How often do we fail to realize that it only takes one sin to affect others? We read about the anointing and consecrating of Aaron to the Priesthood. What an honor! What a position! Did Aaron realize what God had just given him? With great ceremony, Aaron had received the blessing of God. You, like Aaron, may have been anointed or called to a position of leadership. How do you handle this coveted position? With honor; with humility; or with pride? When God called Moses to the mountain for more instructions he left newly anointed Aaron and a compatriot Hur in charge and did so before the elders:
“Here are Aaron and Hur with you. Whoever has any matters of dispute can approach them.” [Ex 24]
Yet just 8 chapters later we find Aaron, ALONE! as one of two “men in charge,” compromising and failing in his God anointed responsibility. This leaves us wondering: Where was Hur all this time? Why did Aaron yield to the people to make the golden calf? And lastly and more importantly, why did he lie to Moses when he returned from the mountain? When Moses asked him why he made the golden calf he answered “They, that is the children of Israel, said to me,” (sounds like Adam in the Garden) and then (note rolling eyes here as Aaron notes the miracle): “I threw it [the gold that is] into the fire, and this calf came out.” Ah yes, from the miraculous to the ridiculous! Reading this we say “really?” But, when caught in sin we often do much the same thing if we are honest.
Could it have been that Aaron’s pride in his position overshadowed his responsibility and relationship to Hur, the people, his sons—but more importantly to God? Or was it the fear of men that caused him to yield? Or could it have been a combination of both? It appears that Aaron had not only forgotten his mandate from Moses to consult with his co-leader and the elders; but more importantly, had not quite grasped what it meant to be the spiritual leader who must give an account of his leadership! Hebrews reminds us that our “leaders…[are to] keep watch over [our] souls and will give an account for their work.” [Heb 13:17]
Point to Remember: For Aaron, it was a combination of fear of men and pride of others following him that was greater than he following God.
Learn from Aaron: The fear of man is a snare [Prov 29:25] and one sin affects or ripples out to affect the whole community. In this event, three thousand are killed and later his own sons used strange fire and God takes them out.