Then Moses made careful inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and there it was—burned up. And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying, “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy?” (Leviticus 10:16-17)
At the very outset of the Sanctuary’s purpose, there were different things that arose, chief among them, the death of Aaron’s sons. Still, on the heels of this came a dispute that arose between Moses and Aaron about the sin offering. Moses’ rebuke, though directed at Aaron’s sons, was really meant for Aaron seeing that he was the High Priest. Even thought he was under great duress, Aaron gave a clear and thoughtful response that, in the end, Moses acknowledged as proper. In this case, the student was instructing the teacher and the teacher was humble enough to receive it.
This incident is one of the first time when we see a God-given command having to be reasoned out. As with so many of the commandments, certain specific were vague and, thus, common sense and wisdom had to be appropriated in order that the command could be honored. Frankly, I have long been of the opinion that God purposely left certain commands vague for just this reason. In other words, if the nuts and bolts of a command are vague, it forces a person to seek for the intent (or heart) of the instruction. Let’s put it this way — religion provides a list of step by step instructions of what to do and what not to do. A relationship requires a person to search for and discern the heart of the one they wish to have a relationship with.
This concept is not exclusive to commands given in the Old Testament but can be clearly observed in the New Testament as well. For example, Paul told those in Phillipi, “As you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phillipians 2:12-13). In a manner of speaking, he was telling them that, from time to time, there won’t be any person with authority to tell you what to do — you’re going to need to determine that for yourself. However, it should always be with an eye on fulfilling God’s purpose.
As we seek to follow Messiah, we must always keep in mind that there will be times when the steps we take won’t be so clear to us. However, if we know the Scripture and if we seek to know the heart of God in the matter, it will eventually become obvious what we need to do in order to please Him. Consequently, it is critical that we be consistently in prayer and communion with the Almighty so that we hear His voice and take the steps He has ordained for us.
Blessings and Shalom,