Gatekeepers and the Duty of Watching

“All these, who were chosen as gatekeepers at the thresholds, were 212. They were enrolled by genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer established them in their office of trust. So they and their sons were in charge of the gates of the house of the Lord, that is, the house of the tent, as guards. The gatekeepers were on the four sides, east, west, north, and south. And their kinsmen who were in their villages were obligated to come in every seven days, in turn, to be with these, for the four chief gatekeepers, who were Levites, were entrusted to be over the chambers and the treasures of the house of God. And they lodged around the house of God, for on them lay the duty of watching, and they had charge of opening it every morning.” 1 Chronicles 9:22-27

David knew the heart of man, that even the most devoted could fall. So when he planned for the temple, he planned also for gatekeepers as vital to its upkeep and integrity. They were able men, commissioned with this ministry of the Lord’s holy house, stationed at its entrances where anything entered or exited, and tasked with vigilance. (2 Samuel 11:2-12:13; 1 Chronicles 26:1-19)

We, too, are assigned the careful work of keeping guard over all that, and whom, the Lord has entrusted to us- in our families, in His church, and in ourselves. It is an office of trust: ours in the Lord who is the true Defender, and ours in the upholding as those trustworthy of the task. It is also a privilege, as God’s children, to be given the trust of keeping watch(Psalm 18:1-2; Proverbs 4:23; Romans 8:31-34; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Peter 5:2-3)

How well are we tending the gates of our families or communities of friends? How thoughtful are we in the ideas and activities we initiate or participate in? What are we actively doing together to ward off wickedness, to protect against dissension and exasperation, and to pursue diligence and discipline, yielding to the Lord’s parameters to develop holiness? (Colossians 3:12-17; Hebrews 12:5-11)

What are we doing to watch the gate of our churches? How firmly do we stand on and communicate the inerrant scriptures, build up and pray for our ministers, encourage our fellow members? How are we serving to align and support the worship and teaching with the Bible, to disciple and develop fruitfulness, to deflect gossip and guard against unclean and destructive pests to purity, to keep the Lord’s glory foremost? (Psalm 84:10; Ephesians 4:15-16; 25-32)

What am I doing to guard the gate of my heart, the door of my lips, my body the Spirit’s temple, in my intake- physical, spiritual, intellectual, reading and entertainment, ideas and philosophies? How well do I guard myself in the company I keep, the invitations I accept, the intimate treasures I share? How deliberately do I cleanse of the old and put on the new, renewing my mind so I can walk in the Lord’s pleasing and perfect will? (Psalm 141:3; Proverbs 4:23; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Colossians 3:1-10)

Father, insofar as You’ve assigned me as a gatekeeper, I rely on You to gate-keep my heart, mind, and soul. May I stay vigilant as steward of Your heavenly riches, on guard against the enemy, trusting You as Lord, Master, Keeper, and King. Keep my life a holy temple where You reside and are magnified. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

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