Moses had a brother and sister.
Firstly, there was Aaron his brother, older than him, nearest in age to him, you might know about his leadership decision whilst Moses was up on Sinai—with the golden cow—his track record is mixed…
On the one hand Aaron was great…
Aaron accepted God’s call to be Moses’ mouthpiece. Back in Egypt, when Moses was chosen to lead the people out of there, Moses had cold feet because he was nervous about his voice, but God said that Aaron, Moses’ big brother could be Moses’s mouthpiece—could speak for Moses—before Pharaoh. That was a high calling for Aaron, and a scary one, but Aaron accepted the role well. He had none of the doubts that Moses had, so he had a great start.
And for Aaron his privileges were many, Aaron’s title was actuallyHigh Priest of God. I’ve talked to you about this Tabernacle, well Aaron was the head-guy when it came to the Tabernacle.
What’s more, Aaron was involved in miracles, and he was—along with his brother—allowed to enter into the presence of God.
And so, often, it was to Moses and Aaron that God spoke. If you take some time to look over the account of Moses’ life… again and again and again, you’ll see that it’s the names Moses and Aaron that you read… “Moses & Aarondid this” and “Moses & Aarondid that”.
We tend to think of Moses as a lone wolf, but Aaron was very much his right-hand-man.
And yet on the other hand, Aaron was a real let-down.
There’s the stuff with the golden calf. Which we’ve been through which is a major blot on his record. Now, in spite of this sin, Aaron wasrestored to his position of high priest. He was allowed to work in the tabernacle, even though he’d messed up so monumentally. Again, I don’t think we would have shown such grace and mercy, but God did.
So, Aaron had failed, but at this point was in quite a good place. He was clearly seen by God as a suitable representative of God to the people.
There are these priestly clothes that Aaron had to wear, there’s this ephod—which is like a sleeveless tunic—and a breastplate, on which were stuck twelveprecious stones, which were each inscribed with the names of the tribes. In a special way, Aaron was shown to be ministering for God and taking the people on his shoulders as a leader before God. Huge responsibility.
And he does great with it.
That is until chapter 12, when he and his sister Miriam really let themselves down.
Miriam was the oldest sibling as far as I can see, above Moses and Aaron in age.
And she again, is seen as a person with huge responsibility and honour. She is even named as a prophet in Exodus 15.
She’s the one—I think—who watched Moses in his infancy by the river. She did some amazing negotiating with Pharaoh’s daughter on Moses’ behalf too.
She’s named as a prophetin the context of her leadership of the women in a dance of praise, she sings to them. She’s a real leader in that sense. A great woman of honour.
And yet she, along with her younger brother Aaron, really messes up. (Numbers 12)