Saturday, February 9
A couple thoughts…
Scripture: Leviticus 10-12, Acts 16
A couple thoughts today.
First, a thought on drinking. In Leviticus 10, Nadab and Abihu offer “strange fire” and are struck dead by the Lord. Then the Lord gave instructions to Aaron about how priests are to behave: they are not to drink alcohol when on duty as priests, lest it cloud their judgment and they die. While the text doesn’t explicitly say that Nadab and Abihu had been drinking or were drunk on duty, it is possible to infer that from the Lord’s instructions. It’s possible, maybe probable, that they drank and did something stupid. Wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened! Either way, God forbade priests from drinking on duty and warned that it could have fatal consequences.
Drinking never made anyone smarter. I was at a sentencing recently; the man got 6 months in jail for some terrible and very stupid behavior. It turns out he had been drinking. It never makes anyone smarter. I don’t drink because of growing up in an alcoholic home and having generations of alcoholics in my bloodline. Alcohol is a dangerous and addictive drug, and it pains me to see so many people have such a cavalier attitude toward it. Millions of lives are ruined and lost—the damage is almost incalculable. And it never makes you smarter. I used to urge people who drink to do so in moderation. Now I urge people to define moderate drinking and do far less!
Second, a thought on God’s leading. While traveling through what is modern Turkey, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let Paul and his team preach in a couple areas. What’s up with that? Didn’t Jesus tell us to go to all the world and preach the gospel to every person? Yep. So why would the Holy Spirit say, “Not here. Not now.”? It turns out that God wanted them in Macedonia, where they led the first person in modern Europe to Christ and planted the first church! Door closed, door closed, door open. No, no, yes!
We don’t know the “why” behind God’s leading—He doesn’t say. But it’s clear that He said “NO” to a couple things because He was saying “YES” to another. And while there was great fruit in Philippi, it was not without great cost. Paul and Silas were arrested and beaten and jailed. God doesn’t always lead us where it’s safest, but where His purpose can be achieved. Where do I see doors closing and new doors opening? Am I willing to follow God’s “YES”?
Prayer: Lord, help me to listen to the Spirit’s leading as Paul and Silas did, and be willing to follow where You lead.