Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – HUMAN SILENCE: AARON AND THE SILENCE OF GUILT


Leviticus 10:1–7 DEVOTIONS

Computer scientists recently used new techniques to read a 1,500-year-old text known as the Ein Gedi scroll. Because it had been badly burned, archaeologists had been afraid to open it lest it crumble into dust. So researchers at the University of Kentucky used X-ray scan data and special software to digitally “unwind” the scroll—and read the first verse of Leviticus, “The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him.”

This is what the Lord spoke . . . “In the sight of all the people I will be honored.” Aaron remained silent.


The book of Leviticus sets forth God’s Law, His instructions to the nation of Israel. The main purpose of these instructions was to ensure that God’s people could be in a relationship with Him and that God was shown proper respect. The consequences of failing to do so were serious and often deadly. That’s what happened in today’s reading (vv. 1–2). Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu offered “unauthorized fire” at the altar of the Lord. Immediately the fire of God consumed them. Not even priests—especially not priests!—could get away with disregarding God’s instructions and dishonoring His name (v. 3).

Aaron’s silence in this episode was an acknowledgment of guilt. His sons’ motives are unknown to us—drunkenness may have been involved (see the warning in v. 9)—but no reason or rationalization could justify their disobedience. For Aaron to keep his mouth shut was the only appropriate response to Moses’ rebuke.

Furthermore, by staying on duty at their priestly posts while the bodies were disposed of, Aaron and his remaining sons demonstrated that God took precedence over mourning for family (vv. 4–7). This might seem harsh, but it was necessary and proper to show the Israelites the absolute importance of obeying God and worshiping Him rightly.


When we count the cost of discipleship, following Christ is more important than family responsibilities and relationships. Skipping church during sports season to attend the kids’ games, lying to cover-up a relative’s wrongdoing, or taking lavish vacations while refusing to give financially to support the Lord’s work all turn family into idolatry (Luke 14:26).


Again, our prayers go to God for the staff of Facilities Maintenance: Carl Bjerga, John Addison, Joshua Burkhardt, and Matthew Morris. May God bless their work of repair, replacement, and preventative maintenance of MBI’s equipment and facilities.

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