OceanSide church of Christ
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AARON: THE FOLLOWER
Victor M. Eskew
A. Occasionally, parents will have several children and all of them will occupy very prominent positions. Such was the case of a couple of the tribe of Levi named Amram and Jochebed. They produced a trio of children who became well known in Israel (Exo. 2:1-2; 6:20; Num. 26:59).
And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miraim their sister.
B. Tonight we want to focus upon one of these three children. We want to briefly examine the life of Aaron.
1. Aaron was the middle child of Amram and Jochebed.
2. He was three years older than his brother Moses (Exo. 7:7).
And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron was fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
C. Aaron is usually thought of as the spokesman for Moses and as the first high priest in Israel.
1. His life, however, was far from being a perfect leader.
2. I have entitled this lesson: “Aaron: The Follower.”
I. MOSES’ MOUTH PIECE
A. When Moses was called by God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, he had all kinds of excuses as to why he could not effectively do the job.
1. One of them was that he was not eloquent. In fact, he said: I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue (Exo. 4:10).
2. At this point, Aaron was selected by God to be the spokesman for Moses.
a. God chose Aaron because he could speak well (Exo. 4:14).
b. Moses was to speak to Aaron and put words in his mouth (Exo. 4:15).
c. Exodus 4:16
And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
B. We might think that this job was the perfect position.
1. It did involve some very important events. Wherever Moses went, Aaron was always there, except in the receiving of the Law on Mount Sinai.
a. He stood before the children of Israel (Exo. 4:29).
b. He went in before Pharaoh with Moses (Exo. 5:1).
2. Often, however, he had to take the heat of the opposition just as Moses did (Num. 14:2; 16:3).
And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord among them: wherefore them lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?
C. LESSON: Positions of power come with privileges, responsibilities, and great challenges (i.e., Jay Carney and my daughter as a physical therapist).
II. THE HIGH PRIEST
A. God selected the family of Aaron as the family to fill the office of high priest (Exo. 28:1; Heb. 5:4).
And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
B. This role was fraught with weighty responsibilities.
1. One of the main obligations was to be the intercessor between the nation of Israel and God.
2. The high priest also supervised all the sacrifices made on behalf of the people by the priests.
3. One of his prominent duties took place on the Day of Atonement. It was then that he went into the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle to make atone-ment for God’s people (Leb. 16:29-30; Heb. 9:7).
C. As far as Aaron’s discharge of his duties in this office, he was faithful. LESSON: We need to follow in Aaron’s footsteps and be faithful in the dis-charge of our duties as priests (I Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6).
D. The high priestly office through Aaron no longer exists.
1. The priesthood of Jesus Christ is after the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11, 17, 21).
2. This change of priesthoods also necessitated a change of the law (Heb. 7:12).
III. A SUPPORTER
A. While at Rephidim, Israel fought against Amalek (Exo. 17:8).
B. Joshua fought on the field of battle while Moses went up to the top of a hill with his rod to watch the battle (Exo. 17:9-10).
1. As long as Moses’ hands held the rod high, Joshua and Israel prevailed, but if his hands dropped, Amalek prevailed (Exo. 17:11).
2. Aaron and Hur were with Moses. They became his support when his hands were heavy (Exo. 17:12).
But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
3. Because of their assistance, victory came to Israel (Exo. 17:13).
C. Sometimes we forget how important the support people are in the work of the church.
1. There are many such roles.
a. Those who help with educational supplies.
b. Those who clean the baptistery and keep the towels washed and supplied.
c. Cheryl with her support role in the office.
d. The work of deacons.
e. Cleaning the building, working in the yard, preparing communion
2. Take away all of the support people in the local church and we would not be successful. We would have major difficulties each week.
3. Holding up the hands of another may not be a glorious job, but it was, and is, a vital one.
IV. THE FOLLOWER
A. Thus far, we have seen in Aaron a man who is responsible and faithful to God.
B. Aaron, however, had one problem. He was a follower. On at least three occasions, he let others lead him into sin.
1. The first time was at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
a. Moses was commanded by God to go into the mountain to receive the Law of God.
b. The people believed that he was not coming back.
c. They challenged Aaron, saying: Up, make us gods, which shall go before us (Exo. 32:1).
d. Aaron did not protest. He did not fight against them. He yielded to their desires. He took their golden earrings and made a golden calf with it. In addition, he built them an altar and proclaimed a feast (Exo. 32:4-5).
And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf….And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made procla-mation, and said, To morrow is a fast to the Lord.
2. The second time Aaron followed, he did so at the behest of his sister Miraim (Num. 12:1-2).
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
a. Miriam was Aaron’s older sister. He was following an earthly relationship rather than the God-appointed designations of leadership.
b. We believe that Miriam was the leader of this rebellion because she was the one smitten with leprosy by God (Num. 12:9-10).
3. The third time we see Aaron as a follower involved him and Moses.
The children of Israel were encamped at Kadesh in the desert of
Zin (Num. 20:1).
b. There was no water and the Israelites flared up against Moses and Aaron (Num. 20:2-3).
c. God told these two men to speak to the rock before the children of Israel and water would come forth therefrom (Num. 20:7-8).
d. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses smote the rock twice (Num. 20:9-11).
e. Apparently, Aaron could have intervened in this situation. He could have stopped his brother from smiting the rock, but he did not. Thus, God held both men accountable (Num. 20:12).
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
a. Even men in positions of power can follow others in evil endeavors.
1) We should not follow a multitude to do evil (Num. 23:2).
2) We should not follow a relative to do evil (Matt. 10:37).
3) We should not follow a superior to do evil (Acts 5:27-29).
b. Followers are weak and take the path of least resistance.
c. Followers do not influence others for good because they yield to evil.
d. Those who follow others to do evil are not well-pleasing to God.
A. Aaron played an important role in the history of Israel.
1. He was faithful to God in many roles.
2. His weakness was that he could not always stand against evil and wrong-doing. Instead of being a leader, he became a follower.
B. Aaron did not enter into the Promised Land as God had said.
1. He died upon Mount Hor (Num. 33:38).
2. He died at the age of 123 years old (Num. 33:39).
C. Psalm 106:16
They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord.