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Leviticus 10:1-3: God-Honoring Worship, Part 1

Posted by Matt Postiff November 21, 2009 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Bible Texts 
Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke, saying: 'By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.'" So Aaron held his peace.

This passage has a lot to teach us about the proper worship of God. First of all, worship must not be profane. This word carries the connotations of strange, foreign, unlawful, unauthorized, forbidden, and illegitimate. Nadab and Abihu took it upon themselves to invent a different act of worship to God, a way that was out of bounds. By application, we must strive to pattern our worship after that which is authorized.

Closely related to the notion of profane worship is worship in ways which have not been commanded. There was no instruction from God on how to offer incense before the LORD with the censer (see Lev. 16:12-13). Exodus 30:9 actually commanded against the offering of "strange incense." It is clear that inventive ways of worship are not acceptable.

Third, proper worship is done by those who personally regard God as holy. In other words, they fear God and have a proper attitude about Him. They are reverent and not flippant about their worship. Many churches in the USA as of this writing are missing the personal reverence for God that is necessary. God is a dispenser of good feelings to them, not an altogether different, awesome, infinite God who calls for reverent worship.

Fourth, true worshipers must treat God in such a way as to bring Him public glory. Entertainment-worship that is driven by a desire to please the audience is wrong. Our public portrayal of God must be that He deserves the recognition and glory. He is the center of everything, not we ourselves! MAP

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