Live Well, Lead Well.
Being a leader is hard. We see people who claim to be Christians who rise to positions of power only to fall in front of everybody. This hurts the Christian witness to the world. And while this can be discouraging, it is also humbling—for we all are capable of falling. We deceive ourselves if we ever put confidence in our own flesh or let ourselves get comfortable and give ourselves glory. We have to live well to be able to lead well. This calls for daily examination before God and accountability. Live well, lead well, friends, so the world can find and know God.
Bible Reading of the Day: Numbers 17-20
In Numbers 17, it is the third story that showed Aaron was God’s high priest. Here in Numbers, the budding staff was a miracle to confirm God’s calling on Aaron.
In Exodus, Because Moses complained that he could not speak well, God appointed Aaron as Moses’ “prophet” (Exodus 4:10-17; 7:1).
During the journey in the wilderness, Aaron was not always prominent or active. At the battle with Amalek, he was chosen with Hur to support the hand of Moses that held the “rod of God”.
The books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers chronicle Aaron receiving the priesthood from God for himself and his male descendants (Exodus 28:1). The family of Aaron had the exclusive right and responsibility to make offerings on the altar to Yahweh.
Exodus 28:1 (NIV)
“Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests.”
Live Well, Lead Well—Be Humble
The mantle of leadership is a humble position. Man thinks of it as being exalted, but friends, being a leader is not a position to be taken lightly. It is not something to boast about. And it is not our position, at all, really. It is God’s. As His representative, we seek His glory, not ours.
But sometimes people can get in high positions and become proud. Power corrupts. And there is not much worse than someone professing to be a Christian, being elevated to a high position, only to fail morally for all to see.
All of us are held accountable for how we live out this message of the Gospel that we have heard. We are all called to represent God. But being a leader is a daunting responsibility.
“Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body.”
Live Well, Lead Well—Be Accountable
In the news right now is a story of a leader who his wife and he stumbled due to immorality, adultery, and lewdness. Honestly, this makes me so very sad. I am not their judge. I do not look down on them. But my heart is heavy because the enemy won a victory that will likely discourage many from following Christ.
It is one more example of a hypocrite that we just did not need. And friends, we are also hypocrites in some way. We are also capable of falling. I think it is hard for us to believe that. But to believe otherwise is to put ourselves in a vulnerable position where we could stumble and cause others to stumble, too.
Let’s see what we can learn from Aaron.
Live Well, Lead Well—Lessons From a Leader
First—God Calls us. We see that God chose Aaron. Aaron did not seek this out. When we are called by God, He will put us in the position he wants us to be in. And if we want to live well, lead well, we will seek God’s will in that position and be dependent upon Him.
Second—Lead in your family first. We see that Aaron did not parent well. Hid oldest two sons, Nadab and Abihu, were killed for irreverence toward God. That might seem harsh to say he was a bad parent because ultimately our kids have a choice as to whether or not they will serve God. But I think they grew familiar with their duties in the church and did not respect the role God had them in or fear God in how they performed their duties.
Third—Don’t fear men—fear God. Aaron also made a golden calf and had all of the Israelites bow down and worship the calf when Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days and nights.
Fourth—Be Self-controlled. In Numbers 20, we see how Moses and Aaron got frustrated with the people of God who were always complaining.
Live Well, Lead Well—Leading a Bunch of Whiners
The entire Israelite community entered the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and they[a] settled in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there. 2 There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord. 4 Why have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It’s not a place of grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, and there is no water to drink!”
6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord spoke to Moses, 8 “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.”
Live Well, Lead Well—Leading Others with Grace
9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence just as he had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that abundant water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me to demonstrate my holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.” 13 These are the Waters of Meribah,[b] where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord, and he demonstrated his holiness to them.”
This life is hard, friends. It is difficult to be faithful to God. But if we lean on God’s understanding, if we remain humble by admitting our weaknesses and crying out to God, and if we abide in God’s word and are accountable to others, we put ourselves in a position to be faithful.
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 20:12
“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
Do we trust God enough to do His job His way? Will we serve Him and fear Him so others don’t stumble over the wreckage of our lives, but find God because of the faithfulness of our lives?
It’s hard, friends. But don’t let other people sway you as they did Aaron. Don’t let the surrounding fallen culture suck you in. Let’s be women and men of God who are under the lordship of Jesus Christ, living and leading well, all for His glory.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #239: Numbers 17-20
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 20:12
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