March 23 – Mountaintops – Mount Hor

Read Numbers 20:1-29

Mt. Hor It was on that mountain that Aaron died.  A gravesite seems hardly to be the kind of place most of us like to visit.  It may seem difficult to view it as a place for a divine encounter.  And yet, this gravesite was. Mount HorWhat kind of eulogy could have been given for Aaron on that mountain?  He had been chosen by God as spokesman for Moses at the time of the Exodus.  Remember?  Moses had complained about his perceived inability to express himself clearly.  In response, God told Moses, “he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him” (Ex. 4:16).  Aaron had faithfully served in that capacity.

As a descendant of the tribe of Levi, Aaron also served as priest over the nation of Israel.  At times, his leadership was called into question.  But, even as late as Numbers 17, God confirmed His selection of Aaron once again with the budding of his rod.  Thus, Aaron led God’s people in the feasts and sacrifices. Aaron was also privileged to accompany Moses into the Tent of Meeting where they encountered God and were eyewitnesses of His glory.  I am sure that he could have told stories of God’s incredible majesty!

But Aaron was not perfect.  As Moses was on Sinai giving the Law, Aaron allowed himself to be influenced by the people of God.  He constructed a golden calf that was to serve as a visual representation of the One who had led them out of Egypt.  In clear violation of the 2nd commandment, Aaron had listened to man and not to God.  But God was gracious, allowing Aaron to live and to continue to serve. Similarly, in his final days, about which you read, Aaron and Moses together failed to reflect the holiness of God.  With the people thirsting for water, God instructed them to “speak to the rock,” from which water would flow.  Instead, the two of them struck the rock.  As a consequence for their disobedience, neither Moses nor Aaron would enter into the land promised them by God.  In fact, Aaron’s life ended on that mountain.

Although the precise details are much different, the basic realities of Aaron’s life are the same as yours.  Your accomplishments in life are reflections of God’s power.  Your mistakes in life are dependent upon His grace.  You will need both today…and both until the day you die.

Steve Kern

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