Friday 09 July 2021

Bible Book:

Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. (v. 30)

Exodus 4:27 – 5:1 Friday 9 July 2021

Psalm 17:1-8


Moses has repeatedly asked questions and expressed doubts about his ability to respond to God’s call. Eventually, it seems that God becomes exasperated with him and offers ‘his brother’ Aaron the Levite as a companion (4:14). Moses struggles to communicate well, but Aaron is a good speaker. They are both able to perform the signs which have been given to Moses, but there is also a clear chain of communication, from God to Moses, from Moses to Aaron, and then from Aaron to the people. There is much speculation about the role of Aaron, as he is introduced suddenly into the text at this point, including an argument that this is later material added to justify the role of the Aaronic priesthood when the text of the book of Exodus was being compiled or edited. Such historical issues are difficult to be certain about, but what is apparent from the text as now received is that God intends Moses and Aaron to work together. The importance of Aaron in the ensuing narrative is a helpful corrective to the temptation to see godly leadership as being primarily about one person called out to represent, serve and make decisions on behalf of the people – leading the people out of slavery is accomplished not by Moses alone, but as a team with Aaron and others.

The message brought by Moses and Aaron is well received by the people, who respond by worshipping God. Then when Moses and Aaron go to give Pharaoh the request from God to release the people to worship in the wilderness, they clearly speak on behalf of the whole community of Israel. This is a dramatic development from the initial call of Moses, who was in an isolated position, separated from his people through adoption and upbringing, then forced to flee and find new family. He has gone from being a lone herder with an ambiguous self-identity in chapter 2, to becoming a dynamic central member of a leadership team at the heart of a people who are in tune with what Moses has heard from God.


To Ponder:

  • How do you respond to the idea that leadership works best through a team of people rather than a single individual?
  • The people respond to God’s message by worshipping, and worship is the foundation from which Moses and Aaron can head off to see Pharaoh. How important is worship in your experience?


Loving God, thank you for the people you have gathered around us, with whom we can work together. Help us to understand each other, give us patience and gratitude for each other’s different gifts, and the wisdom to become an effective team. Amen.

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