The Gatekeepers

Daily Reading: 1 Chronicles 8, 9; John 16

All these who were chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. These were enrolled by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer appointed in their office of trust. (1 Chronicles 9:22, NASB95)

1 Chronicles 9:17-34 list the details of those who were chosen as gatekeepers of the temple. The writer details their authority and tasks.

  • The authority of the gatekeepers rests in their appointment by God. This was symbolized by their genealogical descent through the Levitical branch of Korah (1 Chron. 9:18-19).
    • The position goes back to Phinehas (1 Chron. 9:20), who acted as a gatekeeper to the holiness of God (Num. 25:1-13). The note that “the Lord was with him” demonstrates God’s empowerment of this position.
    • David and Samuel worked together on organizing the temple and priests, including the gatekeepers (1 Chron. 9:22).
  • The gatekeepers had various duties.
    • The most important task was providing access to the temple (1 Chron. 9:27). God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness mandated that the place of His presence be carefully controlled. In the garden of Eden, God stationed cherubim and the flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen. 3:24).
    • They also supported the temple ministries by maintaining the furniture, implements, and offering ¬†supplies needed in the worship of the Lord (1 Chron. 9:29-30).
    • Others baked the showbread that was placed in God’s presence (1 Chron. 9:32; Lev. 24:5-8).
    • Some gatekeepers¬†were singers, who were engaged in their work day and night.

In the NT, all are priests, called and anointed by God for His work (Eph. 4:1; 1 Pet. 2:9), and each one is to serve according to the grace given to Him (1 Pet. 4:10). We are all members of one body, but not all have the same function (Rom. 12:4-8). There are different leadership gifts (Eph. 4:11), and different spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11), but all must be devoted to maintaining God’s holiness. We are all gatekeepers of God’s presence and holy name. What gifts has God given you? To what roles has God appointed you? Are you devoted to holiness, demonstrating a lifestyle of purity?

1 Comment


  1. I believe one of my main gifts given to me by God, is the ability to see into people. I recognize things that many people do not in others, which tends to cause me to feel overwhelmed because I see other people’s flaws and gifts. The flaws sometimes stand out in a way where I see the root of their sin in their lives, which posses a problem for me. I know apart of the reason I see this kind of thing within people is to call people higher, which is extremely difficult for me considering that confrontation causes me so much anxiety, mainly because I don’t know how to address such matters so people don’t feel judged, but rather loved while correcting them.
    Another problem I face with this specific gift, is that I do not feel that I, myself struggle with believing I live a life of perfect purity. I have many flaws myself, so how can I call people higher, or correct them while I am also a sinner? These are my struggles as I face this in a big way, I do not feel that I rise to the occasion the way God would like me to. I do the best I can.
    The other side of this gift is through seeing the good within people. I am able to see in a very sinful person who lives a life of constant sin, to see them the way God has made them. I am able to see their heart for who they truly are. This hurts me deeply because I can not tell them this, but at the same time I don’t know what God wishes me to do with this knowledge. In turn, I bare the burden of seeing un-tapped beauty within people, and then not living out what God created them to live.

    Ultimately, I don’t think I truly understand how to use my gift, but I do see more and more growth in understanding why he gave this to me.

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