Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 102

Misplaced Love, April 6

Exodus 4:14-16; Exodus 4:27-31

He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen. Psalm 105:26.

Aaron was a man of amiable disposition, whom God selected to stand with Moses and speak for him.... God might have chosen Aaron as leader; but He who is acquainted with hearts, who understands character, knew that Aaron was yielding and lacked moral courage to stand in defense of the right under all circumstances, irrespective of consequences. Aaron's desire to have the good will of the people sometimes led him to commit great wrongs.... The same lack of firmness for the right in his family resulted in the death of two of his sons.... Nadab and Abihu failed to reverence the command of God to offer sacred fire upon their censers with the incense before Him....

Here is seen the result of loose discipline. As these sons of Aaron had not been educated to respect and reverence the commands of their father, as they disregarded parental authority, they did not realize the necessity of explicitly following the requirements of God.... Contrary to God's express direction, they dishonored Him by offering common instead of sacred fire. God visited them with His wrath; fire went forth from His presence and destroyed them.

Aaron bore his severe affliction with patience and humble submission. Sorrow and keen agony wrung his soul. He was convicted of his neglect of duty. He was priest of the most high God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. He was priest of his household, yet he had been inclined to pass over the folly of his children. He had neglected his duty to train and educate them to obedience, self-denial, and reverence for parental authority. Through feelings of misplaced indulgence, he failed to mold their characters with high reverence for eternal things. Aaron did not see, any more than many Christian parents now see, that his misplaced love and the indulgence of his children in wrong was preparing them for the certain displeasure of God.... His gentle remonstrance, without a firm exercise of parental restraint, and his imprudent tenderness toward his sons were cruelty in the extreme.7Testimonies for the Church 3:293-295.

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