In the past several weeks, I have been talking about Moses and his mountaintop experiences with God. But now, I am going to bring Aaron into the equation as well, and at the end, I will bring the concepts back to how they relate to my story from the previous blog.
In my opinion, you really can’t talk about Moses without talking about Aaron. Those two brothers were a team that God had ordained to function as the leadership of Israel. Actually, there was one more member of that team. You guessed it: God Himself. The three of them were Israel’s core leadership team.
Within this team, God established the biblical offices of leadership: prophet, priest, and king. The ultimate authority rested with the king, which in this case, was God Himself. Aaron was the priest, and Moses was the prophet. Now, before you get ahead of me, let me clarify what I mean by the definition of prophet. I am not referring to a prophet in the sense of someone who could foresee the future or predict certain events. Rather, I am referring to a prophet as someone who receives a word from God to be communicated to the people. We can all agree that Moses received many things from God to communicate to the people of Israel. We have whole books full of the laws that God gave Moses to deliver to the people!
So, if Moses received words from the Lord to give to the people, then what did Aaron do? The answer is: exactly the opposite of what Moses did! Aaron was the voice of the people to make their requests known to the Lord. He was their intercessor. To put it simply, Aaron was the mediator from the people to God, and Moses was the mediator from God to the people. How do I know this? Scripture confirms it.
Take a look at Exodus 28:29-30:
So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the LORD continually. And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the LORD. So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the LORD continually.
What an amazing perspective on intercession this passage presents! Aaron was to bear the sins of a nation over his heart before the Lord continually. This is an Old Testament typological reference to Jesus bearing our sins on the cross. Like Jesus, Aaron was indeed an intercessor.
So, we have established that Moses and Aaron were an intercession team. Moses heard from God and spoke to the people (God’s spokesman), and Aaron heard from the people and took their needs before the Lord (the people’s advocate). But let’s examine a couple instances in which they had to switch roles in order to support each other. First, let’s look at Moses’ role as God’s spokesman.
Back at the time of the burning bush, Moses’ first mountaintop experience, there was a great hesitancy in Moses’ mind about doing what the Lord commanded him to do. He was supposed to be God’s spokesman, but he dreadfully feared public speaking and did not want to go speak to Pharaoh. Look at what he said to the Lord and how God responded in Exodus 4:13-16:
But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. So he shall be your spokesman to the people.”
Now, I hope you’re tracking with me. It was Moses’ job to be God’s spokesman, but God assigned Aaron to help Moses in being that spokesman, even though that was not to be Aaron’s ultimate calling. Aaron was indeed a gifted speaker, but his ultimate calling as priest rested with being the intercessor for the people. Yet, Aaron was obedient to God and came alongside Moses to help him in his time of weakness. So often, we as believers become so rooted in what we know we are called to do, that we allow no room for change in our lives or for a temporarily different assignment. But we must be willing to do the things the Lord assigns us to do in order to help our brothers and sisters in Christ with their callings.
We have now seen how Aaron stepped in to help Moses in his time of need. But now, let’s look at an instance that happened later in which the roles were reversed. Aaron was at a point of weakness, having just made a golden calf for the Israelites to worship. Let’s look at what Moses said following the people’s sin of idolatry with the golden calf in Exodus 32:31-32:
Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
Now, wait a minute. Wasn’t it Aaron’s job to plead the people’s case before the Lord when they sinned? Wasn’t he the one with the breastplate of judgment to bear before God? Indeed, he was. But I believe that in this instance, Moses had to step in and do the intercession because Aaron was among those who needed forgiveness! I believe this is an example of the fact that, when we fall, we need other believers to come alongside us and support us, even to help get us back into our roles. Even if they do not have the same calling as we do, they can still come alongside and help us in our time of weakness.
To bring this all back to a point, let me return to my story from the previous blog. I recommend that you re-read the story now, keeping in mind what you have learned about Moses and Aaron.
In this story, there were two prominent themes that kept recurring over and over again: intercession before God and direction from God. Remember, Aaron represents intercession before God (advocate), and Moses represents direction from God (spokesperson). In my story of our mini-awakening, both were present on a regular basis. I believe intercession combined with direction brought forth momentum according to the will of God. As we prayed, we also listened, and as we listened, we also acted.
But, there were times of weakness along the way. I mentioned one of our teachers who came by our side to help steer us in the right direction when we were going astray. Whether you identify more with Moses’ calling or with Aaron’s calling, or even with both, you must remain humble enough to accept correction and help along the way. We all need to have that kind of humility. It is no coincidence that Moses was referred to as the most humble man on the earth (see Num. 12:3).
As we move forward with God’s plan for our lives, being humble and being teachable are two essential qualities to have. Who may ascend the Mountain of the Lord? He who has clean hands, a pure heart, no idolatry, and no deceit (Ps. 24:3-4). And let me add this: He who is humble and teachable so that if he is weak in one of those areas, he will accept correction from the Lord and help from fellow believers. It is for this reason that James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” In order to ascend, we must be humble.
God’s looking for an intercession team: A team of believers who know their roles and giftings in His Kingdom, but who also aren’t afraid to step into another role to help their fellow teammates. Will you be counted in that number? In order to ascend, we must be humble.
In what ways is God teaching and convicting you to exhibit greater humility in your life? In what ways is He showing you how you can step in and help a fellow believer fulfill their role and purpose? We must remember that we are not created for ourselves; we are created for the glory of God, and we as believers must support one another in our times of need. Look for people whom you can help, pray for, and bless. I promise, if you will look, God will reveal them to you.