The Levitical Gatekeepers
Open Your Bible
1 Chronicles 26:1-32, 1 Chronicles 27:1-34, John 10:7-10
Earlier this year, someone broke into one of the basement windows of our church and vandalized it. The person grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed white foam all over the sanctuary sometime between Saturday night and early Sunday morning. (Who knew those extinguishers held so much white foam in those tiny containers?)
The staff and volunteers arrived to prepare for service and found everything covered in “snow.” they quickly cleaned it all up before the first service began. At the time, the church even lightheartedly joked about it all. “Great trick, mysterious masked person. You really got us.”
But there was also a feeling of unease. Who is protecting our space? Who makes sure the place of worship stays clean, not just from ridiculous messes, but from influences which could destroy the sanctity of our worship?
In today’s reading, we encounter the Levitical gatekeepers—the security guards of the temple. “These divisions of the gatekeepers, under their leading men, had duties for ministering in the LORD’s temple, just as their relatives did” (1Chronicles 26:12). They “were capable men with strength for the work” (v.8). Their primary responsibility was to secure the perimeter of the sanctuary from trespassers.
The Levitical gatekeepers weren’t just keeping out thieves. They were also responsible for keeping the sanctuary safe, clean, and holy. They watched out for idolatrous practices and would remove people who were disrespecting the sanctity of the space.
We can hire security guards and put-up cameras, but we need something more to guard us against evil.
Jesus is the perfect gatekeeper who welcomes people into salvation, a community of believers, and eternal life in His pasture. Jesus said, “I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture” (John 10:9). I imagine Jesus as a gatekeeper without a lock. Anyone who is curious is welcomed to hear and receive the truth. He directs His sheep through the gate with a generous hand, and He protects them fiercely by slamming the gate shut in the face of the enemy.