“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).
Nadab and Abihu were priests and it was their duty to bring fire, twice a day, from the Brazen Alter to the Golden Alter of Incense. The Golden Alter was located just in front of the curtain behind which was the Holy of Holies where God dwelt between the Mercy Seat and the Cherubim. Nadab and Abihu brought fire from a different source to use on the Golden Alter.
In the previous Chapter of Leviticus, fire had come out from the Lord from the same place, the Holy of Holies, and consumed the sacrifice on the Brazen Alter. This showed the people that the sacrifice was accepted by the Lord and was a display of His glory, and a blessing to the people. This second fire also came from the Holy of Holies, but was judgment from the Lord as the following verse tells us:
“And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:2).
Why did this happen? Why did the Lord send fire and accept the sacrifice on the Brazen Alter, but reject the fire with incense on the Golden Alter offered by the two brothers. It was because of where the fire came from. It had to come from the Brazen Alter to be accepted by the Lord. The Brazen alter was a type of Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross. The incense offered up to the Lord represented prayer and intercession. The Brazen Alter was a type of Calvary, and by the brothers bringing fire from a different source, they were, in effect, negating the need for the Lord’s required sacrifice. In other words they were, in type, ignoring the cross.
Bringing this forward to today, anything we substitute for Christ and Him crucified will be rejected by the Lord and will cause us to lose our way. There is only one way to forgiveness and new life, and there is only one way that is acceptable to the Lord as we walk out this life of faith. We must go the Lord’s way for salvation and continue that way for sanctification (our daily walk). Should we move our faith from Christ crucified to other things to gain victory in our lives then we have offered up “strange fire.” The Christian disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, fasting, etc are all necessary and things we should do, but they will not bring us the victory we seek in our lives. These may look good, but just as all fire looked the same, the fire the brothers brought resulted in death. Our faith in the wrong object will do the same. We are to place our faith in His great sacrifice and keep it there. This will allow the Holy Spirit to work mightily in our lives (Romans 8:2).
We must remember Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians when he told them to: ” Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith, prove your own selves…” Being in the faith means having our faith firmly placed in Christ and His great sacrifice. If we move our faith to other things, as good as those things might be, we will shipwreck our faith. Paul told Timothy to: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, where unto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.” We are called to follow Christ. Faith in His sacrifice at the cross will bring us victory. Anything else is “strange fire.”
Victorious Christian Living
We were saved by placing our faith in Christ and Him crucified, and we are sanctified (our daily walk) in the same way.
Focus – Jesus Christ
Object of Faith – The Cross of Christ
Power Source – The Holy Spirit
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Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2021
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