In chapter 10 we find the first of two passages that shock us (the other is in chapter 24). In this passage, Nadab and Abihu are consumed by fire from the Lord. Their crime? Offering unauthorised fire to the Lord. The Hebrew can mean strange fire, or foreign fire, not to suggest some sort of different fire, but to point to the fact that what they offered was not meant to be offered. It was an odd and out of place sacrifice before the Lord. Why? Because the Lord had not authorised it, had not requested nor required it. Indeed, the passage, though difficult, tells us of God’s holiness. This is a hard lesson in God’s holiness, one that resulted in the death of Aaron’s sons. Scholars argue over whether there is any more to the story than we are told in Leviticus – were they drunk? Did they attempt to get into the Holy of Holies? But the end line is the same: when God made himself known among the Israelites he did so in His holiness, his otherness, his awesomeness. God always communicates with his people through a mediator because he is so holy – now, we get to see Him through Jesus Christ who has made the way clear for us to come to God because of his sacrifice. But then, things we different, and there were consequences for messing around with the holiness of God.