This is one of the reasons why the worship of the golden calf is so important: Aaron was to lead the people in the true worship of the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. It was Aaron’s job to make sure this was done according to God’s instructions, with all the sacrifices and rituals and guidelines. After all, the correct way of worship, according to Torah, would lead either to life or the incorrect to death, which is a reminder that how we worship is a big deal in the Bible – not to mention Who we worship.
Yet, there is still that nagging question about what makes Aaron special or unsung. Is Aaron somehow above judgement?
Well, first, we need to understand that God does punish Aaron. Aaron might not have received punishment at the time when Moses burned with anger and threw down the tablets, but Aaron was judged, first, by not getting to go into the Promised Land, and second, by losing two of his sons as part of God’s reckoning.
Yet, the thing that makes Aaron an unsung hero is how he was among those who repented, (32:26), who turned to God, admitting what he had done. He was able to receive Moses’s intercession for forgiveness (v. 30).
And you might ask, ‘And that’s it? That’s the point?’ Yes, what makes Aaron an unsung hero like the rest of us is forgiveness: again and again, God uses flawed people like us to serve important roles. Aaron, who had led the people astray to worship a golden calf, was the one God chose to lead the people closer to God in worship, to seek and receive God’s forgiveness, despite what he and the people had done. God’s forgiveness made it possible for Aaron to lead!
How does God’s forgiveness make new beginnings possible? What does a person like Aaron teach us about how we can move with God? How can a lack of humility lead to our downfall?
Pastor Andy Kinsey