God had a standard which had clearly been communicated to Moses and Aaron which applied to all the priests who would minister before Him. When two of Aaron‘s sons took God’s commands lightly, they were judged for “lessening” God’s standards by creating their own. They did NOT have the right to set their own standards and declare themselves holy before God.
Lev. 10:2-3 “And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.”
1. Their service and worship.
V1 “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.”
2. Their standards
V8-10 “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;”
3. Their sacrifice
V12-13 “And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy: And ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, and thy sons' due, of the sacrifices of the LORD made by fire: for so I am commanded.”
LESSON - Now that the veil has been torn, we believe in the doctrine of the Priesthood of the Believer. All saved people are granted access to God‘s presence, but we should not take this privilege for granted. If we desire fellowship with a holy God, we too must strive to be holy as He is holy (1 Pt.1:15-16). We must take the service & worship of God seriously, seeking to please Him rather than entertaining ourselves. We must not use the grace of God as a license to sin then expect God to be pleased (1 Cor. 6:8-12). Finally, we must not “lessen” the sacrifice of Christ by observing Baptism & the Lord’s Supper flippantly (1 Cor. 11:28-32). We have no right to re-define that which is holy because that standard is established by God‘s character which cannot change. We should strive to be like Him in thought, word, & deed.