Mondays and Tuesdays seem to be the best day for blogging, so my present to you today is a quick reminder from a story in Leviticus regarding strange fires. Kinda a bible reading that became a random musing that became a blog…
1 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.Leviticus 10:1-3
2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
3 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.
For me personally, this is probably one of the scariest chapters and incidents in the Bible. Like seriously. I mean, can we talkkkkkk??
Now you know I like my Bible and I have seen some stories. I mean, wowuu for the Old Testament stories…
I read Genesis 19 (Sodom and Gomorrah).
I read Judges 19 (The Levite’s Wife).
Mate. I even got into 2 Samuel 13 (Ammon and Tamar), but when I first read THIS chapter, I was shook. Hands down, this has to be for me one of the scariest passages in the Bible – and it is scary because it introduces a concept of ‘Strange Fire’.
What is ‘Strange Fire’?
I take this chapter so literally – that these guys angered God by offering him a perverse fiery offering. Strange Fire to me, is giving God something that He does not want and He will not accept. It is offering God an abomination, offering God something that is polluted, offering God something that is desecrated, or dare I say it, poisonous, demonic or destructive, something outright disgusting.
“But I wouldn’t do that Steph?”
I am sure you wouldn’t, and I am also sure that these men said the same thing.
So what exactly did these men do wrong? Because what ever it was cost them their lives.
Well, we have to remember what God had taken these people through, the way He needed to be sanctified, glorified, honoured and respected.
If we know anything about God, we know this, that He WILL be sanctified. He most DEFINITELY will sanctify Himself, and when we choose not to glorify Him, God will glorify Himself.
But I pray that we will never give God those reasons.
So sanctify Him.
We have to remember that God’s name must be honoured and glorified, because still in this day and age, of 2019, the name of Jesus Christ has become a very popular swear word; in fact, there are people who use the name of Jesus Christ in vain all the time. Some are even Christians, without a worry in the world.
But God must be glorified. Despite what you might think and what you may feel, you can only give God what He deserves – do not give God strange fire.
So what is this strange fire in these modern times?
In my opinion, and I guess in my experience, it is when we try to bribe God, it may be with our money, it may be with our service, it may be with our prayers and our fasting, because when our hearts are far from Him and we know that we are caught up in willful sin, we offer God strange fire in our prayers.
Because if I am carrying unforgiveness in my heart, that’s gonna be a blocker and that is going to detract from my worship.
Strange Fire does not glorify God.
Now imagine for a minute Aaron.
When Moses explained to him what God said (“this is what God said and this is why He did it”), Aaron held his peace.
Now imagine how Aaron felt.
This was a man who understood people pressure, he knew exactly what it was like to disobey God and dishonour God through your actions, even as a leader. (*And I would say, that as a leader, he was second or third or even fourth in command after Moses. Now I don’t know if I would say that he was a direct second place, because although he did speak and he clearly had a rapport with the people, he did not have the honour and fear of God that Moses, Caleb and Joshua had, so perhaps they were further up the line than Aaron, but I digress…)
And once God said “I WILL BE GLORIFIED”, Aaron held his peace because he understood and must have said within himself “Lord, I get it”.
We have to learn to honour God in all that we do.
Stop offering God strange fires.
Sometimes we worship God (or claim to be worshipping God) in ways that are really abhorrent, by sinning and then coming to church as if nothing happened. And we think that God is pleased with us?
No, He really isn’t.
The offering that God wants is a broken heart. Where is yours?
God doesn’t want you to cash out, and throw money at Him. He doesn’t want or need your money. The cattle on a thousand hills are His. The silver and the gold are mine saith the Lord.
So I guess what I am getting at is this, sometimes, you are going to want to reach into your pocket to give an offering to God and God is going to say I don’t want your money, I ACTUALLY want your heart.
Maybe He wants it again. Maybe He wants it for the first time ever, only you will know, but the offering He wants you to give isn’t X amount, it’s actually brokeness and repentance. So stop offering God strange fire, God will not accept it.