Week­end Bi­ble Reflections With Jon

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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.

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