Thursday, December 29, 2016

Before and After

O. T. #894  "Before and After"
Dec. 29, 2016
1 Chronicles 9
They were very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.  1 Chronicles 9:13


Do you have a before and after time in your life when some major event occurred? Probably mine would be those years and experiences when we moved from our hometown, the before, and then when we returned, the after. Both of our mothers passed away within a year of our returning.
Israel's main event was their being taken away in captivity to Babylon-the before this and after this.

The genealogy of Israel and Judah was concluded here, before they were carried away into captivity in Babylon. Then the focus shifts to the first inhabitants after the captivity and those who returned to Jerusalem, which logically should have appeared at the end of this book, but did not.
They were the three groups of workers at the Temple:
  1. Priests who were descendants of Aaron, offered the sacrifices and cared for the Holy Place.
  2. Levites were a broader class of religious workers, who served in many way-practical, artistic, and spiritual.
  3. Nethinims were special servants given to the Temple.

People who went to dwell in Jerusalem with the intent of restoration were of the tribe of Judah, with some of the children from Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh tribes.

Even though the northern kingdom of Israel never returned from dispersion in 722 B.C., many from the ten tribes which made up that kingdom migrated south after the division in 93 B.C. The result was that Judah, the southern kingdom, had people from all tribes, so that when returning from captivity "all Israel" was truly represented. (MacArthur)

The importance of worship was renewed. Ezra wrote these names of the returnees as a concern for a nation to return to what made them great in the first place-obedience to God.

What is your before and after a significant event?


In verses 10-32, we read of the responsibilities of the Levites and the roles of the gatekeepers, 212 in number, were Levites who guarded the Tabernacle at the 4 gates to preserve its holiness. They lodged all around the House of God since they opened the doors in the morning for those who wanted to worship. Also, the responsibilities of the gatekeepers included the serving vessels, furnishings, wine, oil, incense, fine flour, and spices. Their fathers had been the keepers of the entranced to the camp of the LORD.

Last, the genealogy of King Saul, Israel's first king, before and after him are listed. His genealogy continues for 12 generations, but crashed when David was established as king. (Saul's family continued to live in Jerusalem, according to verse 38.

Whatever our role of service in the church, it is of importance to God. Our faithfulness and attitude is of importance, no matter the role. As the gatekeepers had to be reliable, honest, and trustworthy, so should we. Do we stop to thank those people who keep our church in order and presentable? Is our focus upon worshiping God when we enter the church's doors or gates?


May I honor You, Lord Jesus, as I served in our church.

Help me to be faithful in teaching Your Word and a faithful gatekeeper.

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