Summary: Everyone wants to be successful. It is very easy to have a good spirit when you are in first place. A type of humility may come rather freely when the laurels of victory are being worn, but real character is developed when a person is in second place or
Aaron: Second Fiddle to Greatness
Everyone wants to be successful. It is very easy to have a good spirit when you are in first place. A type of humility may come rather freely when the laurels of victory are being worn, but real character is developed when a person is in second place or even lower.
Much is written and preached about Moses, the great leader of Israel, but the average Christian probably identifies more with Aaron who played a subordinate role to Moses. Let us see what we can learn from him.
I. Aaron – the natural healer.
a. In comparing the potentials of Aaron and Moses, one would probably select Aaron as the brother most likely to succeed. He had a number of natural qualities that gave him very distinct advantages over Moses.
i. The meaning of the names
1. Aaron was given a name meaning “rich,” “fluent,” or “enlightened.”
a. His name revealed a natural ability for leadership.
2. Moses was given a name meaning “drawn out,” “one who is born.”
a. His name was associated with an incident related to his birth rather than to his character.
ii. Aaron was the oldest son.
1. Since Aaron was three years older than Moses, it would be natural for him to be the leader.
2. He would find additional favors with his father.
3. The privilege of inheritance would be his rather than Moses’.
iii. Aaron was the fourth generation from Levi
1. As the oldest son, Aaron would be expected to bear the family name and glory.
2. He inherited the natural honor of the family tradition and religion.
3. It is not a light matter that he had religious responsibilities passed down to him from the great Levi.
iv. Aaron had a full-family identification
1. Aaron was identified entirely with his natural mother and father.
2. There were no legal, national, or personal entanglements regarding his lineage.
3. This was not so with Moses, Moses was identified as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
4. He was somewhat alienated from his natural family.
v. Aaron was more talented than Moses.
1. Moses was placed in a high position of leadership early in his life because of his role as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
2. When Aaron and Moses are compared, however, Aaron immediately emerges as the more talented of the two.
3. Aaron was chosen as the spokesman for Moses because of Moses’ weakness in communication.
II. The call of Moses
a. God did not choose the brother with the greatest talent.
b. He chose the one he could best use.
c. There were more problems to overcome through the selection of Moses rather than Aaron, but God made his choice.
i. The burning bush
1. Moses had fled Egypt after murdering someone.
2. God revealed his will to Moses by speaking to him from a burning bush that was not consumed.
3. Moses hesitantly yielded himself to God’s service
ii. The source of authority
1. The faltering Moses exhibited all of his insecurities before the Lord.
2. God proclaimed to Moses that he was not to depend on himself, but upon God: “God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14)
iii. The appointment of an aid.
1. Moses refused to accept completely God’s call to deliver Israel.
2. He could only think of his personal shortcomings
3. God chose an individual of great personal talent to serve as Moses’ aid.
4. “The anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he comes to meet you: and when he finds you, he will be glad in his heart” (Exodus 4:14)
5. Not only would Aaron be a good assistant to Moses, he would also have a good attitude.
III. The ministry of Aaron
a. The first five books of the Old Testament (Torah) center around the activities of Moses, but the ministry of Aaron cannot be neglected.
b. Aaron had his good points and his weak points.
c. When he was strong he was a great support to Moses.
d. When he was weak (the golden calf episode) he brought out a godliness and strength in Moses that would not have been seen otherwise.
i. Aaron the spokesman.
1. God had appointed Aaron to be the spokesman for Moses.
2. It is probably correct to understand that in most places where it is stated that “Moses spoke,” Aaron was the actual mouthpiece used of God.
ii. Aaron the miracle worker
1. Moses had Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh.