Many of us have heard of the account in the bible where Moses disobeyed the commandment of the Lord. He was told to strike the rock, but he smote the rock. But if you pay close attention, it was both Moses and Aaron that were instructed and both paid the price for disobedience.
Numbers 20: 1 - 12
Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!
4 And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?
5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.
7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
From verse 12, both Moses and Aaron were held responsible for disobeying the word of the Lord. If this is the case, it is safe to assume that Aaron also heard the instruction in verse 7, as both of them fell upon their faces when the glory of God appeared unto them. (6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.). We know that God is a just God. The Lord would not have held Aaron also responsible if he did not hear the command.
So what went wrong?
I think it is safe to assume that Aaron could have corrected Moses otherwise he would not have been held accountable as he must have heard the command.
So what is the message here?
It reminds us of Adam and Eve in the garden, Eve was deceived and took the fruit and gave it to her husband. Adam could have done something about it by refusing the fruit, otherwise he would not have been held accountable.
Ephesians 4: 15 states “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”: Both Aaron (Number 20: 12, 24) and Moses (Number 27: 12- 14) paid the price, not just Moses.
Are you in a position where you know something is going wrong with equal responsibility but keeping quiet? To him that knows what to do, and does not do it, to him is is sin (James 4: 17).
There are times we need to confront and speak the truth in love. If Aaron had corrected Moses and reminded him of the command of the Lord to speak to the rock, the account might have been different. Perhaps the Lord is relying on you to do something.
Sacrifice is a step beyond convenience. Bill Johnson