Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Second-chance Aaron

Worshiping the Golden Calf - Artist unknown
Worshiping the Golden Calf - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Exodus 32:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a moulded calf. Then they said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt.' " Exodus 32:4

The difference between the brothers Moses and Aaron shows up in stark contrast in the incidents of the exodus. While Moses repeatedly stands firm against the multitude, his older brother Aaron is more of a people pleaser.

In our story today, he offers not a whisper of resistance to the people's demand for a new god. In fact, the calf statue seems to have been his idea. (The irony is that even as this was playing out, God was dictating to Moses the details of Aaron's priestly uniform - Exodus 28:1-12.)

Another time when Aaron and Miriam insist that they are God's mouthpieces as much as Moses is, God strikes Miriam with leprosy but spares Aaron. Some commenters suggest this was because she was the instigator and Aaron the influenced.

Still, God never puts Aaron aside but continues to use him despite his character flaws and failures. When the Levite Korah questions Aaron's high priestly position, God confirms His choice of Aaron with censer fire that does not kill and a budding rod (Numbers 16 & 17).

We can take encouragement from Aaron's life. Even if, like him, we've blown it, with God there are second chances—though there may also be consequences to pay (in the Golden Calf incident, thousands died - Exodus 32:28; Miriam and Aaron's rebellion led to Miriam getting leprosy - Numbers 12:10-16).

Asaph's does a good job of describing our God of second, third, and fourth chances:
"But He, being full of compassion,
forgave their iniquity,
And did not destroy them.
Yes, many a time He turned His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath;
For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again." - Psalm 78:38,39.

Dear God, thank You for mercy toward my weaknesses and grace in forgiving sins and giving me more than one chance. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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