The Almighty God has so many titles. One of them is Alfa and Omega, the First and the Last. But at a certain time in God’s faithful walk with the Israelites, He made His servants to be the first and last in one of the events of leading them to the Promised Land. “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.” (Joshua 3:13)
When Israel was about to cross the Jordan, He commanded the priests who bore the ark to step in to the river first. They were first to step into the water, first to show faith, first to stand in faith. As they did this, the power of the “First and the Last” took over the situation. The boisterous river Jordan congealed and the rest of Israelites were able crossed into safety on the dry land to the other side of the Jordan. The priest stood still in the river, still bearing the Ark, when the twelve stones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel were taken out to be set up in Gilgal their first dwelling place. The priests were still standing in the middle of the river when the memorial stones were set up upon each other in the middle of River Jordan. They were last to step out of the river and crossed to safety on the dry land. “For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.” (Joshua 4:10)
There are many rivers we have to cross to get to our own Promised Land—the eternity of rest. The appointed leaders as loyal priests who serve the royal priesthood of God need to be first in crossing those rivers so that others might see the parted waters and to walk in faith through it to safety. That is why the leaders have to burn the mid-night oil in seeking the face of God in prayer, in studying the word of as part of their preparations to present a fresh revelation of the word of God to the elects that will in turn continue to build the people of God and sustain them. These leaders that were bearing the “Word” of God, that represents His presence, were the first to be in the church at the appointed time on appointed day of gathering together in the name of God in the church to welcome others into the meeting. They were the last to leave the Church when everyone had returned to their dwelling places because they will engage in counseling session and prayer for the people of God.
Unwittingly, these leaders are bearing the invisible Ark of Covenant in their services unto the Lord. They are paving the way of salvation unto others to cross from the brink of Hell Fire to the bosom of Abraham. They are the voice of instruction in the word of God to the people and voice of blessing in praying for them. They are bearing the express image of our Lord Jesus Christ to the entire congregation. No wonder, the Lord was so jealous of His servants, “He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, Saying, ‘Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.’” (1 Chronicles 16:21-22)
Prayer: O Lord, make me an instrument in your hand, to walk before you in faith and obedience in order to be a blessing to my generation, in Jesus name, Amen.