Wilderness Christians – SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP WORDS/ACTIONS IN THE WILDERNESS
To be the right hand of Moses would certainly have been an honor. Aaron and Miriam, especially Aaron, certainly had this privilege granted from the Lord. It is a worthy privilege in God’s eyes to be exalted. It also carries an immense responsibility; which God will ensure is always maintained.
You would certainly be convinced that Aaron learned his lesson about abusing his leadership position. He was so easily deceived and publicly humiliated when he built the golden calf in Exodus 32. As was stated in a previous chapter, Aaron was so misguided that upon completion of the golden calf and its altar, he exclaimed in Exodus 32:5 – “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord”.
You can see how anyone in a high spiritual position of authority can be so easily deceived. This would include Billy Graham and Pope John Paul II. Why? Because every person has a sinful nature of flesh that is always directly opposed to God and the work of His Spirit. Romans 8:5-9 – “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded in death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His”.
These flesh roots are always traced back to its origin, Satan. He performed this trick on Adam and Eve, telling them they can be god apart from the true God. (See Genesis 3:5). His own demise reveals this flesh principle in Isaiah 14:12-20 – “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High.
“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned”.
Unless a believer is convinced of this flesh principle that resides in him, he will NEVER even attempt to be free in his daily walk with Christ. He will only be exposed to more and more temptations from Satan. Where do these temptation occur? Only in the wilderness, because the wilderness ground is where Satan breeds his demons of snakes, scorpions, and drought. God certainly desires to free him from this; then to enter into total dependence on Christ. However, God will NEVER force His will on any believer. He only attempts to make the believer realize his sinful walk and turn to Him for forgiveness and life.
This is exactly how God treated Aaron. I am sure God consistently brought the golden calf incident before the mind of Aaron. After all, Aaron had stood right next to Moses at every Egyptian miracle. He personally witnessed their deliverance. Aaron always witnessed and consumed the manna everyday. Yet, was he counted among the complaining Israelites in Numbers 11 who became bored with manna? Most probably he was. If he was bored with manna, then he was bored with God. Yet, Aaron still remained the key speaker for Moses. God spoke His Word to Moses who relayed it through Aaron. But this position was not enough responsibility and satisfaction for Aaron; he wanted more. Even with the golden calf being flashed before his eyes everyday, Aaron still hardened his heart. (I know Aaron hardened his heart every day because if a believer truly walks in the purity of the love of the Lord, he will always be convicted when the Holy Spirit reminds him of his golden calf. He will always be deeply hurt because he has deeply grieved the Lord through his sin. He will always remember, knowing never to trust himself again. Why? Because he has personally experienced the forgiveness, mercy, and restoration of the Lord. He personally experiences a deeper touch of the love of God. This love motivates him to guard against future golden calves.)
Aaron never had a genuine repentance, even though he was restored to his leadership position as the high priest and the principal speaker for Moses. Unfortunately, Aaron forgot the golden calf; he forgot Moses was the personal choice of God. He forgot that Moses was God’s chosen anointed as evidenced in Exodus 33 and 34. Moses was a deep, intimate friend of God.
- Exodus 33:11 – “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend”.
- Exodus 33:17-23 – “And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I KNOW THEE BY NAME. And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee…”.
- Exodus 34:29-30 – “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of testimony in Moses’ hand,… that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.”
Aaron was afraid of Moses. He was ashamed of his sin and never truly repented for the golden calf. He still coveted Egypt in his heart. Yet, God still maintained him as the high priest and chief speaker for Moses. God will always honor His Word and His love, even if a believer hardens his heart. God will never deny Himself and His Living Word. The hard heart of Aaron is the example of the wilderness Christian about to be set up for another fall.
In Numbers 12, we see Aaron, with Miriam, challenging again the spiritual authority of Moses. (Wilderness Christians always challenge the spiritual authority of the Lord’s anointed.) Aaron and Miriam noticed a flaw in Moses; a flaw that he married an Ethiopian woman. (Do not wilderness Christians always see the flaws of others, and never their own?) Aaron and Miriam took one step too many over the line of touching the anointed of the Lord.
Numbers 12:1-15 – “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses… for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
“(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall be upheld: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
“And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and He departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle, and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my Lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned…”
The key points to this rebellion are:
- Verse 2 – the origin and purpose of the rebellion. “Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us?”
- Verses 6-8 – the Lord’s convincing case against Miriam and Aaron.
- Verses 9-11 – the Lord’s judgment.
- Verses 13-14 – the Lord’s faithfulness.
God is so outstanding and merciful. He is always forgiving. He always places our sins behind His back, laid on the cross of His beloved and dear Son. He even restores under persistent sinning. He does not condone sin; neither are we to. It must NEVER be considered as a license to sin. It now must be realized as a true life in Christ, to now enter Canaan. Let us again fall into the arms of a loving God. Magnificent!