It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses. Leviticus 10:9-11
God does not take it lightly when the leaders He calls disregard His commandments. When Nadab and Abihu broke God’s laws (Leviticus 10:1-7), He executed them on the spot.
Sounds harsh, you say? Consider this. Any movement in its infant stages must set a standard or pattern of operations. If God allowed compromise at the beginning, things would surely grow worse. The same principle came into play in the new church when God took the lives of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).
Nadab and Abihu broke the Law of Solid Ground, which states that trust is the foundation of leadership. As holy priests and trusted leaders, they were supposed to model obedience for the people. God could not permit them even the slightest renegade move, the smallest maverick act, for that would give permission for others to compromise as well.
Leaders Must be Examples, Not Exceptions
Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God has prepared the people, since
the events took place so suddenly. 2 Chronicles 29:36
Far too often, leaders drift. Once they get some experience under their belt and a track record of accomplishments, they often abandon the lifestyle that helped them reach the top. They chafe under the very rules that they once established or endorsed. Sadly, leaders like these forget the number one management principle in the world: People do what people see. If they want to succeed, leaders must incarnate the life they desire in their followers.
The kings of Judah had drifted badly when Hezekiah inherited an unholy mess from his father, King Ahaz. But Hezekiah repaired the Temple, restored legitimate worship, removed the idols, repented for the people, and required a change in the land. Once the population saw his example of worship, they followed suit. These events took place quickly not only because of a sovereign God who replaced Ahaz with the king’s godly son, but because Hezekiah modeled the life he expected of others.