MEMORY VERSE: Leviticus 10:1 "...and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Mark. Write "Mark" on slips of paper and hand them out to the students when class is over.
PRAYER: May we always strive to obey God in everything He says. Let us be thankful for the Bible and the wisdom of God.
SPECIAL SONG: It might be wise to continue to sing The Book Of The Old Testament as a review, so the students won't forget them. Practice the new song, The Books Of The New Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3).
VISUAL AID: Draw pictures of Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar on the whiteboard or chalkboard. With a red marker or pink chalk, cross out Nadab and Abihu as you tell the story of when they sinned.
- Aaron and his sons were from the tribe of Levi and were made priests by God. God told them through Moses exactly how to do everything exactly the way He wanted it done. God was very specific. Remember when we studied about the tablets of stone (see May - Lesson - The Tablets on this blog)? God was very specific in how He wanted things done and that is exactly how God was concerning the priesthood. It mattered how the tabernacle was built, and how the priests' clothing was made, everything mattered to God! Today, we sometimes hear that it doesn't matter to God how we worship Him. Was it important in the Old Testament times how God was worshiped? YES! And it matters today. God wants to be worshiped His way, not how people think He wants to be worshiped. It was no different with the priests and their jobs. The priests in the Old Testament had special jobs they had to do. They offered sacrifices according to the law, they taught the law to the people, and they took care of the tabernacle.
- Nadab and Abihu were Aaron's sons. They were right there with Moses and their father, Aaron, when Moses was telling them about all the special jobs they, as priests, had to do to take care of the tabernacle. One of their jobs was to take their censers which was a container for burning incense and put incense in the censer. God had told them where to get the fire to burn the incense, but for some reason Nadab and Abihu did not use the fire that God told them to use. Let's turn our Bibles to Leviticus 10:1 and see what kind of fire Nadab and Abihu offered. (Read verse.) Let's put our bookmarks right here. What kind of fire did they use? That's right! Strange fire! Fire that God had not told them to use. What were they thinking? God had told them everything to do and here they offered fire that God had commanded them NOT to use!
- Does God mean what He says? YES! Does He say what He means? YES! When they offered that strange fire, the Bible says there came fire out of the LORD and consumed them and they died right there and then! God always means what He says. They should have known better, but they sinned and did what God had not commanded them.
- Then Moses (who was their uncle) told their father, Aaron, that this is what God meant when He said that He would be sanctified and holy before those who came close to Him. Before all the people, God would be glorified or honored. And do you know what Aaron said? Nothing. The Bible says that Aaron held his peace or said nothing. He did not want to complain to God about how he thought that God was too harsh because Aaron did not want to make God angry and he respected for God's laws, too. He didn't open his mouth at all. He knew his sons should have obeyed God in all things. He must have been sad, but he didn't say anything at all.
- Moses called Nadab and Abihu's cousins to come and take Nadab and Abihu out of the sanctuary and out of the camp. Moses went on to say to Nadab and Abihu's brothers, Eleazar and Ithamar, and his father, Aaron, NOT to uncover their heads or tear their clothes like people normally did when someone in their family died or they would die, too, and God's anger would come down on all the people. The rest of the children of Israel could be sad about Nadab and Abihu, but not Aaron and his sons. This showed that God's punishment is always right and just.
- Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar were not to leave the door of the tabernacle or they would die because the Lord's anointing oil was upon them. And they did as God commanded them.
- The Bible teacher might review a little about 'generic' and 'specific' commands again, so that all of the students remember. (See May - Lesson - The Tablets.)
- The Bible says that the Nadab and Abihu's cousins went close and carried them out of the camp in their coats, so it didn't totally annihilate them, it just killed them. (Lev. 10:5)
ACTIVITY: Aaron held his peace
Materials needed: 9" x 12" sheet of construction paper, one sheet of white typing or bond paper, crayons, glue, scissors.
- Hand out a sheet of white paper.
- Using all of the paper, draw a portrait of Aaron looking very sad, but crying.
- Cut out Aaron and glue to construction paper.
- Write "Nadab and Abihu" and "Leviticus 10:1-7" at top of the paper.
- Write "offered strange fire" and "...and they died..." and "And Aaron held his peace" on the paper.
- Write "Aaron" on Aaron's shirt.