How often do we fail to realize that it only takes one sin to affect others? Go back to Exodus with me to 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. You may now be called to not only serve but to counsel. 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]
Just eight 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, he had not quite grasped what it meant to be the spiritual leader who must give an account of his leadership! The author of Hebrews reminds us that our “leaders…[are to] keep watch over [our] souls and will [one day give an account] for their work.” [Heb 13:17]
Can you relate to Aaron? Like Aaron, have you been given the mantle of leadership as you disciple another; or lead a group online; or at your church; or at work; or at home? You, like Aaron, have been blessed. For Aaron, it was a combination of fear of men and pride of others following him that became greater than listening and obeying God. We need to learn from Aaron’s example of “what not to do.” His sin, like a pebble thrown out into still water, rippled out to affect the whole community. It was because of his unwillingness to obey God first and his willingness to find favor in the eyes of the people that three thousand were killed and later his own sons used strange fire. Leadership in any capacity requires our commitment to God first and foremost.
Leadership in any capacity requires a willingness to obey God first. The author of Proverbs reminds us that pride goeth before the fall, and perhaps that was Aaron’s failure. Whether on the mission field, in a discipleship relationship, in marriage, at school, or on the athletic field, beware of the lure of pride. Stay close to God and He will stay close to you.