June 5, 2013

What’s So Great About Aaron?

Posted in Bible, Faith, Just Life at 9:54 am by catsinboxes

Currently in my Bible reading, I am moving chapter by chapter through several books of the Bible including Leviticus.  And in the past few days, I was really anticipating getting to Leviticus 10 though I couldn’t quite explain why.  It definitely has action and conflict, and it’s shocking to say the least.  Yesterday, I finally reached it, and ended up spending my whole Bible time focused on that chapter!  As I finished up my Bible time, I thought “I should write a blog post with some of the notes I’ve made”, so here it is!

Something I didn’t realize until today is that Nadab and Abihu were probably drunk when they offered profane/unauthorized fire.  I inferred that while reading and confirmed it in the footnotes.  The point here though is that God is jealous for His glory, and “will not allow his holiness to be violated, not even by members of the high priest’s family.”  (ESV notes)  Their installation not even complete yet, and two of the priests –in the vernacular– screw-up with deadly results.

You know, I don’t know why people like the name Aaron so much!  He could speak, sure, but he succumbed easily to peer pressure, he lied, he didn’t always support Moses and he had 2 sons who couldn’t even make it through the priestly installation process!  You can’t judge a man by his offspring, but a look at them will tell you a lot about that man, and I think this holds true for Aaron.   His sons had seen their father not always follow the rules; goodness he heard the 10 commandments and then made a golden calf!  Why shouldn’t they try something different, too???  Being drunk surely wouldn’t have helped their logic either!

What can we learn from Aaron?  In God’s words to Aaron (v.8-11) we see the “three major rules” of the priesthood.  –And this is the only time God speaks directly to Aaron.–

The priests were (courtesy of the ESV footnotes for the breakdown)

  1. To distinguish between the holy and the profane
  2. To separate the clean from the unclean
  3. To teach the people the laws of God

It was a holy calling and one that no Levite could fulfill perfectly.  Aaron couldn’t, his sons couldn’t, none of their children, or children’s children could, until one day a child was born with Levite blood from his mother’s side.  He was the Christ, the anointed one, perfectly fulfilling the roles of prophet, priest, and king.

And that is why I could like the name Aaron, because Aaron, in all his fallibility, pointed toward something –rather, someone– so much greater.  Aaron stands for me, for you, for each of us as we live and sin and screw things up.  We can’t make it on our own, but by God’s grace, there is a way.  A way though the ultimate, perfect priest whose sacrifice made it possible for all of us Aarons to come to God.  Because of Him we can draw close without fear to a most Holy LORD and even call Him, “Father.”  How great is our God!

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