“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1 KJV.
“After the work of the tabernacle was finished, ‘a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And. Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.’ The tabernacle was constructed so as to be taken to pieces, and borne with them in all their journeyings.
The Lord directed the Israelites in all their travels through the wilderness. When it was for the good of the people, and the glory of God, that they should pitch their tents in a certain place, and there abide, God signified his will to them by the pillar of cloud resting low directly over the tabernacle. And there it remained until God would have them journey again. Then the cloud of glory was lifted up high above the tabernacle, and then they journeyed again. In all their journeyings they observed perfect order. Every tribe bore a standard, with the sign of their father’s house upon it, and every tribe was commanded to pitch by their own standard. And when they traveled, the different tribes marched in order, every tribe under their own standard. When they rested from their journeyings, the tabernacle was erected, and then the different tribes pitched their tents in order, in just such a position as God commanded, around the tabernacle, at a distance from it.
When the people journeyed, the ark of the covenant was borne before them. ‘And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, 0 Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.’
‘AND Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.’
The sons of Aaron did not take the sacred fire from the altar, which the Lord himself had kindled, and which he had commanded the priests to use when they offered incense before him. They took common fire, and put it in their censers, and put incense thereon. This was a transgression of God’s express command, and his judgment speedily followed. Aaron’s sons, who officiated in holy things, would not have thus transgressed if they had not indulged freely in the use of wine, and been partially intoxicated. They gratified the appetite, which debased their faculties, and disqualified them for their sacred office. Their intellects were beclouded, so that they did not have a realizing sense of the difference between the sacredness of the fire which God let fall from Heaven, and which was kept burning continually upon the altar, and the common fire, which he had said they should not use. If they had had the full and clear use of their reasoning powers, they would have recoiled with horror at the presumptuous transgression of God’s positive commands. They had been especially favored of God in being of the number of the elders who witnessed the glory of God in the mount. They understood that the most careful self-examination and sanctification were required on their part before presenting themselves in the sanctuary, where God’s presence was manifested.” EGW, SOP, Vol 1, 1870, pp. 275-277
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