Today we finish up the last of the genealogies in 1 Chronicles 1-9. The commentary in this chronological Bible suggests that these were compiled in the time period after the Jews had returned from exile and had rebuilt the Temple and the walls of the city. They were rebuilding not only their physical surroundings but their cultural and spiritual heritage.
1 Chronicles 9 concludes with a description of a trusted position in the functions and roles of the Levites: the gatekeepers, or doorkeepers. They were responsible for guarding the thresholds of the tent of meeting. The original gatekeepers had been assigned by King David, and the prophet Samuel, which tells us it was an important position. It wasn’t the center of the worship; it was on the “outskirts.” They would have stood outside each gate on the north, south, east and west sides of the house of worship.
2 Chronicles 23:19 tells us their primary role: “He stationed the gatekeepers of the house of the Lord, so that no one would enter who was in any way unclean.” They were also entrusted with the safekeeping of the rooms and treasuries in the house of God. They rotated duty 24/7 and had the keys to open up the temple each morning. They kept inventory, tracking the articles used in worship, to make sure none were stolen or broken. Some of them mixed the spices, incense, oil, flour and wine used in the offerings. Some baked the shewbread.
The gatekeeper role was largely a “behind-the-scenes” position which no one really paid attention to unless they failed in their job. As long as they did their job, the temple worship ran smoothly, but chaos and disorder would have been the result, should they step away or neglect their duty.
Have you ever felt like a gatekeeper? Are you that person that everyone simply walks past, so used to you being there they hardly notice you anymore? Do you ever feel like no one notices whether or not you do your part in the body of Christ? That your service in the church is taken for granted, and it doesn’t really matter if you show up or not?
Take heart. Know that your role, your service, your use of the gifts that God has given you is important to the One you are serving and that He sees your devotion to Him and Him alone. Be faithful. Be constant. Show up every time. God knows your faithfulness, and He will reward you in due time.
Psalm 84:10 – Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.