A bad example

A bad example

by Lilian van der Wel


Shalom, dear children!


Some passages from the Bible make us afraid. You’ll see this month when you read about Nadav (Nadab) and Avihu (Abihu), two sons of Aharon (Aaron). The story is in Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:1-7,But Nadav and Avihu, sons of Aharon, each took his censer, put fire in it, laid  incense on it, and offered unauthorised fire before Adonai, something he had not ordered them to do. At this fire came forth from the presence of Adonai and consumed them, so that they died in the presence of Adonai.


Can you discover what Nadav and Avihu did wrong? What an enormous punishment they got! And what an awesome sight it must have been for those who saw it happen. It is written that Moshe (Moses) did not allow Aharon and his other sons to show their grief the way people used to do in that time. What had actually happened there? Nadav and Avihu brought a sacrifice. It seems all right.But when you read carefully, you see that they did not do it according to the way it was ordered to them. Why didn’t they do it the way it was ordered to them? Could be that Nadav and Avihu were not thinking carefully. And maybe they were not humble enough, to think that anything they invented would be good to do in the Mishkan ( the Sanctuary in the desert).


Maybe they used their important positions in a wrong way by being too diligent. Or maybe they did not think it so very important that G’ds commandments should be carried out precisely. Some wise men think that they were punished because they had not told Aharon and Moshe what they were up to. There are also wise men who think that they had an insensitive heart or even a jealous heart: that they were jealous of Aharon and Moshe, or that they were reckless.


What can we learn from this? What happens inside your heart is incredibly important. And the laws of Adonai are so important that they should be carried out precisely. Israel has made a practise of carrying out the laws of the Torah as well as the halacha (laws that were not written down at first, but passed on from father to son by mouth) very precisely, even when they were not allowed to. Acting precisely is a very good quality. You see how precisely the Haggada for Passover is carried out. Year after year we do the same things.


This is not to make it difficult for us, but in this way we can think every year about how G’d delivered us from slavery. Every year we have the roasted bone, the unleavened bread, we eat the bitter herbs, the charoset (apple mixture) the roasted egg, the parsil and radish, we drink four cups of wine and there is also the cup of Eliyahu (Elijah). We should not want to change things about Torah, halacha or Haggada. It is good the way it is. Yeshua did not change anything about those things. For G’d Himself does not change either!


Verse to remember: All Adonai’s paths are grace and truth to those who keep his covenant and instructions. (Psalm 25:10)