And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon…
I. THE POSITION OF THESE TWO MEN. Regularly ordained priests of the Lord (Exodus 40:12-16). They had a right, therefore, to burn incense before the Lord.
II. THE CHARGE AGAINST THESE MEN (ver. 1).
1. The letter of the law was violated (chap. Leviticus 16:12, 13).
2. The essence of this sin (ver 3).
(1) Emphasis to be placed on "I." "I will be sanctified," &c.
(2) This implies that when deviations from Divine and clearly-defined instructions occur, the Lord charges that such deviations do not enhance His glory; neither is He sanctified in those who are guilty of such deviations.
III. THE PUNISHMENT INFLICTED ON THESE MEN (ver. 2). The punishment indicates the unspeakable importance with which God regards implicit and strict obedience to the letter of all His ordinances.
IV. THE CONDUCT OF AARON, THE FATHER OF THESE TWO MEN. "Held his peace."
1. How great the grace needed for this.
2. How exemplary the use of needed grace in such a trial as this.
V. THE ACCUSTOMED MOURNING FOR THE DEAD WAS PROHIBITED IN RESPECT TO THESE MEN (ver. 6). Does not the rebellious element oftentimes enter into our mourning, and thus the grace of God, in bereavement, becomes of no practical value?
VI. THE NEW PROHIBITION (vers. 8-11). The connection in which this prohibition stands suggests —
1. That Nadab and Abihu were probably under the influence of some intoxicating liquor when led to offer "strange fire" before the Lord.
2. That such liquors have a tendency to unfit any one for any true spiritual exercise, because of their exciting nature.Lessons:
1. How profound a lesson is here taught in regard to the only acceptable manner of administering the ordinances of God's house — not with the strange fire of willworship, nor by the slightest deviation from the prescribed order.
2. We learn the unfitness of those who minister in holy things, who neglect the proper observance of the ordinances, and teach men so to do.
3. Let us learn to submit to God's judgments, however severe.
4. Let us avoid everything that would. disqualify us for acceptable worship.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.