He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the LORD for the generations to come. Do not offer on this altar any other incense or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it. Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the LORD." - Exodus 30:8-10
Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke of when he said: 'Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.' " Aaron remained silent. - Leviticus 10:1-3
Where is God? Where Holiness is Present. The scripture from Exodus gives some of the instruction that went out to the people to obey. In the first verses of scripture it is clear that God says you are to offer to him what he has approved as an offering. No other incense is to be used other that what has been approved, nor is any other time approved other than what God has appointed.
So we now turn to the second section of scripture. We see that Aaron's son making executive decisions to burn incease before the Lord. The scripture says they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord.
Scripture clearly shows how God handle this disobedience. It reads that fire came up and killed them right there. Well we may first read this and want to say, that seemed really unfair that they had to die, couldn't God simply have told them what they were doing was wrong? Well, he already did. He gave clear instruction on what he wanted his people to do, how to live holy before him.
We do not know the reason they decided to do things their own way, but we do know it met with destruction. It is imperative for us to understand the holiness of God. Because fire does not quickly come up and consume us for disobedience doesn't mean our foolishness of doing things our own way are any less serious to God. We cannot use any excuses either when we find ourselves dealing with the consequences of our disobedience. We have been given the instructions on how to worship a holy God in his holy word.
When we wonder why we are not experiencing the fellowship with God as we desire we must first check ourselves to see if we are behaving as the holy people he has called us to be. These were the sons of the priest and that did not stop God's wrath from coming upon them. We too must realize that if we refuse to obey God's way we too stand as one that will face God's wrath. Do not try to hide your disobedience by saying, "I'm covered under the blood".
The blood does not simply cover our sins so that we can continue in them. The blood frees us from the curse of the sins we committed and frees us to live holy. God's presence is evidence in the places where holiness dwells.
Lord, today we seek you and ask that you would help us to careful to hear you and heed your commandments. Help us to be the holy people you have called us to be so that we can truly experience you presence.