In Exodus 32 this week I notice a couple of interesting contrasts between Moses and Aaron:
- Moses is on the mountain with God seeking God’s face, Aaron is content with the face of an idol
- Moses is obedient to a God he can’t see, Aaron and Israel are looking for comfort in something they can control.
- Moses is fasting, Aaron and the people are indulging.
- Moses comes down the mountain with two stone tablets inscribed with the finger of God, Aaron is content to create a golden calf with his own hands, or with a tool.
- Moses’ heart is broken that Israel has turned so quickly from God, Aaron’s heart is easily swayed from God’s ways to the will of the people.
- It seems Aaron tried to popular and practical whereas Moses was patient and purposeful.
- Whereas Aaron knew better and went ahead, Moses did better and went to the Head.
- Moses stood in the presence of God, Aaron crafted a golden calf, and Moses has a cow!
- Even with as upset as Moses was, he was steadfast in his commitment to Israel as God’s people and the promises of God to bless the world through them. He pleads for God’s mercy. Aaron is quick to craft a new narrative of deliverance from Egypt.
It seems that this incident in Exodus reveals two different ministry styles. Moses is driven by the mystery of God and Aaron is driven by the misery of impatience! Aaron’s thrive in our culture of right now, pragmatism. Aaron’s avoid conflict by going along with the will of the majority. Moses’s stand out and stand up in a crowd and lead counter-culturally, maybe even it would be fair to say, counter-intuitively. The people are convinced that Moses and God both have abandoned them and look to replace what they don’t understand with they can control (see and touch). Moses could have walked away after this awful scene. But he is driven by something bigger than himself (the mission of God in the world). I think both men wanted to see God. Moses was willing to wait for the direction and plan of God. Aaron acted on behalf of the impulse of the people. I believe Aaron knew better, but caved in the face of pressure.
Are you an Aaron or a Moses?