At first glance, Leviticus chapters 9 and 10 appear to be quite different from each other. Chapter 9 paints a picture of Aaron and his sons beginning their priestly ministry with joy and excitement. But then chapter 10 paints a picture of the death of Aaron’s sons, as well as the sadness and guilt associated with their sin.
Though they appear quite different, these chapters have more in common than you might think. In both chapters, God reveals his glory and holiness through fire.
In chapter 9, God consumes the offering by fire, causing the people to revere and worship Him. (For another example of this, check out 1 Kings 18:38-39.) In chapter 10, God also reveals his glory and holiness through fire, but this time He sends fire to consume the sinful sons of Aaron.
His purpose was the same in both chapters…”I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.” (Lev. 10:3.)
Life swings from mountaintop to valley, but the one thing that is common in any and every circumstance is the glory and holiness of God. Those things that are offered up to him as pleasing, He will consume and use to reveal Himself to others. And those things that dishonor Him, He will consume in discipline and justice…again revealing Himself as the one true God.
This is the essence of Hebrews 12:28-29…
“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” (NLT)
These are two verses worth memorizing.
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.