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From Eternity Past

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    Lessons From the Death of Aaron

    Moses and Eleazar were at last discerned slowly descending the mountainside. Upon Eleazar were the sacerdotal garments, showing that he had succeeded his father in the sacred office. As the people gathered about, Moses told them that Aaron had died in his arms upon Mount Hor and that they there buried him. The congregation broke forth in mourning and lamentation. “They mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.”EP 299.2

    The Scriptures give only the simple record, “There Aaron died, and there he was buried.” Deuteronomy 10:6. In striking contrast, in modern times the funeral services of a man of high position are often made the occasion of extravagant display. When Aaron died, there were only two of his nearest friends to attend his burial. That lonely grave was forever hidden from the sight of Israel. God is not honored in the great display and extravagant expense incurred in returning bodies to the dust.EP 299.3

    The death of Aaron forcibly reminded Moses that his own end was near. He deeply felt the loss of the one who had shared his joys and sorrows for so many years. Moses must now work alone; but he knew God was his friend, and upon Him he leaned more heavily.EP 299.4

    Soon after leaving Mount Hor the Israelites suffered defeat in an engagement with Arad, one of the Canaanite kings. But as they sought help from God, divine aid was granted and their enemies were routed. This victory, instead of inspiring gratitude, made the people boastful and self-confident.EP 300.1

    They continued their journey toward the south through a hot valley, destitute of shade or vegetation. They suffered weariness and thirst. Again they failed to endure the test of faith and patience. By dwelling on the dark side they separated themselves farther from God. They lost sight of the fact that but for their murmurings when the water ceased at Kadesh, they would have been spared the journey around Edom. They flattered themselves that if God and Moses had not interfered, they might now have been in possession of the Promised Land. After making their lot altogether harder than God designed, they cherished bitter thoughts concerning His dealings with them and finally became discontented with everything. Egypt looked more desirable than liberty and the land to which God was leading them!EP 300.2

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