From Fifty Years Ago: Aaron and His Sons

An older generation will remember the ministry of Mr F.G.Watson, and a younger generation will appreciate his clear and practical handling of truth.

“This is the thing that thou shalt do to hallow them (Aaron and his sons) to minister unto Me in the priest’s office” (Exod 29:1).

In verse 4 they are stripped and washed, reminding us that all whom God makes priests today must first be stripped of all their filthy rags of self righteousness and then washed by the washing of regeneration. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). Who are priests today? “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious… ye also, are an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (I Pet 2:3-5). Then they were clothed. So we have been clothed with that change of raiment, the righteousness of God, imputed to us by faith in Christ Jesus.

In verses 6 – 9, a mitre and a holy crown were put on Aaron’s head. On that crown were graven the words, “Holiness to the Lord”, which should remind us that as Christ is Holiness to the Lord, so we should be, and though our worship is still tainted by sin, yet it is accepted in Him . . . “acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”. In verse 9, we have the bonnets put on Aaron’s sons. The bonnet would suggest subjection to God. The sisters are to wear a covering on the head as a sign of subjection, so the bonnet would suggest that every priest must be subject to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Since God has enjoined upon the woman the silent place in the assembly, this subjection to God would lead her to accept that place, not because she is inferior to man, but because it is God’s commandment since Eve was first in the transgression. This lack of subjection leads many well-meaning women to take a large part in public service. While a man is free to take part publicly, it must be in absolute subjection to the leading of the Spirit of God. The only fear that should be ours in the exercise of our priestly work is the fear of being out of the leading of the Holy Spirit. Anything else is strange fire and is evil before God. This is a solemn thought and should cause the fear of God to be on all who presume to take part publicly in worship. In vs. 7, we learn Aaron, as a type of Christ, was anointed before the blood was shed, while his sons, who speak of us, were not anointed till after the blood was applied. So Christ was anointed with the Spirit at Jordan but the disciples were anointed at Pentecost.

In verses 10-22, we have three sacrifices: a sin offering, a burnt offering and a ram of consecration in that order. In the first five chapters of Leviticus, we get the offerings, but there the burnt offering is first, so we may ask, “Why is there a difference here?” We must know our sin offering before we can worship or offer Him to God as our burnt offering. Then true consecration to God should follow.

In verses 20-21, the blood is applied to the right ear, the right thumb and the great toe of the right foot, suggesting that our whole person has been bought by Christ’s blood, and we are not our own to please ourselves. We belong to Christ to please Him.

The ear speaking of our talents, the hand of our work, the foot of our ways, should all be used only for His glory. The oil put on top of the blood would tell us that all should be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If our whole person is given over to the guidance of the Spirit, we will be preserved from sin, enabled to worship in truth, to witness for Him and to serve Him. These are some of the purposes God had in view in our salvation.

Let each one ask himself the question, “In what measure are these purposes of God being accomplished in my life day by day?” If we enter into the meaning of the blood and oil on the ear, we will not lend our ear to that which is not pleasing to God. If we understand the meaning of the blood and oil on the thumb, we will not allow our hand to engage in anything displeasing to God. If we realize what the blood and oil on the toe represent, we will not allow our feet to go any place where we could not be assured of Christ’s presence with us. How practical is the teaching of this type! May it duly affect the life of each one of us!