Ignorance Or Otherwise, There's No Excuse

Leviticus 8-10

I shouldn’t be surprised, but I always am. We mess up even the best of things so easily. At the end of chapter 9, after all the preparations and sacrifices have been made, God appears before his people. The final verse says: “And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown” —Leviticus 9:24.

And then it appears that immediately Nathan and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, broke the rules, offering fire that wasn’t as the Lord prescribed (10:1,2). The punishment was swift and severe, similar to what happened in those first days of the early church when Ananias and Sapphira lied about what they had given to the Lord (Acts 5). It was necessary for God to make his point.

Just a little while later, God reminds Moses and Aaron: “This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the clean and the unclean, and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord had given them through Moses” —Leviticus 10:9-11.

I’m assuming the Nathan and Abihu knew the rules and that their choices were made for other reasons besides ignorance. But whatever their case was, these last verses remind me that it isn’t enough for me to know what God desires, what is holy and what is common to him. It is also my responsibility to tell others so that they don’t, through ignorance, make choices that will led to very unhappy consequences.


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