Leviticus 10:1-11: Nadab’s Confession

I saw the form of God,
And yet I did not die.
His holy throne I saw,
I heard the seraphs’ cry.
I ate within His halls,
And joined in psalms of praise.
But when to priesthood called,
My ego was not razed.
Should I then not have known,
The horror of my crime?
Who saw Jehovah’s throne,
Maker of space and time?
Presumption was my fault,
Rebellion, treason, too.
My fire I exalt,
By fire I’m consumed.
My punishment deserved,
All just the Father is,
For all death is reserved,
Who do not learn from this!
The terror of God’s wrath,
Is no complacent thing.
Reserved – oh! dreadful last –
The Judgments of the King.
Then let my smoking corpse,
Impress upon your mind,
How sacred are God’s courts,
Sin’s gravity reminds.
Can anyone then live?
Himself He judged for sin,
The grace but God can give,
To birth new life within.
Then mourn me if you must,
But this keep crystal clear:
Jehovah God is just,
Obey in holy fear,
With terror of your sin,
And humble sacrifice,
His favor none can win,
Be overwhelmed in Christ!

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2 thoughts on “Leviticus 10:1-11: Nadab’s Confession

  1. Leviticus 10 opens with the story of Nadab and Abihu offering strange fire to the Lord. This was a clear act of presumption and even rebellion on their part, and God justly executes them for their sin. This account brings home the frightening reality of God’s wrath and intolerance of sin. But it also brings home the boundless mercy He has towards sinners, in letting all of His judgments fall on Jesus Christ! We all deserve the same fate as Nadab and Abihu, but God — instead of consuming us with fire from the inside out, as He did with Nadab and Abihu — has placed our guilt on Jesus, and judged Him instead of us! Praise the Lord for His infinite mercy!
    An interesting thing to point out is that prior to this, both Nadab and Abihu had litterally seen the Lord, and even eaten a meal in His presence — and presumably, in His courts (Exodus 24:9-11). Nadab and Abihu had then both seen the glory and holiness of God first hand. How much more inexcusable was their crime against Him! Those of us who grew up in the church have no excuse if we turn away from God. If Nadab could talk to us now, this is what I imagine he would say.

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  2. Wonderful poem. I like the way that you used rhythm and rhyme to carry the reader forward, leading us to a final shalom conclusion in Christ.

    The warning that gives me a liver quiver in the account of Nadab and Abihu is this: “Don’t make your worship about you, Robert, how good you want to look, how righteous you want to feel.” This is a temptation for me, partly because it is what I have experienced in the churches I’ve belonged to in the past. One of the truly beautiful and refreshing things about CTR is the focus on Jesus Christ, we come there to worship Him, not ourselves. Praise God for the Wilson, Zachary and Linville households for modeling what true worship looks like. It is life changing.

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