Aaron had two sons named Nadab and Abihu who became priests, collecting special offerings made to God from the people. They served their father well.
Augustine popularized this conception of God as being impersonal, incorporeal and morally perfect – all essential qualities for an ultimate creator (ex nihilo). Augustine explored this subject further in his works.
God is Spirit
Aaron must have felt immense grief after losing two sons, yet there are two factors which prevent him from accusing God:
He needed to comprehend that their deaths weren’t due to any anger or judgment on his part, but rather because they disobeyed God by offering strange fire before Him that didn’t align with His commandments – an act which clearly indicated rebellion – for which they deserved death as punishment.
Second, Aaron must show respect for God’s holiness. Aaron was to prioritize God over himself as priest; therefore he needed to demonstrate that his reverence for his Creator overshadowed any desire he might have had for lamenting his sons’ deaths.
Eleazar and Ithamar offered sacrifices that must be honored, which meant not eating the sin offerings but leaving them on the altar as a sign of mourning.
However, the matter was far from over. On the following day when Moses and his sons attempted to bring in meat from sin offerings for Aaron to consume, Aaron informed them they should not do so since they had left incense burning before God. This action violated yet another rule and Aaron should have objected.
God does not show any discrimination when He takes action, and in this instance He was swift to respond. Even though they were Aaron’s sons and High Priests themselves, that did not stop God from acting immediately upon their sinful deeds. Neither were their lives spared because of being fathers of priesthood – their sin was serious enough that it landed them in hell as punishment from their transgressions against His commandments; Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that “God is spirit”, while John 4:24 mandates that worshipping God must occur through spirit and truthful means.
God is Eternal
When we think of God as eternal, we tend to imagine Him as an immutable point that remains constant through time and space. However, it’s important to realize that this is only half the story – His existence spans infinite time; He has always existed and will continue doing so forevermore. Simply being eternal doesn’t imply He remains unchanged over time; rather it simply signifies His timeless nature.
Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, disobeyed God by offering strange fire, which resulted in their deaths as it violated His law – especially as they were on their way to becoming priests. It was tragic, yet could have had even greater repercussions. This incident could have had devastating results since their rebellion was directly against His law and they had yet to become priests themselves.
These men were part of the first group since Exodus to experience direct fellowship with God at Mount Sinai’s base (Exodus 24:1). Though this momentous encounter was holy for these individuals, their sin was in seeking a means of communicating with the Lord that did not correspond with his revealed wisdom.
Their attempts at connecting with God through their own initiative conflicted with the ceremonies prescribed to Moses, leading to their execution.
As humans seek to control what God has fashioned for them, they often try to use their own wisdom and understanding instead of following his specific commands. Because of this, we should never attempt to institute new ceremonies or traditions not found within Scriptures.
This is what the Bible refers to as idolatry – worshiping creation rather than its Creator. Idolatry can lead us down an atheistic path that leads us away from traditional understandings and interpretations of God described in scripture and toward creating our own god that does not match what Scripture describes as acceptable worshiping practices.
God is Self-Existing
Scripture presents God as an infinite being who does not depend on any external source for his existence; He is the creator of all things and self-existent – not depending on anything or anyone for his existence. This belief in the self-existent God is supported by Jewish, Christian and Muslim philosophers such as Maimonides, Augustine of Hippo and Al-Ghazali to varying degrees.
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu died as a direct result of their disobedience to God. Instead of obeying him as priests, they took their censers, added incense, and offered foreign fire before Him contrary to His commandment – eventually burning themselves with this strange fire that came forth from above and burned them up as priests.
But it is significant that God did not kill Aaron’s remaining two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, as He instead warned them against grieving over their deaths while instead honoring God’s holiness – this was grace at work!
Uning to comprehend an eternal, unchanging and infinite God can be difficult, but once we realize He is not simply dependent on what He created but rather He is the Source of everything, trust in His word becomes much simpler.
As we acknowledge that God does not depend on our actions for existence, nor need our worship or sacrifice because He already contains all He requires, our response to his love is what counts – not what we can or cannot do for Him.
Not to be forgotten is that God, out of mercy and grace for their repentance, chose to postpone their punishment until later on in time. Just like today: the Lord has extended time for people to repent before carrying out His covenant justice upon those responsible – He has not broken His promise!
God is Self-Sufficiency
God doesn’t depend on anything else to exist or function, which is known as His self-sufficiency. This truth was symbolized in nature through the burning bush – which, unlike traditional methods of burning materials such as wood, did not require fuel from any specific material to remain burning ablaze. Scripture also conveys this idea e.g. Vayikra Rabbah (12:4) which states: ‘God stands independent from this world and doesn’t consume or become consumed by it.”
When we think of God, many tend to picture Him as an all-loving deity who bestows mercy and blessings upon His followers. Many don’t realize that He is powerful beyond measure – capable of taking any action He pleases! Therefore it is so essential for Christians to study the bible and gain an understanding of all aspects of His character.
God allowed Nadab and Abihu’s death when they disobeyed Him is hard to understand. Nadab and Abihu did this by entering the Holy of Holies with unauthorised fire, contrary to Moses’ instructions. By doing this they attempted to connect with Him directly rather than following certain ceremonies He revealed through Moses (Lev 10:12).
What happened after this is difficult to ascertain; the Bible provides no details. Some believe that Nadab and Abihu went to hell because they disobeyed God; however, others hold that God saved them regardless as He loves all (Romans 3:23).
Aaron found it hard to accept that God might bring judgment upon two of his sons, yet they still needed to worship Him as best they could. It may have been hard for him to grasp that his worship might lead Him into action that led to their deaths – this lesson in God’s power was surely hard.