And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.’” So Aaron held his peace. (Leviticus 10:3)
We can only imagine what must have flashed through Aaron’s mind when he saw his two sons struck down. Did he know, right away, what had caused this response from the Almighty? It seems that Moses knew seeing that he immediately went to Aaron with the statement, “This is that the LORD spoke.” It was his way of saying that God had meant what He said when He said of the Sanctuary, “It will be sanctified through My glory” (Exodus 29:43). The fire, consequently, was a divine statement in that it demonstrated what was meant and why He said it!
Furthermore, as we mentioned in the previous devotion, the greater a man is in terms of the Kingdom, the stricter the standard by which He is judged. Because the people of God look to their leaders for guidance and a good example of how to walk out their faith, God must be sanctified by those closest to Him. This is a must because of the effect obedience or disobedience can have on the people. In Aaron’s case, it is important to remember that, not too terribly long before this, he had not provided proper guidance to the people when it came to the Golden Calf incident. At the moment he lost his sons, his response had great potential to influence God’s people one way or the other.
To his credit, Aaron held his peace. Perhaps he was stunned into silence or had simply resigned himself to what had happened. Whatever was going on in his mind, as High Priest, his responsibility to God took precedent over the circumstances. In fact, Moses admonished him not to mourn the loss because “the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you” (Leviticus 10:7). So we must ask, “Is this God being cruel? Or is it because He is holy?” Think of it this way: if God relaxed His standards of holiness and sanctification for anyone, where would it end? Given our nature, we would always be trying to do things our way without consideration of the consequences.
As followers of Messiah, we must remember that we are expected to “count the costs” and to “take up our cross” and follow the Messiah. Sometimes that means we will be expected to do what seems illogical and, measured by the world’s standards, unreasonable. Nevertheless, if we are to be His people and positively influence this world, we must abide by His standard of holiness and code of conduct. You never know who is watching and how your response to what life throws at you can forever influence someone for good or for bad. So then, let us strive to follow Messiah’s example in word and in deed and commit ourselves to this mindset: “Not my will, but your will be done.”
Blessings and Shalom,