Obedience And The Presence Of God
by Steven W. Henry
“And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you” (Leviticus 9:6).
In Leviticus 9, Moses had promised the Israelites that God would appear unto them (v.4) as long as they would follow His instruction. Following the Lord’s instruction as given in His holy word is the way for all believers to see and experience the presence of the Lord. For the Israelites, this presence was manifested as the fire from heaven (v.24) and as the cloud which was seen over the tabernacle by day. The tabernacle was the place where the Israelites could offer their sacrifice for sins and worship to their heavenly Father.
The message of obedience was clear, yet Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, were disobedient and the Lord destroyed them (10:1,2). Aaron’s two surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, also appeared to be disobedient, but were not punished (vv.19,20). Their disobedience did not warrant death for two reasons. They did not introduce something unholy as did Nadab and Abihu, and second, they were not intentionally disobedient.
For the New Testament believer, Christ, who was obedient unto death, is our sacrifice for sins (Philippians 2:5–11). Therefore, the New Testament believer in Christ, having experienced regeneration by the Spirit of God, yields to God’s word and Spirit in obedience and his life becomes more sanctified and separated unto God. It is through this obedience to the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit that the New Testament believer experiences God’s power. God displays His mighty power through the lives of believers in the miracle of regeneration. When these truths are realized in the believer’s life, he will begin to experience God’s acts of love and regeneration in mighty ways, just as the Israelites experienced the presence of God in the wilderness. SWD