We are in The World Stream reading from the New Living Translation this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
God, you do care for us on every level. And we are grateful for that. Thank you. and Amen.
10 – The swift and terrifying judgment for Nadab and Abihu hits hard like a gong or gunshot fired as a warning to all for all eternity. And don’t forget, thinking these two souls were fringe citizens that society could take or leave. These were Aaron’s sons that we are reading about. We are in The Tabernacle Era, walking through the desert enroute to Canaan; The Promised Land. If you were to count the important people in this era of history, N & A are easily “top ten” in terms of prominence -perhaps they are in the top five! They were burned and gone instantly and Aaron was not allowed to pause even momentarily to mourn them being incinerated. This is an extremely stiff penalty and it did not yield to privilege in any way. Why? and why this here? Why now? The offerings were just spelled out in the prior chapters; 1-7, the consecration of the Priests took place in Lev. 8-9; N & A included! Following this chapter is a myriad of details for cleansing, being clean, getting clean, purification, testing for diseases, being clean for entering into worship, being clean before God, etc. The swift judgment happening how and when it did sounded the alarm that the issue of getting things right in God’s presence and doing things exactly how we are told is of greatest importance. The gravity cannot be overstated. Even today, how many people call themselves servants of the Lord – they do God’s things “for God”, yes, but they don’t do them God’s waaaaaay. Things need to be done God’s way or they are not being done for God and it is hapless to lie to ourselves and say are serving God when we are just serving ourselves. The priesthood was a life and death vital matter and this reminded all of that. The closing instructions in this chapter and the pathos involved in the narrative serve to deepen the point that the priests’ need to serve God precisely as well as whole-heartedly.
13 – This chapter and 14, [that we will read next week], tends to have us thinking we are in the laborious semesters of medical school studying dermatology. This sentiment is perhaps true or just perceived to be. The skin is the largest organ of the body. The world of 1400 B.C.had little idea of what do about such matters, the “med” experiments we read about that were going on in Africa/Egypt/Greece/Asia at the time varied from sensible to creepy to revolting and we won’t talk about it here. The fact is that skin troubles can be haunting on many levels and even make life unbearable. God didn’t want that for his children. So in reading 13, don’t think that God is a persnickety school marm’ nurse battle ax or something like that. God is loving beyond loving and wants his children well. THAT is what’s in play here. This aspect of God needs to touch us in the heart and not have us rolling our eyes as we read through Leviticus.