The Sin of Nadab and Abihu
10 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. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying,
‘By those who come near Me I [a]will be treated as holy,
And before all the people I will be honored.’”
So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.
4 Moses called also to Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come forward, carry your [b]relatives away from the front of the sanctuary to the outside of the camp.” 5 So they came forward and carried them still in their tunics to the outside of the camp, as Moses had said. 6 Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not [c]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 [d]kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, shall bewail the burning which the Lord has [e]brought about. 7 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.
I mentioned before that it was a great responsibility to be a priest, mistakes were punishable by death. And lest we think God (or Moses) was exaggerating, here he lets them know just how serious it was. If they couldn’t obey God’s commands in little things, how could He trust them with leading the people in sacrifices and worship.
This is one more lesson in our responsibility as leaders, especially within the church, but no matter where we are leading, we should not take it lightly. God has put you in that position for a purpose. As it says elsewhere, “in everything you do, do it as unto the Lord…”