UNDERSTAND that ‘NOBODY’ is PERFECT in THIS WORLD: Then Moses made careful inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and there it was--burned up. And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying, "Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy..." And Aaron said to Moses, "Look, this day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, and such things have befallen me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord?" So when Moses heard that, he was content." (Lev 10:16-20)
Leviticus 9 had mentioned two purification offerings, one for Aaron (9:8–14) and one for the people, namely, a goat (9:15). In the above passage, we read that Moses became angry at the sons of Aaron as they had not followed the rule with the second offering. They had burned the meat instead of eating it themselves as they should have (vv. 16–18). The rule was that if the blood of the sin offering was brought into the holy place, then the sacrifice was to be burned (6:30). But if not, it was to be eaten (6:26). Moses reminded them that, in this case, the blood had not been brought inside the holy place; therefore, they should have eaten the meat (vv. 16–18).
In reply to Moses’ reprimand, Aaron explained that they had carried out the sin and burnt offerings as required, but in view of God’s punishment of Nadab and Abihu (10:1-3), he wondered if his eating the sin offering would have been accepted by the Lord. Moses accepted the excuse as He realized that the mistake of Aaron and his sons was not motivated by rebellion or by a disregard for the holiness of God. It is also possible that Eleazar and Ithamar feared God’s wrath which had just fallen on their brothers. Aaron’s reply to Moses illustrates to us that the interpretation of the Law was not static!
Sometimes it is good to stop and reflect on what is happening in our life. Aaron had reason to do some serious thinking as he had realized that the misbehavior of his sons raised serious questions about his fitness for ministry (Lev. 10:19). This incident teaches us that even good people have weaknesses and shortcomings in their lives!
Aaron was a good speaker, which was one reason why God had called him to assist his brother Moses, in leading Israel out of Egypt (Ex. 4:14). He and his descendants were also appointed by God to be the priests over Israel’s worship (Ex. 28:1–4). But Aaron had struggled with some major problems that led to serious issues on several occasions - like giving in to the people at Sinai and leading them into idolatry (Ex. 32:1–4) and then avoiding to take responsibility for his lapse (32:21–25). For us, Aaron is a good example of a human who found favor with God through serious reflection, repentance, and recovery!
Let us understand that nobody is perfect in this world and no one can completely avoid failure in life. Many of the Bible heroes have fallen short of God’s high standards. Yet every one of them could find forgiveness and restoration through repentance. For us fortunately, God does not make us His children on the basis of our own ability not to commit sin, but on Christ’s ability to deal with it. It is only in Christ that we are not condemned in the sight of God!