I feel like this chapter could stand alone as a short story. How my heart aches and breaks for Aaron. Why didn’t his kids just listen??? If you have children, you may be able to resonate with Aaron today. What could he do when God burned up two of his children for disobeying clear instruction? It wasn’t like they hadn’t been told a million times how to properly execute the burnt offering. Immediate death seemed a bit harsh, but God got His holy point across, didn’t he? Aaron had two choices: he could either tear his royal robes and throw a hissy fit, or he could suck it up and know that his faithfulness would serve an entire nation and one day be rewarded. He chose the latter, but ugh, how tough that must have been. I can feel the lump in my throat forming now. Then his other two sons muck everything up at the end of the chapter. I was terrified for a few seconds, and then Aaron gives the most fatherly, heart-wrenching answer: please forgive my sons. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to feast when as a father I should have been mourning my sons. Aaron was caught in quite a Catch 22, and his resolve and faithfulness right here in this chapter should not be overlooked. Besides my kids, this reminded me of training up new copywriters. Yes, I just jumped from the death of Aaron’s children to writing … because that’s how passionate I am about writing! Stay with me here. I flipping love newbies who just catch on – or at least try with all their might to catch on – to formatting rules and structure guidelines. I’m a complete nerd, I know, but a rookie’s resolve speaks volumes about his work ethic. The ones who absolutely refuse to learn the rules drive me insane. I normally give them several chances and try to patiently (on the outside anyway) remind them of guidelines, but I’ll tell you, after several tries, I just have to give up sometimes. I have to put them on “the list of no-gos.” I hate putting copywriters on that list, but sometimes it’s vital in certain roles to follow the rules to a tee, and if people cannot or just simply will not adhere to the guidelines, then they just got to go, mister. I would LOVE if every single piece of copy that crossed my desk was perfect and that each and every copywriter out there was skilled enough to get some of the tougher jobs done (yes, there are some tough jobs in copywriting!), but the truth is, that just doesn’t happen. Luckily, though, there are enough copywriters willing to learn and grow and take constructive criticism and use it for good. There are also editors out there who care if copywriters under their wings get the knowledge needed to build their skills. Oftentimes when I have a copywriter who doesn’t want to play by the rules, I contact his or her editor to ask that that copywriter not submit work anymore, and more often than not, the editor understands and promises to give the copywriter some additional guidance so that he or she may join back up in the future. That’s mercy. I could just say, “Nope, the writer screwed up. She’s outta here!” And her editor could say the same as well. Just like God could have swallowed up Aaron’s other two sons in the same way He did the first two. We don’t always understand God’s motives, but we should recognize His mercy wholeheartedly and remember it in times when we need to display it ourselves.
Writing prompt: mercy, strength, resilience, faithfulness, acceptance, obedience
Aaron displays all these traits in this chapter. Pick one as a theme and write a short story today.