Monday, February 22, 2016

Leaders Fail When They Just Try To Please


Moses Blames Aaron And Aaron Implies It Was Magic!
Exodus 32:21-24: Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?” And Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil. For they said to me, ‘Make a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.’”
Moses’ question of Aaron is most interesting. The people must have acted in a way that either enticed or coerced Aaron in having to do something. And Aaron in turn brought great sin ‘upon’ them. The idea here may be one of “Aaron, you should have known better.” Or, perhaps Moses was implying, “How could you be so weak?” More likely, it was Moses not believing what he saw and the anger it stirred within him. Or, even “How could you do this to our God Almighty?” It doesn’t really matter what his thinking was here. What we need to note is that oftentimes leaders become weak if they do not stay in tune with God as much as they should. And it only takes the influence of the Enemy working through others (sometimes insiders in our own camp or family or church to have us stray off the course we know God has for us. But notice also that while the people may have committed sin by seeking another ‘god’, Aaron was the one who brought ‘great’ sin upon them by giving the idol to them. There is an awesome responsibility on leaders to do the right thing even when the crowd is demanding something different.
And then Aaron starts his own defense argument. He implores Moses (whom he recognizes as his authority or at least superior, even though they were brothers by birth) to not be angry. Moses was expected to understand Aaron’s reaction, for he too knew the people and how “prone to evil” they were. The fact that someone under you, or in your care, is prone to evil does not mean that you as their leader are to abet it. In fact, it is even more reason for the one acting as a leader to do the right thing.
As far as the people were concerned, Moses being out of sight, meant he was also out of mind. People have trouble having confidence in an absent leader. We only need to consider how the Cubans felt about Fidel Castro who had not been seen in public for so long due to his health, before he appointed his brother, Raùl, as President out of necessity; or to think of the importance that one’s past attendance and voting record seems to be when running for office again. People need their leaders to be visible rather than hiding in offices or off on vacation for too long. And that’s just for human leaders. Think how people must feel towards God, a Spirit, that they do not see, when they may not have the relationship with Him that accepts Him for Who He is. No wonder they -- “a stubborn people” -- wanted a ‘god’ that they could see and feel to worship.
When we consider the humanity of Aaron, we can understand his weakness. Clearly to bring about temporary peace, he wanted to please them. And it was that desire of pleasing, rather than truly leading, those he was responsible for that made him more of an ‘entertainer’ at that moment and stopped him from being the leader he needed to be. I wonder how many so-called Christian leaders could fall into that category these days?
But here’s the icing on the cake. Aaron had the audacity to tell Moses whom he must have at this point out of stupidity taken for a fool, that when he threw all the gold into the fire, “out came this calf”. Really? That’s what you’re going with Aaron? Was the fire so hot it affected your mind?  That’s not what verse 4 said happened – it says Aaron fashioned it with an engraving tool into a molten calf. So much for his claim of magic. But all that just shows us how ridiculous we can get to be sometimes when we try to defend ourselves in circumstances where there just is no defense – we were wrong and it would be best to admit it, take our consequences, and do all we can to never fall prey to the same thing again.  (It’s those consequences we deal with next.)


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Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

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Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

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