Mocking Obedience and Correctable Disobedience
Leviticus 10 presents two examples of disobedience. And we see God reacting two totally different ways. Which is worse before God? An obedience with a spirit of mockery? Or a disobedience with a spirit of teachability?
I grew up in an American Baptist Church near Philadelphia. The Church was fairly sound doctrinally. But they did display a greater desire to be a good citizen in the community over preaching the Word. There was no full-time youth ministry. Rather, they would sign up a series of part-time interns from nearby Eastern Baptist Seminary to serve as interim Youth Pastors.
We were on a weekend retreat during a “Communion Sunday.” The worship service was more interactive than the service that was being held in the pews. And one from among the youth raised the possibility of breaking a bit with tradition and holding the Lord’s Supper with potato chips and coca-cola. The leader, the intern, disagreed with the proposal. But amazingly, he permitted an open discussion – almost as though he were suggesting, “Persuade me.”
Now that I am grown, I can go right to the instructions in I Corinthians 11, and have no problem tossing that in with eating and drinking unworthily. But that one Sunday morning, though it did not happen, it was fair game for discussion.
God, in His wisdom, did not give us the details of the strange fire of Nadab and Abihu. I believe he wanted it kept broadly understood. It is likely that Nadab and Abihu went through the motions of obeying God. But they “obeyed” God while acting with a spirit of mockery. Potato chips and coca-cola as the Communion elements comes to mind. The youth was not to blame, for he was acting out of the immaturity of his youth. But I do fault the intern for not striking the idea dead – right then and there.
“By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.” – Leviticus 10:3
“God is not mocked.” – Galatians 6:7
Aaron had four sons at the beginning of Leviticus 10. And at the end of the chapter, he had two sons – and they were in deep trouble with Moses. Eleazar and Ithamar accepted the sin offering of the people, but had failed to eat it as commanded. Moses was angry. It is probably good that we not know how this would have progressed had not Aaron intervened.
Aaron took the blame off his sons, and placed it on himself. “So when Moses heard that, he was content.” – Leviticus 10:20. A lot of thought is undocumented as we read from v 19 to v 20. And I’m not going to speculate the details. But somehow, Aaron taking on the guilt for the disobedience of Eleazar and Ithamar made Moses content.
And somehow, He Who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.