I’ve been reading in Leviticus in my devotional time, and I find myself wondering quite a bit about Aaron. He really did have a tough calling. In the book of Exodus, we read that he crossed the dessert to visit a brother he didn’t really know. When he got there, his brother asked him to turn around and head back to Egypt with him to confront Pharaoh; he then told Aaron he planned to demand that Pharaoh let God’s people go. (You’re going to do what?) Oh, and by the way because his brother was too afraid to speak for God himself, he wanted Aaron to do it for him. (Who? Me?) Then, after God did convince Pharaoh to let His people go, Aaron, his brother and all of the people trekked back across the desert to a mountain where his brother left him with all the people (who, by the way, were constantly whining and complaining) to go on a Sabbatical for 40 days to the top of said mountain. (You’re doing what? And you want me to stay here? With all these people? By myself?) Oh, and his brother didn’t tell him how long he’d be gone because his brother didn’t really know.
Well, of course, at his brother’s delay, the people then grew even more anxious, whiny and disagreeable than they already were. So, they looked to Aaron to address their needs and calm their anxiety. Now, at first, Aaron resisted their demands, but as the days dragged on and on, and when pressured further by the people, Aaron gave in and surrendered to the demands of the people. What happened next? You know it! His brother returns all refreshed from his Sabbatical and BLEW HIS TOP! (Well, to say he was a little unhappy after figuring out what Aaron did would be an understatement.) Anyway, they cleaned up that mess and moved on.
But not us, I want to park right here for a minute. Do you think it was fair to Aaron? I mean really? His brother was the one who was called to lead this people. His brother was the one who left him at the base of the mountain with them for all that time. His brother knew they were already a cranky, whiny bunch of crybabies. Aaron was the one who had to listen to them day after day. “Well, good morning Aaron, has your brother returned yet? Good afternoon Aaron, has your brother returned yet? Aaron it is sunset, where is your brother? Aaron, what are we going to do out here? Aaron, your brother abandoned us out here in the wilderness. We are all going to die! Aaron, you and your brother led us out here to die! Why didn’t you leave us where we were safe!?” Day after day after day. The accusations, the desperate looks, the fear and contempt in everyone’s eyes, even his own family, eating away at his trust and faith in his brother. In his brother’s God. What would you have done?
Think about it. What would YOU have done in Aaron’s shoes? Oh, I’d like to think that I would have taken charge and demanded that all of these people get control of themselves and sit in their tents and be patient. “My brother will return with all your answers.” (I’m sure Aaron tried that.) I would have said all of this with honor, strength and conviction. But . . . . . . I doubt it. You see, we all face this test daily. Maybe not on such a level, but we do face the challenge each day of who do we want to please, God or man. We crumble and fall for much less, our reputation. Our golden calf is at our jobs, our clubs, our gyms. We desperately want to be liked, accepted and approved. We compromise . . . just a little. We turn a blind eye . . . just this once. We go to that movie . . . everyone else is.
The apostle Paul gives us encouragement and questions we should ask ourselves in these situations. He writes in his letter to the Galatians “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10)
So, who do I want to be? Do I want to be accepted and liked, like Aaron, or do I want to be faithful and bold, like Paul? Those are decisions I am going to have to make and
Lessons I Can Take from This Character.