People do not like to wait. Loss of patience, if not controlled, will lead to wrong desires. Good leaders understand how to lead their people when plans are delayed. Aaron proved to be a weak leader. When the people became restless and impatient, instead of leading them to what was right he yielded to public pressure.
Leadership Lesson #1: Never mistake action for progress.
The people complained and blamed Moses for taking them to this spot and then abandoning them. In their frustration they expressed only a human perspective. It seems that they totally forgot that it was the LORD who had brought them here and that He promised never to leave them. This was a teachable moment, an opportunity for Aaron to remind them of God's goodness and that Moses was only God's servant doing what God had instructed.
Leadership Lesson #2: Never miss an opportunity to teach and maintain the focus on God and His Word.
Once a weak leader gives in to wrong desires of public pressure they will succumb quickly to false theology. Aaron became compelled to do something religious to appease the people. So, he hurriedly made up a corrupt system of worship, reverting back to the defeated gods of
God did not mince words concerning those who invented their own religion. He called them corrupt (v.7), stiff-necked (v.9) and wanted Moses to step aside "that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them (v.10). When Moses heard this, he began to intercede on behalf of the people. What a picture of one man standing in the gap between an angry God and a disobedient people! He pleaded with God based upon His own promises. James 5:16-"The prayer of a righteous person has great power..."
Leadership Lesson #3: Never underestimate the role of intercessor in pleading for the needs of the people.
Moses was willing to restore order and mete out the punishment God demanded. This was a tough leadership decision. He could not do it alone. First, he had to find out whom he could trust. Note: it was not a call to personal loyalty. Such a demand is a sign of an insecure leader. No, Moses' question was "Who is on the LORD's side?" A wholehearted commitment to obey God was the singular qualification at this point.
Leadership Lesson #4: Never try to go forward without unity among other leaders who are wholeheartedly committed to do what God wants done.
These are great reminders today as we witness the wavering and corruption of most mainstream denominations that still use the name of Christ but forsake God's Word and yield their theology to the pressure of so-called cultural relevance.