“It’s Just Incense, Right?” … Part Three

“Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them.  And the fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.”  (Leviticus 10:1-2, ESV)

I was so fortunate growing up.  I had a Mother who took the time … made the time … every evening for a family Bible study! I have so many vivid memories of hearing her read Bible stories, first from a big Children’s Bible Story Book … and then her reading of stories and events directly from God’s Book.  Then we would discuss the story or the passage read.  From a very early age we were impressed with the value, relevance and necessity of reading, learning and applying the Holy Scriptures to each of our lives.

Even though the story of Nadab and Abihu occurred in a totally different time with a totally different system of worship that would include animals, first fruits, etc. we must not forget it was a system of worship that God required of His people.

So here we are … living in the 21st Century … we have the same problems and needs as those who lived so long ago during Old Testament times … and we have the same source to go to for comfort, direction, encouragement, admonition … a word from the Lord!

It is imperative that anyone who picks up God’s Book be respectful of what they have in their hand and be mindful of how they treat it.  Consider Paul’s inspired words to Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Not only must we teach our young that the Book they hold before them is the inspired and revealed will of God for man, but we must teach them how we got it, what we’re to do with it and the place of discerning truth from error by its contents.

Teaching our young how to discern the place of right incense back then and the place of right worship today must be done with love, carefulness, tenderness and from a heart that truly believes God’s Book is just that … God’s Book!

God’s people are often viewed … even characterized … as negative legalists who seem to be making the road to Heaven so difficult … that no one will make it!  God’s people are not in fact, to be a negative people but rather a people of joy, happiness, compassion and hope.  If by negative it is inferred that “abiding in the vine”“obeying His commandments” and other such phrases as appear throughout the New Testament are negative … then yes would be answer!

How can choosing to “walk in the light” be interpreted as negative?  It simply can’t!  Regarding the road to Heaven, Jesus Himself says in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Yes, the Bible is replete with story after story of how God has blessed and dealt with mankind in obedience and disobedience… with stories of how men have dealt with God’s ways … choosing to listen to, believe, and practice them, or be indifferent, or have outright disdain for them.

They are more than just stories that fill up devotional books, Bible class literature, and wonderful stories to read to our children from an early age!  You see … they are real … they happened … they were preserved by God through His Spirit … and they are there for our learning (Romans 15:4)

Consider just a few questions that we need to both ask and answer:

  • Are we teaching them … helping them to understand how we received God’s Book?
  • Are we teaching them … helping them to understand the process of inspiration and revelation?
  • Are we teaching them … helping them to understand that the golden thread that runs throughout the entirety of the Bible is that God has provided for us what we could never do for ourselves … a way to be forgiven of our sins … all of our sins … and that provision is found/prophesied/fulfilled in the Savior, Jesus Christ?
  • Are we teaching them … helping them to understand how to accurately, respectfully and carefully handle the Word of God?
  • Are we teaching them … helping them to understand why the church exists, how it was established, how it was prophesied centuries ahead of its establishment … how important it is to value the nature, organization and work of the church?
  • Are we teaching them … helping them to understand the process of how things were approved by God’s standard down through the ages verses the introductions of men that valued their own ways higher than God’s ways?

The list of these kinds of questions could go on and on … but questions need to be answered.  And the answers to how we got here, what we’re supposed to be doing while we are here, and where we will go when life as we know it ends are right there in God’s Book!

My friends and brethren, our adversary, Satan will continue in his efforts to distract, mislead, and divert our attention away from God, His Word, His Son, His Spirit!  He will continue to work on freeing our thoughts from captivity and elevating them to a place equal to or above God’s will and way!

We must not allow ourselves or our children or our children’s children to be misled, tricked, and seduced by those without and within the church … to lose our distinctive nature and identity!

Help our young people to acquire and maintain their own faith … a faith that is based on a “thus saith the Lord” … a faith that believes without hesitation in a God who lives and who is still on His throne and who knows exactly what is going in the hearts and lives of every man, woman and child who walks upon the face of this earth!

But always remember … we cannot give away what we do not possess ourselves.

Learn it …Teach it … Live it!

Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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