Go Up The Mountain

Recently, while reading Numbers 20:22-28, something struck me. Actually, it was the lack of something that struck me…

The Lord told Moses and Aaron to go up the mountain and there Aaron would die.

So they did. And he did. 

That was it.

The text methodically describes Moses and Aaron carrying out the Lord’s commands and unemotionally reports that Aaron did indeed die.

Wait, what??

  • Moses was losing his brother, after begging God not to send him into ministry alone.
  • Eleazar was losing his father and taking the spiritual responsibility for his entire nation.
  • And Aaron was walking to his death.

Bear in mind that this was long before the grace-filled message of Jesus. Aaron, as high priest, intimately knew the immense chasm that existed between his people and Holy God. Not long before, Moses and Aaron had witnessed God violently killing two men, their families and 250 others. And what was the sin for which they were condemned? – Trying to approach God and bring an unauthorized offering.

In addition, Moses and Aaron had just found themselves firmly implanted on God’s “naughty” list at Meribah.

Yet, not a peep out of any of them? No tears? No indication of the cause of Aaron’s death? No one throwing themselves down in humble petition? Not a hint of emotion or response of any kind?

*Keep all that in mind as we continue…

In Numbers 27:13, God tells Moses to go up another mountain where he will die, reminding him again in 31:1.

And then Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy, in which 6 chapters contain detailed reviews of their journey and much of the book frequently reiterates the central theme of obedience.

Anyone else wonder if Moses was stalling? 😉

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7 Responses to Go Up The Mountain

  1. HisJules says:

    You crack me up!! You make such great points and I would have never thought of this!! Thanks Michelle, you made my day and now I am going to study this passage a little more. By the way your thoughts about the complacency of Aaron, Moses & Eleazar were exactly my own when I was studying this passage a while back. Do you think that it has something to do with their recognition of God’s sovereignty? We live in such a comfort driven society, even most of our church services are timed for our own comfort, music to make us comfortable, etc…. I think their attitude of obedient acceptance is probably what God wants from us also. Have a great weekend.

    • Michele says:

      You may be right. That or maybe it was just none of our business. I don’t know why God sometimes allows us intimate views of interactions and other times we get only a fragment. This is exactly one of those Scripture Rabbits I would start chasing. 🙂

  2. Deborah says:

    I didn’t think about him stalling, but looking back on his life, remembering once again. I marked those verses during my read through too. I think, at a certain age, death, or better said, life with God face to face, is looked forward to, desired. I remember my grandmothers almost longing for that time, not to die, but to be in heaven. I think they went quietly unto that mountain and meet Him there.

  3. Meghan says:

    I read your post yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since. I wonder if God spared Moses from detailing his last moments with his brother. I wonder though, did Moses want to petition God and Aaron stopped him? Did they calmly accept it and have one last brother to brother chat? I love your observations on this. 🙂

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