God is about His glory in all things, and our greatest joy and freedom in life is found in seeking His glory in all things as well. Some people recoil a bit when it’s put that bluntly, but that is clearly what Scripture teaches. I’ve even heard people say that it is “arrogant” of God to be all about His own glory. It is actually extremely arrogant for the creature to judge the Creator as arrogant. Our issue as humans is pride. This is the root sin from which all other sins emerge. I struggle with it. You struggle with it. It takes many forms. But, essentially, pride is about what we worship. We want to worship ourselves or gods (lower case “g”) of our own making, gods that we can control, gods that will give us what we want. We only want to believe in God when God can give us what we want – like a cure for an illness, or the girl of our dreams, or financial success, or whatever. We will turn on God in a heartbeat the minute He starts to make demands of us. And then, we will label HIM, not ourselves, as arrogant. We either are too blind to see or too proud to admit that God, if he is sovereign at all, is sovereign over not just our health, our job, our income and our love life – He must also be sovereign over US.
In Leviticus 8, Israel’s priests are being ordained for service to God. God is establishing priests who will stand between God and man and lead in worship. In Leviticus 9, the first service is held in the tabernacle with Aaron presiding as high priest. He offers sacrifices to God on behalf of himself and the people, and they are accepted by God.
And then comes Leviticus 10. We aren’t exactly sure what these two sons of Aaron did wrong. All the text says is that they “offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. (Leviticus 10:1) It is clear that this was disobedience. They acted as priests in a way that the Lord had not commanded them to act. Some people believe that their behavior had something to do with alcohol, since “wine and strong drink” is forbidden for priests to consume on the job in this same passage. (Leviticus 10:9) Leviticus 16:1-2 implies that they entered the most holy place without authorization. Whatever their specific transgression, these two sons of Aaron were too casual in their worship of the living God or their leadership of His people – and they died on the spot, consumed by the Lord for their disobedience. (Leviticus 10:2)
Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace. (Leviticus 10:3)
How is our worship too routine or too casual?
May we never take God’s glory lightly, because He doesn’t.