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Almost Forgotten

Today’s reading: Numbers 3:1-4:33

My selection: Numbers 3:4 (See also post for February 5, 2013 “How Not to Approach God” on Leviticus 10:1-3)

4 But Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord when they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetime of Aaron their father.

. My reflections: I heard this quote many years ago when I was a student: “They died and when they were gone it was as if they had never lived.”  I don’t know the name of the author but it is almost true for Nadab and Abihu. Almost– because, although they left no offspring, they did leave a terrible example written down, here a second time, so far, in the Scriptures to be read and pondered for the rest of human history and beyond. They presumptuously and arrogantly misused their offices as priests.

My challenge: God’s servants, whether ordained ministers or lay people, have an obligation to do what they are called to do, to do it well, and not to seek to turn it into some kind of mechanism for self-glorification or advancement. Beware of seeking great things for yourself.

Tomorrow’s reading: Numbers 4:34-6:27

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