Being a Gatekeeper
by Rev. Brian Mathis
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I was reading this morning in the book of Chronicles and came across an interesting concept that I think we often forget or simply donít apply in our Christian walk in the world today. It has to do with the fact that in the church each and every one of us has a specific job to do. As we look at this passage of scripture I want you to see that certain people were appointed or called to do certain things.
22 In all, there were 212 gatekeepers in those days, and they were listed according to the genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men.23 These gatekeepers and their descendants, by their divisions, were responsible for guarding the entrance to the house of the Lord when that house was a tent.24 The gatekeepers were stationed on all four sidesóeast, west, north, and south.25 Their relatives in the villages came regularly to share their duties for seven-day periods.26 The four chief gatekeepers, all Levites, were trusted officials, for they were responsible for the rooms and treasuries at the house of God.27 They would spend the night around the house of God, since it was their duty to guard it and to open the gates every morning.28 Some of the gatekeepers were assigned to care for the various articles used in worship. They checked them in and out to avoid any loss.29 Others were responsible for the furnishings, the items in the sanctuary, and the supplies, such as choice flour, wine, olive oil, frankincense, and spices.30 But it was the priests who blended the spices.31 Mattithiah, a Levite and the oldest son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with baking the bread used in the offerings.32 And some members of the clan of Kohath were in charge of preparing the bread to be set on the table each Sabbath day.33 The musicians, all prominent Levites, lived at the Temple. They were exempt from other responsibilities since they were on duty at all hours.
1 Chronicles 9:22-33 (NLT)
I know that is a lot of scripture but you see that it lays out what I was describing about specific jobs. While each of these 212 individuals was by title a gatekeeper they each had additional duties that they were required to perform in order for the worship to be given. I think often we fail to recognize this in the church today. We become sedate in our title or position and believe all there is for us to do is show up on Sunday morning and enjoy the worship service hoping God pours His Holy Spirit out on us. When in reality there have been gatekeepers hard at work preparing for worship. Every church has a group of gatekeepers often serving in positions with very little acknowledgement about whom they are or what they do. What is done is not for their glory but because they are called to it by God. the verses that struck me in this passage were 31-32;
31 and Mattithiah, one of the Levites, the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with making the flat cakes. 32 Also some of their kinsmen of the Kohathites had charge of the showbread, to prepare it every Sabbath.
1 Chronicles 9:30-32 (ESV)
The showbread was baked by a specific person and then others were responsible for the arrangement and placement of the show bread on the table. Literally translated this showbread means presence bread and was required to be replaced every Sabbath. If the one who was responsible for baking or the one who was responsible for the placing was not fulfilling their responsibilities; worship would not occur. Today are you a gatekeeper? Do you know what your responsibility is in the church you attend? I promise you itís more than just sitting on the pew every week enjoying the worship others have prepared for. You might even be the one who is hindering Godís presence as because you have allowed the showbread to become stale. Have a blessed day as you walk in the light of Godís word.
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