TEXT: NUMBER 20:23-29
"And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying,/Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah./Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor/And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there./ And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation./And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount./And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel."
The scripture before us would serve as an illustration to further look into the utility and the indespensability of grace in Christian service. Previously, we discovered that when the sacred vestments was removed from Aaron, he gave up the ghost: and his son became the high priest in his stead. This is actually a perfect illustration of grace.
God commanded Moses to take Aaron and his third son, Eleazar and bring them to mount hor. Aaron was commanded to be fully dressed in his priestly garment and Eleazar was asked, I believe, to carry a shovel along with himself. These three knew what was going to happen, the death of Aaron. Aaron was about to lose his life and office to his son. His son would berry him. I imagine on their way up to the mountain, Moses knew he was going to lose his elder brother and Eleazar knew he was about losing his father.
Let us understand that grace comes from God and it is only God that can take it from a man. This holy vestments was put on Aaron by Moses at the instance of God and at the instance of God it was removed by Moses. At God's command, it was put on Eleazar. Grace always is from God. The Bible says, God gives grace... this shows that the only source of grace is God. As we said afore, if grace is removed from a life, death follows. If grace is taken away from any of us, we would head straight to sin and hell. Aaron's life leaked away the momment the sacred vestments were removed from him...to be alive without grace is hell on earth.
Moreover, Eleazar was decorated in the room of his father. Watch these: in his heart, he was grieving while he was been installed with the grace taken away from his father. In grief, he buried his father. He dug his father's grave with the shovel in his hand. From the narration above, he was dressed as a high priest when his father's grave was been dug.
This hold a big lesson for young ministers. What is out attitude toward older ministers that have missed it by sins and disobedience? Once upon a time they were our heroes, but now is obvious that they have lost touch with grace and they are voiceless and dead now. Men no longer regard them again...they are out of fashion and we seem to be dressed in their sacred vestments of grace.
Like Eleazar, our duty is to honorably, with tears on our cheeks and our heart grieving for these fallen heroes, cover their loop holes and mistakes. Grace should make us grieve for them not publishing their fall abroad. Here we see a man raised to a prestigious position yet grieving for his predecessor who vacated his position by sin. The human nature does not keep quite over this kind of thing. A canal man would allow the dead body to be eaten by vultures. He would make caricature of his predecessor.
Some young ministers are careless about the older ministers. They speak of them derogatorlly and disrespectfully. They see older ministers as out-dated and shortsighted. Their sermons are mocked and styled as old fashion. A good Eleazar would respectfully berried his Aaron. The truth is, some ministers of yesteryears had many things wrongly thought...their lights are not completes due to resources available to them or otherwise.
This does not give us right to condemn their works...let us complement them. We see a lot of younger preachers condemning hymns by the church fathers in the name of new revelations. Lets not do that, rather we aught to conduct respectful berial for any work that is not absolutely in symphony with scripture.
Let us honour all that have laboured for God's kingdom even though grace is taken away from them because of sin. Eleazar was constantly aware that this sacred vestments were once worn by his father. There is no gift or grace that have not been possessed by somebody before now.
Let us be high priests that have shovel to bery men's secretes...lets men's secretes be safe with us especially servants of God whose grace might have leaked out. To be continued.
Emeka Joe Uzosike