I was reading Exodus this morning, and the first bits of Leviticus. I was reading from a skeptical point of view, not because I have doubts, but because I am always looking for a better defense of my faith. As I read about the sacrifices, I noticed that all of the really choice portions of the offerings got to be eaten by the priests. I thought about the liberal critics and their scoffing attitude towards the WORD, and I saw a real opportunity for the skeptics to jump all over this. From a critical, doubting perspective, it looked like Moses set up the Tabernacle and the priestly sacrifice to benefit himself and his family. He and his close relatives got the best food the nation could provide, wore the finest garments in all of Israel, and held tremendous authority and power over the people. Then I got to chapter ten. Leviticus 10:1,2 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
Aaron was the High Priest and his four sons were priests. This was the very beginning of the priestly ministry for Israel, and two of his sons were killed by God for not following Moses' exact instructions for worship, as given by God. Now I really started thinking! To whom much is given, much is required. Sure, the priests got to eat well and dress finely, but what a responsiblity they assumed! Every time they handled the Lord's sacrifice or performed the rituals of the Tabernacle, they were literally putting their lives on the line. Another verse came to mind: A workman is worthy of his hire.
Moses didn't set up the priestly order and Israel's sacrificial system to benefit his family: his family paid dearly to answer God's call upon them!
I approached the scripture with skepticism and came away with greater faith! When we approach God's word honestly, HIS word can handle the close examination and build our faith. It isn't wrong to question, or even to doubt, as long as we keep seeking until we find truth.
In the end, the word of God is living and sharper than a two edged sword, and well able to answer our doubts and fill our hearts with ever greater faith.