Dan and I have recently been drawn to the epic Old Testament exodus story. You will remember many famous aspects of this drama such as the horrendous plagues brought upon the Egyptians, the totally miraculous parting of the Red Sea, the supernatural manna and quail feeding all the thousands and thousands of Israelites each day, and the water flowing from a rock. The list goes on and on. God did a lot in 40 years!
But what is capturing our attention is His astounding grace and mercy evidenced to us, His erring children. Aaron is a case in point.
The Epic Failure of Aaron
As Moses' spokesman, Aaron was eyewitness to all the miracles mentioned above. He had audience alongside Moses with Pharaoh, King of Egypt. He ate the manna. He saw the pillar of cloud by day. This man was in direct line of all the crazy, astounding works of God. Yet he failed. Epic stories often encompass epic failures.
Aaron, brother of Moses, anointed high priest of Israel, capitulated. Recall the scene from Exodus 32. Moses was literally in a glory cloud having direct conversation with God for 40 days. The people grew uneasy as they could not see Moses because of this cloud. They complained that he'd been away a very long time. They wondered what in the world had happened to their leader. Their fear and discontent escalated. The solution: make a golden calf...at Aaron's instruction.
While it is easy to point a finger at Aaron, we squirm when the finger is directed towards us.
You have seen this too. When we get to talk with anyone having issues in their relationships, the finger is often pointing at the other person. "He did this! He didn't do that!" Then the other finger jabs, "She said this!" Pointing is pointless until the individual is courageous enough to point the finger at themselves with humility. "I did this. I am sorry. Could you possibly forgive me?"
After the colossal failure in Exodus 32 (and Moses' bold intervention as he pleaded with God for mercy), we get to see the astounding nature of our God.
"Adonai passed before him and proclaimed: '...[ADONAI] is God, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in grace and truth; showing grace to the thousandth generation, forgiving offenses, crimes and sins; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents' offenses to be experienced by their children and grandchildren, and even by the third and fourth generations.
"'...Here, I am making a covenant; in front of all your people I will do wonders such as have not been created anywhere on Earth or in any nation. All the people around you will see the work of ADONAI. What I am going to do through you will be awesome!'" (Exodus 34:6-7, 10 Complete Jewish Bible)
"Set Apart for Adonai": From Failure to High Priest
Directly following God's instructions to Moses, the skilled craftsmen built the tabernacle, its holy alter, and all the utensils needed for the sacrifices. And in chapter 39 we read that they made holy garments for Aaron, the high priest. This special clothing was magnificent. It was made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely woven linen, a vest of gold, a shoulder pieces, a decorated belt, and a breastplate adorned with gemstones representing the 12 tribes. All of this finery was topped by a holy turban.
The Lord had this fabulous turban made for Aaron, His high priest. The "splendid headgear" was made of fine linen. It had an ornament made of pure gold that was tied with a blue cord to fasten it to the front of the turban. On the ornament was inscribed, "Set apart for Adonai."
Bumbling Aaron remained God's chosen high priest. That, my friend, is restoration.
So many times, too many times, when we have failed, sinned, capitulated, God does the same for us. He lifts our heads, placing His seal on our foreheads (Revelation 9:4), "Set apart for Adonai."
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so must you also do." (Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV)
Someone, possibly even your spouse or your child, is needing to receive grace, mercy, and restoration from you today. Will you do it? Through you, God can redeem even epic failures. You are set apart, holy, chosen by God, created for His good purpose.
Supernatural Marriage & Missions
Dr. Dan and Linda Wilson are the co-founders of Supernatural Marriage & Missions. They have taken their message of Spirit-led intimacy to numerous countries throughout the world in an effort to encourage the Kingdom and prepare the Bride for the Bridegroom's return. Together they have published five books, including 7 Secrets of a Supernatural Marriage and Lovemaking. Dr. Dan and Linda were also executive producers of the popular worship album CHOSEN: You Are My Desire. The Wilsons have been happily married 38 years.