No Joking Around
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:
“‘Among those who approach me
I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.’”
Aaron remained silent.
I have two boys and they can sometimes joke around and not take things seriously. As a father, it is my responsibility to provide guidance and to teach them the right way of living. If they get in trouble, I would feel part of the burden as they are my own flesh and blood. I would let them make mistakes so that they can learn from those experiences.
Aaron had a position of utmost importance as his family was chosen to be responsible for the priesthood. This was a very serious matter because God is Holy and doesn’t want anybody to mess around or to take His progress lightly. Imagine his position with his two sons not following God’s commands properly and then being consumed by fire. He is later told not to rip his clothes or let his hair be unkempt. There was no bereavement leave allowed for Aaron. It was business as usual for him. All he could do is keep silent and not complain or say anything that could cause God to erupt in anger.