Exodus 32


As we continue our journey of the faithful people of our spiritual foundation we visit Aaron, brother of Moses and the first high priest of Israel.  Some verses that give us a glimpse of Aaron are

Exodus 4:14-16

14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.

Aaron was the main spokesperson for Moses and God. Aaron had been gifted with eloquent speech.  God understood the weaknesses and strengths of his children and will properly suit individuals that compliment each other.  Moses was gifted in leading and directing the people of Israel and Aaron was gifted with speaking and instructing the people with assistance from God.  When the two of them were working in concert and under the leadership of God, they were able to create new and amazing things, but aside from God they brought folly to themselves and the people who followed.

In Exodus 28:1-3: God makes Aaron and his descendants the first official priest of the people of Israel:

“Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.

This was the appointment and the promise that God had given Aaron to be the principle communicator between God, Moses, and the people.  Aaron was given a major appointment and blessing from God.  This was given to Moses to communicate to Aaron, but God made the promise.  This was not something that God had done without understanding responsibilities and remaifications of the office and duties.  This was God’s own choice.  God’s infinite understanding and particular specifications can be seen in the preparations of the priest’s garments and tools for the temple.  In chapters 28 & 29, God gives specific directions down to the particular threads that are supposed to be used in the garments.

Exodus 28:6-8

“And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and of fine twined linen, skillfully worked. It shall have two shoulder pieces attached to its two edges, so that it may be joined together. And the skillfully woven band on it shall be made like it and be of one piece with it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen.

Almost simultaneously, as God is given this blessing and decree to Moses, the people start to stir restlessly in the camp and pressures, persuade, or coax Aaron to produce a golden calf so that the people can have something tangible to praise and worship.  When this happens Moses is sent to the people and Aaron

Exodus Chapter 32: 21-24

And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” 22 And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24 So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

In the previous section, if God was like man and had the same inadequacies that we have, God would have taken away this appointed service and station and created another person in its place, but God is faithful to his promise and will remain behind them until fulfillment.

Hebrews 5: 1-5

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

Aaron gives us an example in several ways:

  • God will make a promise and plan for our lives, even when we are not fully aware that the Maker is at work
  • Even though we may commit unthinkable acts against self, others, and God; God still loves us and will help us to show his glory
  • When we acknowledge our shameful acts and turn way from those acts and allow God to bless us, He will be victorious over all the things in our past.