Living Christianity Blog

The Life of Aaron … and You

Aaron made mistakes throughout his life, from making a golden calf to criticizing his brother. But, in the long run, he remained faithful. What can we learn?

There are many prominent men of God in the Bible—but Aaron, Moses’ brother, probably isn’t one that most people would put at the top of their list.

When we think of him, we might think of his making the golden calf or possibly acting as his brother’s mouthpiece. Aaron often gets overshadowed because of the strength and faithfulness of his younger brother Moses.

But could a closer look at Aaron’s story reveal more about this man?

The life of Aaron

When Moses wavered and used his poor speaking abilities as an argument against himself, God called Aaron to an important role to support (and speak for) Moses (Exodus 4:14-17). Being the spokesperson for Moses brought Aaron into the court of Pharaoh—the man who held his very life in his hands—to stand for God and His people against the hardened Egyptian king.

In Moses’ absence, Aaron caved in to the children of Israel and made the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-6). He survived only because of God’s great mercy and the intercession of Moses (Deuteronomy 9:20). But Aaron was able to recover from this serious mistake, becoming Israel’s first high priest.

Aaron later joined Miriam in criticizing Moses, but he quickly repented and returned to faithfully serving God as high priest (Numbers 12:1-16). Shortly after this incident, the entire nation rejected God and refused to enter the Promised Land. There were only four men who stood up against thousands of angry Israelites: Moses, Caleb, Joshua and Aaron (Numbers 14:5-6).

Then there was a challenge to Aaron’s position as the high priest. Aaron stood strong beside Moses and was proven to be God’s chosen high priest. When God started a plague on Israel, it was Aaron who interceded for those who had risen up against him (Numbers 16).

Ultimately, Aaron sinned with Moses in not hallowing God and was not permitted into the Promised Land (Numbers 20:10-12). His death impacted Israel so much that they mourned for him 30 days (Numbers 20:29).

Standing like Aaron

If we look at an overview of Aaron’s life, we see that we all share a similar experience. Just like Aaron, we have high points and low points. There are times when we stand strong for the truth and times when we don’t.

Consider these lessons that we can learn from Aaron’s life and example: 

  • Accept responsibility for sin. Aaron’s response to sin changed powerfully during his life. After the golden calf incident, Aaron placed the blame on the people and the gold—which, according to him, molded itself (Exodus 32:22-24). A few years later, he came to recognize and accept his responsibility for his sins (Numbers 12:11). We need to make the same transition Aaron did and recognize our responsibility for our sins.
  • Grow. At one point, Aaron was so weak that he bent to Israel’s will and built a golden calf. But later in his life, he courageously stood up against the people despite threats to his life. Aaron was weak before, but he didn’t stay that way.

Ups and downs are a part of life. What really matters is that we are consistently growing and staying faithful in the long run. In the end, Aaron is described as “Aaron the saint of the LORD” (Psalm 106:16).

How will God describe you?

For more insight, read “How to Grow in Faith.”




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