Sometimes when we read the Bible, some things happen that might not make sense. Other times, something can happen, and in the brevity of the language, we might miss what happened. Today, I will cover two incidents, one from Leviticus and one from Acts, that reflect these two types of incidents and shed light on them. 

In Leviticus 10:1-2, we read about Aaron’s oldest sons.

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. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

Leviticus 10:1-2 (NIV)

Nadab and Abihu were drunk, so they erred in their duties as priests (cf. Leviticus 10:8-11). Because Nadab and Abihu were drunk, and everyone saw them drunk, Aaron and his remaining sons weren’t to mourn for them (cf. Leviticus 10:6). If Aaron and his remaining sons, who were priests, mourned for their two brothers, it might appear as if they didn’t accept God’s punishment to the Israelites. Hence, the prohibition on mourning. Still, everyone else could mourn for Nadab and Abihu. 

In Leviticus 10:16-18, we are given this intelligence.

When Moses inquired about the goat of the sin offering and found that it had been burned up, he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and asked, “Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area? It is most holy; it was given to you to take away the guilt of the community by making atonement for them before the Lord. Since its blood was not taken into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area, as I commanded.”

Leviticus 10:16-18 (NIV)

Aaron gives this reply to Moses.

Aaron replied to Moses, “Today they sacrificed their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, but such things as this have happened to me. Would the Lord have been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today?” When Moses heard this, he was satisfied.

Leviticus 10:19-20 (NIV)

Why was Moses satisfied with Aaron’s answer?

These verses reveal why Moses was satisfied with Aaron’s reply.

There bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you (emphasis added).

Deuteronomy 12:6-7 (NIV)

Although Aaron and his sons were told not to mourn Nadab and Abihu, they were still grief-stricken. Thus, it wouldn’t have been suitable for Aaron and his sons to be joyous and celebrate in light of the day’s events. Not only would it have been inappropriate, but it also doesn’t align with the rejoicing in Deuteronomy 12:6-7. When we read about all of the sacrifices to the Lord, it’s easy to forget that rejoicing was part of the process too.

In the book of Acts, we read about a woman named Lydia.

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us (emphasis added).

Acts 16:14-15 (NIV)

Other than these verses in Acts 16, we hear little else about Lydia again. Yet, from these two verses, we can surmise a few things. First, like Cornelius, the centurion, Lydia was a Gentile. Hence, Luke describes her as a “worshiper of God.” If Lydia had been Jewish, Luke would have described her as a Jew. Next, we know that, like Cornelius, Lydia worshipped God and followed Jewish customs. Third, Lydia was wealthy. Dealing in purple cloth was a lucrative business, and having a home to invite the men of God to so they would have a place to stay indicates wealth. Finally, Lydia and her household were converted to Christianity in Acts 16:14-15. Hence, the remark about them being baptized. 

Considering the events in Acts 16:14-15, it’s unlikely they happened in a single day or overnight. Yet, our modern mentality might frame those events in a short period. It’s more likely that Paul and his companions found a place to stay beforehand, met Lydia, and then she became Christian soon after.

In Leviticus 10 and Acts 16, we see the value of close reading. This is why, when we read the Bible, it’s best to set aside time. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.