Ex. 24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:10 And they saw the God of Israel:
Lev. 10:1 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.2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
My husband forgets things. He forgets the bag of ice that I asked him to pick up at the grocery store. He forgets the names of people he sees very often! Well, he forgets a lot of things. He would probably forget my birthday, but I make sure to begin dropping hints several weeks in advance. Oh, and highlighting the March 25th block on his Daytimer in bright yellow, with an orange outline, doesn’t hurt either. I don’t think much of his forgetfulness, he’s human, he’s man, enough said. However, I would be very concerned if he came in smoking a cigarette and upon seeing my shocked expression, look at me and shrug, “Oh. I forgot. I’m the temple of the Lord and a Pastor, I shouldn’t be doing this.” And then nonchalantly put out the cigarette. After my shock wore off, I think I would be angry, too.
Now we see Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, who performed the duties of the priest, offering strange fire before the Lord. In Exodus 24, we see that Nadab and Abihu were among only a handful of people who saw the God of Israel! Now that is amazing. They saw God, and lived to tell about it! Well, until they forgot about that and ended up disobeying Him.
According to the law, they were supposed to get the fire for the incense from the altar, which burned with fire sent from the Lord. Instead, they took fire from somewhere else, we don’t know where. I am sure their behavior did not shock God, but I am sure it made Him angry. They may have thought it to be a little thing, but a Holy God thought otherwise. He killed them for it.
I just read that and thought “If these men actually saw God, how in the world could they then turn around later and disobey Him?” Maybe they got lifted up in pride, because they had seen God. Maybe they were just careless and forgetful. I don’t know. I do know this, if they could forget, so could I! I haven’t seen God with human eyes, but I have seen Him up close through the eyes of faith. I have seen Him do amazing things in my life, and in the lives of those I love. He’s done miracles for me! I have seen Him, and I do not ever want to forget what I have seen.