Moses gave these instructions to Aaron’s sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, on the occasion of the fiery death of their two older brothers, Nadab and Abihu.
As Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu served as priests in the Tabernacle. As priests they were tasked with keeping a fire burning constantly on the bronze altar of the Tabernacle and supplying coals from the altar for burning incense in the Tabernacle.
Perhaps careless from drinking wine, Nadab and Abihu took coals from another source. This violation of God’s instructions resulted in God’s judgment on them and their subsequent deaths.
What they failed to understand was God’s absolute holiness. God’s holiness is too much for fallen humanity to comprehend apart from God’s sustaining grace.
God’s holiness should manifest a response of awe, reverence, and obedience from those who serve Him. Any less of a response shows irreverence and contempt towards God. Maybe this was the error that cost Nadab and Abihu their lives.
God’s holiness provides an absolute standard by which we can measure truth and righteousness, good and evil. Discerning between the sacred and common is a prerequisite to discerning God’s will.
You must know what’s of God and what’s not of God before you can know what’s God’s will and what’s not God’s will.
The indwelling Holy Spirit intensifies our discernment so that we revere God’s great love for us and worship and lovingly obey Him appropriately and authentically.
Ask God each day to show you His holiness so that you can distinguish between the sacred and the common, good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies, so you can walk in and according to His will.