Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Exodus 28:1-5
In addition to the design and construction of the tabernacle and the articles of furniture to go into it, God instructed Moses on what Aaron as high priest and his sons as priests were to wear.
Aaron had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. In Leviticus 10 we learn that Nadab and Abihu were killed by God because they offered unauthorized fire before God. When God was giving the instructions about the clothing for the priests, he knew what Nadab and Abihu would do and that he would have to destroy them and yet he prepared them for the priesthood anyway. He didn’t leave them out. In fact, as I was searching for the information about this, I realized that it were Nadab and Abihu who went up the mountain with Moses, their father Aaron and the 70 elders—not their younger brothers, one of whom would become the next high priest. Again, God knew these two sons would be disobedient and be destroyed and gave them the honour anyway.
I wonder why and I wonder what, if any, implications this has for us today. I think of the pastors and evangelists who have ended their pastoral careers in disgrace. Again, God knew this would happen and blessed their ministries anyway while those who have stayed faithful to him (like Eleazar and Ithamar) have missed out on the same blessings. What is it about God’s character that causes him to behave this way?