I wish I had a nickel for every time that I’ve heard someone in leadership or position of influence say something like, “Don’t make me your role model; I never asked to be a role model.” I suppose it’s normal to want privilege without the correlating responsibility; children want to call the shots as long as they don’t have to work, pay the bills, and live with the negative consequences of what shots they’ve called. But you can’t divorce privilege from responsibility any more than you can divorce action from reaction.
In the reading today there is a great deal of attention given to the details of consecrating and purifying Aaron and his sons for service as priests to the Lord. One may wonder, “Why all the fuss?” First, because God is holy and those that approach and serve Him must do so in holiness and purity. This gives us a little more to think about when we read passages like, “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.” 1 Timothy 2:8, NAS95, and consider the principle behind them. Do we dare approach Him with the defilement of unrepented-of sin clinging to our hands, our lips, or our hearts?
Secondly, this purification ritual for Aaron and his sons underscores the necessity for all of God’s leaders to remember to keep pure. Yes, none of us are anything more than human, and none of us “walks on water” or are capable of it. But the responsibility of leadership will always include proper purity of a higher standard than a non-leader. It is the burden of husbands, parents, preachers, elders, deacons, teachers, and government leaders to live the higher standard — “…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Luke 12:48, NAS95; and “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” James 3:1, NAS95. A really explicit example of this is coming up in Lev. 10. Leaders, especially of God’s people, you don’t live a normal life anymore; the eyes of children are on you, the eyes of the worldly man or woman (maybe to see you stumble, maybe to see whether or not you’re sincere) is on you, the eyes of new Christians are on you, the eyes of teens are on you, the eyes of older Christians being tempted or lured by sin are on you. You can’t afford to leave a poor example, you can’t afford to live like everyone else. Purity and a good example are a must.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.