by Jen Farmer
Last week in my daily Bible reading, I came cross Exodus 28, which gives the details for Aaron’s priestly garments. There are 43 verses describing the ephod, the breast piece, robes, sashes, etc. The color of each stone and what it represents is listed. The specific location of where each spice or herb is to be stored on Aaron’s person is accounted for. Even the color of the hem of the coat is listed! Aren’t hems an afterthought on most clothing garments? But not on this one. It took 5 minutes and 55 seconds to listen to this description. That’s a lot of time when you remember we’re talking about a man’s outfit. The day I found my wedding dress, I skipped back into my dorm room to tell my best friends about it. I don’t think I spent more than one minute and thirty seconds describing the color, neckline, rouching, and button-up back! My point is, God must have felt like Aaron, and his garments, were important enough to be specifically planned, made, and described in scripture.
Skip down to chapter 32, Moses has been up on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments from God, and the Israelites think he’s been gone too long. They wonder if maybe something happened to Moses, and ask Aaron to make an idol for them to worship instead of God. In verse 2, with no apparent resistance from Aaron, He tells everyone to take off their gold earrings, and he makes them a golden calf to worship.
Here’s where my thoughts went as I was listening, “Seriously, Aaron??? You’re the priest! You just got the most incredible outfit ever made in scripture- more detail than Joseph’s famous coat of many colors- and now you’re making idols for the people to worship? You’re supposed to be THE person who represents the Israelites before God, in prayer, sacrifice, and over-all spiritual leadership, and this is your best move in this situation? You, Aaron, are so NOT the right person for this job?”
The more I thought about it throughout the day, another thought process settled in my mind. I realized how often I am like Aaron. There have been many times where I have seen an opportunity to serve and obey God, but have done the opposite. Moments when my people-pleasing nature has lead me to do something I knew I shouldn’t. Times when I was given a very specific responsibility (as a wife, mother, friend, counselor, etc.), but fell flat on my face.
God knew where Aaron would struggle, and made him priest anyway. I am so thankful God is the same with me. He knows all the parenting mistakes I’ll ever make, and gave me three children anyway. He knew all the times I would be selfish as a wife, and still gave me such a wonderful husband. Aaron’s ridiculousness is the same as mine. God wasn’t finished with Aaron when he succumbed to the pressure of the Israelites, and He’s not finished with me on my worst days either.
The same is true for you. Ever feel like you’ve made too many mistakes for God to still consider you a useful tool in His toolbox? Not so! Ever feel like your imperfections or weaknesses define you? God doesn’t. He sees past them, to your greatest potential. How encouraging is that?! I’m sure Aaron felt like a failure when Moses came down from the mountain and confronted him. But he picked himself up and kept trying to be the person God intended him to be. We must do the same! God still has plans for us in His kingdom!