Posts Tagged ‘Levite’

Many  people, Christian and non-Christian know the epic story from the book of Exodus of how God parted  the Red sea so that the Israelites could escape their enemies, the Egyptians.  But that wasn’t their last encounter with facing water as an obstacle.  Fast forward to the book of Joshua where they now faced the River Jordan  and God would move miraculously again.  Unlike the first time, when God told Moses to raise his rod and the waters divided, this time with Joshua as their leader, the bible says that the:

“..feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water…. and  the waters that came from upstream stood still and rose in a heap very far away…(Joshua 3:16, NKJV).  Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground…”(Joshua 3:17).  And finally,  ” when all the people had completely crossed over, the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people” (Joshua 4:11)

The ark of the covenant, a chest holding the ten commandments, represented the presence of God on the earth. It was considered sacred and holy and not just every and anybody  could carry this sacred treasure. But notice a few things:

1)It was designated that only the Levitical  priests, a chosen group that was set apart for unique dedication to God, could carry the ark.  This was in addition to their duties of offering sacrifices to God to make atonement for the sins of the people as well as pronouncing blessings over the people.

 2)The priests had to step out first into the water, bearing the ark of the covenant and then the people came after.

3)The priest did to cross over themselves until all the people crossed first.

Obviously, the levitical priests played a vital role in the survival of the Israeli nation.   And their function served as a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do for all of us once and for all. Since Jesus Christ died on the cross as a living sacrifice so that our sins could be forgiven and our relationship restored with God, we no longer have need for a levitical priest to work on our behalf.  With Christ as our Lord standing as the perfect High priest , we in turn have become “… a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” (1 Peter 2:8) selected to show the world  the goodness of God.  All true Christians now function as priests to the Lord God Almighty.

Furthermore, just as the levitical priests of the bible bore the ark of the covenant, we must bear/carry the glory of God to do His work and make an impact on the lives around us.  As the priests were required to be holy,  we are called to consecrate (i.e. dedicate, devote ) ourselves to God and strive to be holy.  But it’s not so simple! It may mean you have to move ahead of the people and come out of the crowd.  Will you do it?  It may mean the Lord will take you through a rigid lifelong process of molding, shaping and transformation.  People, things, attitudes, character traits–anything that hinders you from becoming the righteous person God demands you to be will be uprooted. Will you cooperate?  You may have to be first to step into unknown waters with faith and trust,  so that those coming behind you (i.e. unsaved family members, friends in need,  etc.) can safely cross over.  Struggles will come!  Will you go? Are you selfless enough to stand firm and sacrifice your own needs so that others may cross safely. Even when it seems like you are being left behind while others move forward.  Can you do it?

The closer you get to God, the more of His glory will be revealed through you.  But carrying God’s glory is not a joke. The requirements of those levitical priests to remain holy were stringent.  Any deviation meant instant death.  They could not approach Him unholy and without some payment for their sins and the sins of the nation.  But thank God for the blood of Jesus that was shed  that we can approach His throne despite our faults and be forgiven by His grace and mercy. Thank God for the payment of the blood of Jesus, that grants us eternal life  and not death.

God wants to demonstrate His power and work miracles through you.  But to carry God’s glory, you must know there will be trials, struggles and hardships.  Don’t let this deter you.  Take hope in the fact that God says “…as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5, NKJV).  Be strong and of good courage….(Joshua 1:6).  With God, you can do all things.  The blessings of His glory far exceed the hardships….and yet still I rise.

With peace and blessings may you continues to rise always,

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