By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
Scripture Readings: Numbers 33-36
Key Scripture Verses: Numbers 33:38-39 (NIV, Life Application Bible)
“At the Lord’s command Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor, where he died on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.”
This section of scripture concludes the book of Numbers, a book written about the preparation of the people in their journey to the Promised Land—a book of the census and instruction on the lifestyle the people needed to adopt and maintain in their new home of Canaan. The people are ready to move into the Promised Land. And in this final section, their high priest Aaron dies.
Aaron, the brother of Moses and Miriam, had been the appointed high priest whom God had suggested to Moses would be his helper when Moses didn’t believe he was up to the job of leading the people. Moses was not considered a good public speaker, or he didn’t feel that he was, and God said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you…He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.”(Aaron’s Profile, NIV, Life Application Bible, referencing: Exodus 4:14, 16).
Like most of us, Aaron was not a perfect person, even got into some trouble with being too easily swayed by others, but he was chosen by God to be a helper to Moses and to be the high priest from whom all other high priests would come—after him, all priests were to come from the Levites. God used Aaron’s talents of public speaking for his purposes.
Moses was the leader of the two, but Aaron was the mouthpiece and speaker for him and active supporter. Moses brought them the law, but Aaron brought them the spiritual foundation they needed and maintained the religious rituals required by God.
Aaron needed Moses to lead him and show him what to do and then he was able to follow as a team player. But, even though Aaron was too weak to stand on his own, God used him for his purposes. At this point in the history, as noted by the key verse, Aaron dies, having fulfilled his mission. He had provided the support needed for Moses to be able to effectively lead the people to the Promised Land.
Not everyone should be the main leader. Some of us are more effective as followers. Some of us are called to support others as they lead and that is an important role. Sometimes people don’t feel important or feel that they contribute if they are not the leader or main person in charge, and I think that is a shame. All are needed in the body of Christ to support each other. It would actually be chaos if everyone was trying to be the leader.
And so, to be a good follower, to be a good disciple of Christ, we are called to cooperation, to getting along with each other and serving Him. Every person contributes in their own way. I love it when I see everyone working together on a church project because when we allow people to do what they are able to do and to do it in the way they are comfortable, the project is well executed.
Some can contribute money. Some can contribute time and labor. Some can provide support. All are important in the kingdom of God. All can contribute. All are called to be members of the body of Christ.
May we know when we are called to lead and when we are called to follow. May we allow Christ to be in charge and to direct us, using our talents and strengths to his purpose and to his glory.