church israel

Evolution of the Altar 2: Commanded Not

Now, we have two priests, Sons of Aaron (Nadab and Abihu), running up to the altar with what the passage calls ?strange fire?. The Lord consumes them immediately and we are left to examine the nature of their sin (Leviticus 10:1-3).

We don’t know where the fire came from but we do know that it wasn’t the same fire that the Lord had used to consume the offered sacrifice. The passage only says it was strange. A person during that time may have seen Nadab and Abihu with their censors and fire, running up to the presence of the Lord and thought ?What great men! What an act of worship!? but God didn’t see it as worship at all but as men doing what He had commanded not. They were performing their duty of worship but not as the Lord had commanded.


A brother once used the example of doing that which is ?commanded not?. For instance, you tell your son or daughter to wash your car and they go and do that. Except, when you get outside you notice that they not only washed it but they had painted it. They have done something that you ?commanded not? (Leviticus 10:1).

We may come up with new programs in our church or local gatherings to enhance the worship or to make it livelier or impact the feelings of men. We point out those verses in Romans and in First Corinthians and in Galatians where we have freedom and with that freedom we can contrive new ways to worship God and new programs to motivate the believers in worship?but these programs put the focus on men and not on God. Relegating God to a secondary slot denies the very heart and purpose of what it is to be a Child of God and that is to worship and glorify Him, not how we want in our finite understanding, but how He wants!

Altar:commandment; ?commanded not?; convenience ; choice

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