Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 98

He Failed His Brother, April 2

Exodus 32:7-24

And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? Exodus 32:21.

Aaron endeavored to shield himself by relating the clamors of the people.... But his excuses and prevarications were of no avail....

The fact that Aaron had been blessed and honored so far above the people was what made his sin so heinous. It was Aaron “the saint of the Lord” (Psalm 106:16), that had made the idol and announced the feast. It was he who had been appointed as spokesman for Moses, and concerning whom God Himself had testified, “I know that he can speak well” (Exodus 4:14), that had failed to check the idolaters in their heaven-daring purpose. He by whom God had wrought in bringing judgments both upon the Egyptians and upon their gods, had heard unmoved the proclamation before the molten image, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” It was he who had been with Moses on the mount, and had there beheld the glory of the Lord, who had seen that in the manifestation of that glory there was nothing of which an image could be made—it was he who had changed that glory into the similitude of an ox. He to whom God had committed the government of the people in the absence of Moses, was found sanctioning their rebellion. “The Lord was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him” (Deuteronomy 9:20). But in answer to the earnest intercession of Moses, his life was spared: and in penitence and humiliation for his great sin, he was restored to the favor of God.

If Aaron had had courage to stand for the right, irrespective of consequences, he could have prevented that apostasy. If he had unswervingly maintained his own allegiance to God, if he had cited the people to the perils of Sinai, and had reminded them of their solemn covenant with God to obey His law, the evil would have been checked. But his compliance with the desires of the people and the calm assurance with which he proceeded to carry out their plans, emboldened them to go to greater lengths in sin than had before entered their minds....

Of all the sins that God will punish, none are more grievous in His sight than those that encourage others to do evil.2Ibid., 320, 323.

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