Shabbat shalom, mishpocah! As always, an outline of this week’s Torah portion (Parsha 26 - Shemini: Torah: Leviticus 9:1-11:47 Haftorah: 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17 Brit Chadasha: Mark 7:1-23)can be found on our website.
We begin this week's study with a new sense of excitement as we get to experience the Spring Mo’edim - Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and the Counting of the Omer that takes us into Shavuot/Pentecost. In the course of the celebration of these awesome appointments with the Creator each year, He invites us to study and learn about the great miracles He performed in the past, and will continue to perform in the future. During these celebrations we reflect upon (and testify to the world) His people's deliverance from oppression, the liberation from forced labor, the salvation through Yeshua who martyred himself on our behalf, and the redemption from bondage of all kinds
This parashah is powerful on several levels! First of all, Leviticus 10 gives us just a tiny inkling about what all transpired during the consecration of Aharon and his sons:
Leviticus 9: 6 Moshe said, "This is what ADONAI has ordered you to do, so that the glory of ADONAI will appear to you.
In how many of today's churches or Messianic synagogues do we get to see the "glory of ADONAI"? This is because most aren't doing anything to glorify Him! Most teachings don't reflect YHWH's Word; instead, they reflect man's interpretation or opinion. There isn't a religion on earth except for Judaism that comes close to what YHWH commanded. More on this later but, right now, let's skip to Leviticus 10:1-3 where YHWH gives His people a lesson in unmitigated obedience when He kills the sons of Aaron on the spot for adding "unauthorized fire before ADONAI":
Leviticus 10: 1 But Nadav and Avihu, sons of Aharon, each took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and offered unauthorized fire before ADONAI, something he had not ordered them to do. 2 At this, fire came forth from the presence of ADONAI and consumed them, so that they died in the presence of ADONAI. Moshe said to Aharon, "This is what ADONAI said: 'Through those who are near me I will be consecrated, and before all the people I will be glorified.'" Aharon kept silent.
Notice that Aharon was too stunned to speak over his the deaths of his sons. As a matter of fact, he and the others were so distraught, they couldn't even bring themselves to eat the goat of the sin offering as Moshe had ordered (Leviticus 16-20). How unimaginably tragic and shocking it must have been for Aharon yet, as high priest, he had no choice but to carry on with the holy activities! Nadav and Avihu were certainly not guilty of worshiping other gods or being purposely disrespectful; they apparently thought YHWH would be pleased if they added incense to the smoke....
As hard as it is to hear, unlike most priests, pastors and rabbis who are often prone to "think carnally" and overlook "little indiscretions," YHWH our God shows over and over again that He is NOT tolerant of anything that adds to or subtracts from His Word! (This is why we at The Refiner's Fire constantly reiterate the importance of stopping the nonsense of "religiosity" which insists it's okay for believers to ignore the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Biblical Feasts and to eat "unclean" foods.)
For more on this awesome Torah portion, please click on the link above. Shabbat shalom!