Weekend Bible Reflections With Jon
leadership failure of Aaron, the older brother of Moses and the soon- to- be high priest of Israel. God had given Aaron the privilege of being a leader, especially in the absence of Moses while he received the law. Yet Aaron failed as his actions and inactions led to derision and death.
First, he failed to step up ( Exodus 32:1). Sometimes great leaders are hesitant to take on the mantle of leadership. That may well be an indication of humility and a realization of the awesomeness of the task. However, hesitant humility must rise to become courage or it will sink to timid cowardice. Aaron may have beaded off any idea of idol worship had he concerned himself with reminding the people about God’s delivering them from Egypt and lifted their hopes to the promised land. The church needs men who will step up to right wrongs and lead.
Second, Aaron gave in to pressure (Exodus 32:1-2). A true leader is not one who depends on the whims and desires of those he ostensibly leads to choose his course. A leader knows which way to go and inspires the people to follow him.
Third, he didn’t require the people to repent ( Exodus 32: 56). Aaron apparently tried to lessen the evil of making and setting up the golden calf by mixing it with the worship of Jehovah. A leader doesn’t compromise truth with error to placate the people. He requires repentance where there is sin.
Fourth, Aaron made excuses (Exodus 32: 22- 23). “Those evil people, they made me do it,” he said. A godly leader must realize that suffering and loss and even death are preferable to unfaithfulness to God. Where was Aaron’s fortitude here? Where was the man who stood before Pharaoh and said, “Let my people go?” Where was the man who obeyed God’s commands and saw the Nile turned to blood and the Red Sea part? Where was that man?
Fifth, he avoided responsibility ( Exodus 32:24). “I threw the gold into the fire and out came this calf!” It would be funny were it not so serious. When a leader has made a mistake or sinned, he must own up to it. Spare the lame excuses or ridiculous explanations. Spare the “If I have offended anyone” apologies that put the blame on the “misunderstanding” of the offended. A leader must be able to say, “What I did was wrong.”
Finally, Aaron was permissive ( Exodus 32:25). This verse says that the people “had broken loose for Aaron had let them break loose.” A leader must be a man who will stand in the gap and say, “This far and no farther.” He must be a man who knows God and His Word. He must be a man who knows the liberties God allows, and also knows the limits God sets.
Christians, especially Christian leaders in the church, home and workplace, must learn from Aaron’s mistakes and become the leader that God would have them to be.