Aaron is a Levite anointed by God Himself to be the first High Priest and serve for the Tabernacle of God along with his descendants. He has positive attributes that made God choose him and his people to be His workers. But this great man was not all that perfect.
Let us find out how Aaron is People Just Like You.
Aaron’s Back story
The Story of Aaron is always associated with his siblings: Miriam and Moses. Aaron is the older brother of Moses. Miriam is the older sister of both men. Aaron was known for the story of the Golden Calf where he made gods out of the gold he gathered among the Israelites who were impatient for the return of Moses from Mount Sinai to talk to the Lord.
see full story in the Bible: Exodus 32
That story is only half of his many flaws. Let us unfold what we know about Aaron in his journey with Moses from the land of Egypt into the Wilderness and how can we relate to his experience as leaders and followers of God.
“He was prone to pressure.”
In Exodus, the Lord blessed Aaron with a promise that he will be the decision maker for his people.
30 Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.Exodus 28:30
But what happened to the arc of the Golden Calf was a disaster! This was taken place when the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain. They gathered around Aaron and demanded him to make them gods who will go before them because they didn’t know what has happened to this fellow Moses who brought them out of Egypt. (see Exodus 32)
Aaron, already a high priest, knew that what they were demanding would not please God. But the pressure they might have given him, (maybe about millions of them), made him decide a crucial sin. The Israelite people gathered around and ready to stone him, which may be the reason Aaron got terrorized that he acted according to the people’s buzzing.
2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
Other theories suggest that he didn’t want the people to get divided and so Aaron kept them hanging by a thread until Moses comes back from the mountain to pick up the mess he made.
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterwards, they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
The Lord told Moses to go down, for his people whom he brought up from Egypt have become corrupted and they were quick to turn away from his commandment. He was mad and told Moses:
9 “I have seen these people, and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
But Moses was quick to seek the favour of the Lord and he said that He should not burn his anger to the people He promised to save from Egypt with His great power and a mighty hand.
For when Egyptians knew that He brought people out to the wilderness just to wipe them out, they might think the intention of rescuing them was wicked. And the Lord relented and did nothing disastrous to the people of Israel. (see Exodus 32:11-14)
When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, he was furious. He threw and broke the two tablets of the covenant law which God has written Himself. Moses took the calf and burned it in the fire; he pulverized it and tossed the remains in the water where he made the Israelites drink.
He then interrogated Aaron about what happened but he still managed to put the blame on the Israelites and acted as if he did nothing for this guilt. Smooth save if you asked me. In the end, Moses asked the Israelites,
“Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.”(In the Amplified Version, the translation says “Whoever is on the Lord’s side, come to me.”)
All the sons of Levi (the priestly tribe – Aaron’s tribe), showed their loyalty to the Lord and they rushed to Moses.
27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour.’”
The Levites did what they’ve told and about three thousand people died.
Moses asked atonement from God for the sins of the Israelites. He even made an agreement to the Lord that if He did not forgive his people, the Lord might as well erase Moses’ name out of His book.
But God loves Moses and told Him that He will only erase anyone who sinned against Him. He sent Moses to lead the people, yet again, to the promised land and when the time comes to punish the people for their sins, He will make it happen.
35 And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.
“He was doubtful.”
Miriam and Aaron challenged the authority of Moses. They began to talk against him because he married a Cushite woman. But that was not their only reason. They thought they were more capable of him because God also talks through them.
2 “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.Numbers 12:2
Their insolence was answered by God in a form of a pillar of cloud.
6 He said, “Listen to my words:
“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”
The anger of the Lord burned against them and then He left. When the cloud (God’s appearance) lifted, Miriam’s skin was leprous – it became as white as snow.
Aaron saw this and plead to Moses not to hold their sins against them. So Moses cried out to the Lord to heal her sister.
After Moses talked to the Lord, Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. This sin caused not only Aaron and Miriam but also the people around them.
It was unfortunate for Miriam to be the only one who has experienced the curse. But it was because Aaron has priestly status.
The Budding of Aaron’s Staff
Numbers 16 indicates that Korah rebelled against Moses with 249 accomplices and was punished for their rebellion when God sent fire from heaven to consume all 250.
Korah’s Reubinite accomplices, Dathan and Abiram, were also punished when God separated ground under their feet, devouring them, their families, anyone related to Korah and all their possessions.
Moreover, the Israelites who did not like what happened to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (and their families) rebelled against Moses, and then God commanded Moses to leave the people.
God then struck down 14,700 men with a plague as punishment for resisting Korah’s destruction.
In Numbers 17 the Lord said to Moses,
2 “Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. 3 On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. 4 Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you. 5 The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”
So the staffs were named and placed in the tent of the covenant law overnight. When Moses came back in the morning, he saw that Aaron’s staff not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.
Moses brought out the staffs from the Lord’s presence to all the Israelites. They look at them, and each of the leaders took their own.
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me so that they will not die.” 11 Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.Numbers 17:10
The Israelites, scared for their life shouted,
“We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13 Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?”
We Reflect on Aaron because:
He listened to murmurs.
People turn their ways because of the whispers of the world. We tend to please others and not God’s methods. It may be hard to swallow but, to avoid clashes and arguments, we listen.
Be patient and hear more of the instructions of the Lord and not act according to our own understanding. Think carefuly of your actions.
He doubted God’s decision.
At some point in our life, we doubt someone was anointed by God to lead. We may think that they are not worthy of being at the top because we know that if it were us, the people might accept us more. But that is not what God’s plan is.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
In general, God is planning more than what we could think of. Trust His plans and all things should fall into perfect place.
He was more of an assistant than a leader.
Some of us were not given the gift of being the leader. We are not anointed to become one and just the shadow of someone higher. Aaron did a great job working his role as Moses gets all the spotlight.
He helped support Moses’ hands at the battle of Rephidim to ensure the victory against the Amalekites. (Exodus 17:8-13)
Aaron was in Moses’ aide when he talked to his father-in-law Jethro (Exodus 18:12). He also accompanied Moses in his every encounter with God in mount Sinai.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”Philippians 2:3
God makes two different people come together to lead.
It happens in churches today that opposite person with contrasting characters and mismatched capability can steer an assembly perfectly if they have the same goal with God.
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.Romans 12:18
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.Leviticus 19:18
Even when we are not in the spotlight, God is using us.
Leadership doesn’t mean being on the top of the line or the visible one. Aaron managed to be used in the background while Moses spoke face to face with God. They are doing what the Lord have in store for them. Their roles are of what the Lord wanted them to have.
If we sin, people may get involved.
10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.1 john 2:10
Always be humble.
“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest and the leader like the servant.”Luke 22:26
No one is perfect. We all have flaws that can lead us to sin against the Lord. But He made human into His own image. God made us inherently different from animals.
He gave some of his qualities in us; we share with him the experience of personality, truth, beauty, meaning, will and reason. These qualities allow us to relate to God in ways that other creatures cannot. Humans were meant to represent an image of God’s authority throughout the world as we rule over and subdue the rest of His creation.
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