

  • We must trust God, even when we cannot understand His actions. Aaron must have had a hard time understanding why God would need to act so harshly against his sons, especially in light of the fact that they had not made any prior mistakes. Tragedy never makes sense at the time it happens. When cancer strikes or when a natural disaster strikes, it is easy for people to question God. Yet, we are like clay, and He is the Potter. We have no right to question what He makes out of us (Is. 45:9). Our ways and thoughts are not His ways and thoughts (Is. 55:8). Although Aaron could not have seen it at the time, this was part of God’s process of transforming him. Early in his walk, the power of God was visible in Aaron’s life when he fought Pharaoh (Ex. 7:17; 8:5, 16-17; 9:23; 10:13). As a prophet and priest, Aaron was to use his authority to guide others. “Behold, I have made you as God to Pharaoh and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.” The prophet’s task was to speak God's word on God’s behalf. He was in effect God’s “mouth” (Ex. 4:15-16). Aaron was at first like an excited new believer. But the power of the Lord was later absent in Aaron’s life after he stumbled in his flesh. The absence of the power of the Spirit in Aaron’s life may have caused Korah to rebel. The division within the house of Levi caused the revolt to spread first to 250 “men of renown” then to 14,700 sympathizers (Nu. 16:2, 49). They could not see God’s power in their high priest. Yet, during the rebellion of Korah, Aaron put his flesh aside and joined Moses to pray for his attackers. This was the first time the Bible recorded Aaron joining Moses in intercessory prayer (Nu. 16:20-22). At the end of his life, Aaron was later mourned and remembered as a man of faith. The people mourned Aaron for 30 days, as they later would for Moses (Nu. 20:29; Dt. 34:8). Do you trust God to mold you, even when it makes no sense? Will you trust Him even if a loved one dies?

  • Give hope to those who mourn. When believers die, God expects us to comfort others. “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:18). “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;” (Matt. 5:14). Can you fulfill your role to comfort and be a light if you are bitter about God or life in general?

3. Be Temperate to Be a Godly Witness. Lev. 10:8-9.

  • God’s instructions to Aaron not to drink. God told Aaron directly that neither he nor his sons drink wine or “strong drink” when entering into the tent of meeting. “The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, ‘Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die-- it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations—”’ (Lev. 10:8-9). This was the first time that God spoke directly to Aaron since the plagues in Egypt (Ex. 4). Thus, God’s message was important. As stated above, it may also have suggested that this was the reason why He struck down two of Aaron’s sons. A priest is God’s representative or ambassador (Mal. 2:7; 2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 6:20). It would not have sent the right message to God’s people if Aaron or his sons could be drunk on the job. Getting drunk is also prohibited for Christians. “Do not get drunk with wine.” (Eph. 5:18; Prov. 20:1; Isa 5:11; 56:12; Jer 23:9; Joel 3:3). As ambassadors for Christ and as part of His royal priesthood, what kind of message does it send to non-believers if you get drunk? As a Christian, you are always “on the job”.

  • Alcohol can sometimes lead to sin. Alcohol can sometimes cause people to lose their inhibitions. Your self-control can become less rigid, and you may be more inclined to say or do things that you should not do. “For they will drink and forget what is decreed.” (Prov. 31:5). “He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.” (Prov. 21:17). Wine or drunkenness is also symbolic of God’s wrath (Rev. 14:8, 10; 16:19; 17:2; 18:3). Small use of alcohol can lead to greater use. It can also be a form of idolatry if you use it to escape your struggles. Jesus did not prohibit believers from drinking wine. One of his first miracles was to create multiple gallons of wine (Jo. 2:6-11). He also drank wine at the Last Supper (Matt. 26:28). Christ, however, advises that His disciples must deny themselves (Lk. 9:23). Although not required, denying yourself alcohol can be one way to both fulfill His directive to deny yourself and to protect yourself from sin.

  • Alcohol can sometimes cause others to stumble. Paul also warns: “It is good not to eat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.” (Rom. 14:21). Elders and deacons further should not serve if they were “addicted to wine or strong drink” (1 Tim 3:3, 8; Tit. 1:7). They could cause others to stumble. Likewise, older persons must not be addicted to wine because they may be a role model to others (Tit. 2:3). Your serving alcohol can, in some circumstances, cause a weak believer to stumble.

  • Alcohol can sometimes create the appearance of evil. The devil tempted the Nazarites, like Sampson, to drink wine (Amos 2:12). The devil can also use wine to tempt others to sin. Even when not prohibited, we are to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:22). Sometimes the use of alcohol (even when not prohibited) can create the appearance of evil. If you are drinking at a bar, what assumptions will others make? If a pastor is seen drinking, what assumptions will others make?

  • Store up your treasures in Heaven. Some believe that wine after Jesus’ death was to be used primarily for medicinal purposes. Paul, for example, allowed it “for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (1 Tim. 5:23). When Jesus was on Earth, the disciples did not need to fast. They were to deny themselves after He left (Matt. 9:14-15). For some, it is the same with alcohol. For some, they are storing up this treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20). One day, we will drink from the fruit of the vine with Jesus. “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.” (Matt. 26:29). Although not required, are you willing to abstain from alcohol as part of what you “deny” for Him? “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24). If you deny yourself out of devotion and not obligation, God can also use you to help those trapped in an addiction.

4. Be Sanctified or Set Apart For God. Lev. 10:10.

  • Be a holy example to others. Aaron was told to make a distinction between the “holy and profane” and the “unclean and clean.” “and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean,” (Lev. 10:10). ‘“For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. ‘For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (Lev. 11:44-45). We as Christians are also told to be holy: “because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:16). “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9). To do this, believers should be staying holy and reading the Word and praying (Ps. 119:105; Jo. 5:39). Is your light a holy witness to others?

Image credit3

  • Keep your eyes pure to stay holy. Jesus warns that when we fill our eyes with inappropriate things, we become dark inside: “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23). If someone fills their mind with pornography or pornographic movies, it won’t be long before that person acts upon what they are using to fill their minds. Are you watching TV shows that are filling you with unclean thoughts?

  • Keep your body holy. Today, our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17). Are you filling your body with holy things?

5. Be a Teacher of God’s Word. Lev. 10:11.

  • Teaching your children is one of your first duties as a Christian. God advised Aaron to teach the sons of Israel all of God’s statutes. “and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.” (Lev. 10:11). As beneficiaries of God’s Law, the Jews were obligated to teach it to their children and grandchildren: “but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” (Dt. 4:9). “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Dt. 6:7). “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Dt. 11:19). “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6; Ps. 78:4-6). In case any Christian feels freed of this requirement, Paul is clear that it still applies: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4). Do you know God’s Law well enough to teach it? If so, do you teach your children God’s Law? Do you at least talk about the Bible as a family?

  • Being a teacher is an expected step in the development of every believer. Some people, not everyone, are called to be a formal teacher of the Word (Eph. 4:11). Yet, in Hebrews, God also lamented: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you . . .” (Heb. 5:12). This suggests that we all are called upon at times to know enough to informally instruct others on the Word. Our children are just one example of this. We are also expected to teach the Word when others have questions: “[S]anctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Pet. 3:15). Have you fulfilled your calling to teach others God’s Word? Or, are you still in need of instruction like a new believer?

6. To Overcome Adversity, Seek God’s Fellowship. Lev. 10:12-15.

  • The commandment to dine on God’s food. After the death of Aaron’s sons, God commanded Aaron and his surviving sons Eleazar and Ithamar to eat the peace offering. “Then Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, ‘Take the grain offering that is left over from the LORD'S offerings by fire and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for it is most holy. You shall eat it, moreover, in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons' due out of the LORD'S offerings by fire; for thus I have been commanded. The breast of the wave offering, however, and the thigh of the offering you may eat in a clean place, you and your sons and your daughters with you; for they have been given as your due and your sons' due out of the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the sons of Israel. The thigh offered by lifting up and the breast offered by waving they shall bring along with the offerings by fire of the portions of fat, to present as a wave offering before the LORD; so it shall be a thing perpetually due you and your sons with you, just as the LORD has commanded.” (Lev. 10:12-15). The peace offering was the only offering where the priest ate part of the sacrifice and then gave some to the Lord for them to dine together (Lev. 3:1-17). Jesus also promised to “dine” with the believers who answer when He knocks on the door of their hearts (Rev. 3:20). In their time of sorrow, God was telling Aaron and his family to seek His peace and fellowship. In times of sorrow, are you turning to Christ to find the peace that surpasses all understanding? (Phil. 4:7; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:13-22). Or, are you relying upon your own strength and worldly things to get through your hardships?

  • Be without sin to be in fellowship with God. The priests were commanded to eat bread made without leaven (Lev. 10:12; 2:4, 11; Ex. 12:15; 29:1-3; Nu. 6:15). Leaven is a symbol of sin (1 Cor. 5:6-8; Gal. 5:9). If we are seeking to overcome adversity, we cannot be in fellowship with God if there is sin in our lives.

  • Let love and humility motivate you to be in fellowship with God. God commanded Aaron and his surviving sons to eat the breast and the thigh of the peace offering (Lev. 10:15; same, Lev. 7:31-34; 8:26). The breast is a symbol of life and love. The thigh is a symbol of strength. By eating these two portions of the animal in fellowship with God, the priest was to acknowledge his love for Him and that he would let He be the source of his strength through humility. Is your love for Christ what motivates you?

7. Be Grateful for God’s Mercy and Grace. Lev. 10:16-20.

  • Aaron should have been grateful for God’s mercy and grace. Soon after God gave His instructions, Moses discovered that Aaron disobeyed God and refused to eat the peace offering. Instead of repenting, he then offered excuses for his actions. His refusal to eat the peace offering was likely due to the fact that he was mourning instead of seeking God’s peace and fellowship. “But Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it had been burned up! So he was angry with Aaron's surviving sons Eleazar and Ithamar, saying, Why did you not eat the sin offering at the holy place? For it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD. Behold, since its blood had not been brought inside, into the sanctuary, you should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, just as I commanded.’ But Aaron spoke to Moses, ‘Behold, this very day they presented their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD. When things like these happened to me, if I had eaten a sin offering today, would it have been good in the sight of the LORD?’ When Moses heard that, it seemed good in his sight.” (Lev. 10:16-20). Like all of us, Aaron was a flawed person. He built the golden calf (Ex. 32:1-6, 35). When Moses confronted him, he blamed the people for his own actions instead of repenting (Ex. 32:22-24). The Bible tells us that God would have destroyed Aaron if Moses had not intervened on his behalf: “The LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him; so I also prayed for Aaron at the same time.” (Dt. 9:20). Aaron was no less deserving of death than his sons for violating God’s Law. At a later time, Aaron also sinned by criticizing Moses with Miriam in a lust for power. He further repented only after seeing Miriam punished, a punishment he knew that he deserved as well (Nu. 12:11-12). Aaron did not fear God at that point in his life. He failed to be grateful for God’s mercy and grace. The fact that God’s picked Aaron to be the high priest shows that He is filled with mercy and grace.

  • If Aaron was qualified to be a priest, so are you. You are a priest for God (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). If God could use Aaron as a high priest, is there any reason why you cannot be used as a priest?

  • We are no less deserving of punishment than Aaron. Aaron was in short an unworthy high priest. He held his position and did not die out of God’s mercy and grace alone. If we are honest, we are no more worthy of either the title of priests or in being given eternal life: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Ro. 3:23). “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” (Ecc. 7:20). “And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is righteous.” (Ps. 143:2). “Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?” (Job 4:17). Instead of condemning the sinners around you, He wants you to confess your own sin because you are no better. When you confess your sins in faith, He will cleanse you: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). Have you confessed all of your hidden sins to Jesus?

  • God showed the same grace in the Old and New Testaments. Many think that the Old Testament is all about God’s wrath while the New Testament is about His grace. Chapter 10 starts off with the required punishment for a breach of God’s Law. It ends with His mercy and grace when the high priest did not receive the death that he deserved. In reference to the missing peace offering, Moses is said to have “searched carefully” - - darosh, darash in Hebrew (Lev. 10:16). Those words are the exact midpoint of the Torah or Pentateuch (the five holiest books in the Old Testament). When we carefully search at the midpoint of the Old Testament, God reveals himself to be a God of mercy and grace. He also does not change (Mal. 3:6). Do you give thanks daily for the mercy and grace He has shown you?