Date: 4 April, 2016
Text: I Chronicles 9:22-30
Title: Overseeing the Gates of God's House
2 Chronicles 29:4,11
4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, 11 My sons, be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
note: It is a very wonderful thing to be chosen by God to be a minister unto Him.
ill. Samuel I Samuel 1:18-21 and 2:1, 15
18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home.
21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
1 ¶ And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
ill. In those days God called Samuel and spoke to him.
15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD.
exp. God spoke to Samuel when he was just a door keeper in God's house.
ill. David who had Samuel as a spiritual leader said,
Ps 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
exp. I wonder if Samuel had warned David of the downfall of pride which he had seen in King Saul. Perhaps he had told David about his childhood ministry of just opening the doors for God's house. There he had learned to be God's servant and God was able to use Him greatly because HE HAD LEARNED TO SERVE.
ill. Man in our home church who didn't have great public speaking ability but he had a heart to serve. He would arrive at the church early on Sunday to clean the church.
ill. Other men in my home church were ready whenever needed - they were faithful men - great at "keeping doors" in the house of God.
Keeping the doors of God's house is great ministry and great preparation for future ministry.
note: These men are also called "porters" in our text.
question: Are you worthy to be a porter in God's house?
Text: 1 Chronicles 9:22-30
I. Porters for God's house are appointed by kings and prophets.
22 All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.
exp. You don't get chosen to serve in the most precious of audiences without the highest scrutiny and examination.
ill. A statement from the official website of the British Monarchy has some intersting statements regarding the high standard of service they expect and scrutiny which they give.
The Royal Household aims to provide exceptional advice and support to The Queen, enabling her to serve the nation and its people.
We employ approximately 1200 staff across a wide range of professions with varied skills including those relating to: catering and hospitality, gardening, finance, secretarial, media relations, marketing, human resources, IT, property surveying and maintenance, equine management, visitor management and retail, furniture restoration, curatorship and strategic planning and research.
As an employer we aim to provide employees with job satisfaction, opportunities for development, an excellent working environment and an enjoyable, team focused work experience.
In return, all employees are expected to attain and demonstrate the high standards expected of an organisation which serves The Queen.
The Royal Household also seeks to employ the best people from the widest available pool of talent and create an environment where everybody’s contribution is valued and respected.
An appreciation of the importance of social and environmental issues also runs through everything that we do. Just as The Queen and members of the Royal Family contribute to the community, employees of the Royal Household are also encouraged to act responsibly and pro-actively in this respect.
question: Is opening doors for Her Majesty and Her Majesty's guests the same as being a door keeper anywhere else?
· Serving God is not like serving anyone else.
· You get to open the door for the Lord and His guests.
· If the King of Kings sees fit to take you and put you there - you are qualified to do well what He has given you to do! 1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
· There is no higher honor than serving the King of Kings. Mt 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
II. Porters have a simple ministry in a very great house.
23 So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the Lord ,
namely , the house of the tabernacle, by wards.
24 In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south.
25 And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them.
exp. I imagine that it was tedious at times to rise up and open the gates to God's house. There was no great ability needed - EXCEPT FAITHFULNESS.
question: What if they forgot to open the gate? They hindered the worship of GOD!
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
note: Check your abilities at the door - God doesn't need them - all he needs is your hands to do whatever He asks your hands to do.
question: Do you think that those who entered into the tabernacle appreciated the ministry of those porters? We're they thankful? Did they notice? It is probable that they came through open gates not realizing that somebody had risen early to open the way for them.
· Can you be faithful if no one notices?
· Can you be faithful if you are never thanked?
· Can you faithfully serve others when you are never served?
III. Good porters are promoted to chiefs overseeing God's treasures.
26 For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
exp. Some gates were more important than others. These porters were chosen for special gate keeping. Others gates could be kept by many. These gates were too important and were kept by few.
question: What if they had thought that their first stewardship was too insignificant and unimportant? Rather than diligently doing that simple task they were unfaithful.
THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN GIVEN THIS PRIVILIGED POSITION.
ill. Speaking about money - Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
exp. If we can't be faithful with the finances God has given to us, why should he give us more important stewardships.
app. If you are not being faithful in the day of "insignificant ministry" it is unlikely God will ever give you significant ministry. (Jer 12:5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?) Learn to do well what ever GOD GIVES YOU TO DO and wait on Him for more significant opportunities.
IV. Porters get to spend their day close to the house of God.
27 And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them,
exp. They were to be ready at a moments notice to get to their post. That charge kept them always close to the house of God. Others could stray from that place - but not them.
ill. We've all heard about athletes whose families moved to allow them the opportunity to pursue their sport. They would live near the coach so that they could fulfil their lifes calling.
exp. They understood that their dream of being an exceptional athlete meant not straying from their discipline.
question: Have you ever noticed that an understanding of your responsibility before God keeps you closer to Him?
· When you carry the burden of being God's evangelist - you don't want sin to keep you from telling someone about Jesus.
· When you carry the burden of being God's intercessor - you don't want sin to keep you from being able to pray at a moment's notice.
· When you carry the burden of being God's servant - you don't want anything to keep you from serving Jesus.
app. Is the charge upon you - are you LODGING ROUND ABOUT THE HOUSE OF GOD SO THAT YOU CAN MINISTER FOR THE LORD?
V. Porters are the first to come and the last to leave.
...and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them.
· They didn't expect anyone else to open the door. That was their job.
· They didn't expect a thank you. That was their job.
· They didn't expect to sleep late and get away early. They had a job.
· When others were in their beds or getting ready to come - they were there - because they had a job.
ill. Do you remember the story of the talents - The master gave the talents as he wanted to give them. The stewardship was not greater or lesser. It was the same. Each man was rewarded based upon how he did that stewardship. The MASTER WOULD BE AS PROUD OF THE LEAST SERVANT WHO DID WELL WITH THAT WHICH HE WAS GIVEN.
question: Are you jealous because other's have greater ability or greater resources? Do you know that is not what you have - BUT HOW YOU USE WHAT YOU HAVE - that will determine the MASTER'S PLEASURE - AFTER ALL HE IS THE ONE WHO GAVE YOU YOUR TRUST.
app. Mr. Porter - every day - you get up and open the door. You are the first to come and the last to leave. How you fulfil that stewardship is as important to God as how King David fulfilled his duty as King. HE MAY NOT CALL YOU TO BE KING BUT WHATEVER GOD GIVES YOU TO DO - DO IT TO THE BEST OF YOU ABILITY!
1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
VI. Porters oversee worship in the house of the Lord.
28 And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale.
29 Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.
30 And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.
exp. These servants of the Lord had a sacred to trust to make sure that everything was ready for God to be worshipped!
ill. When the President of the United States makes a State visit - there is a team of hundreds of individuals that plan and prepare for that event. Two identical planes fly the president to his destination. The motorcade is also flown into the country. Fuel is brought in ahead of time and guarded. The success of that State visit is dependent upon the faithful work of those unrecognized individuals.
app. We have the CHARGE OF MINISTRY THIS MORNING. Our faithfulness impacts the success of His work within our community. ARE YOU GUARDING THE WORSHIP OF THE LORD?
conclusion: The great prophet Samuel started out as a door keeper in the house of the Lord. The Greatest King of Israel, King David, had a "door keeper" mindset.
They were both responsable for chosing door keepers for God's house. Would you be worthy to hold such a sacred charge?
1.) Porters have a simple ministry
2.) Good porters have an opportunity for promotion.
3.) Porters have to stay close to the house of God.
4.) Porters are the first to come and the last to leave.
5.) Porters oversee worship in God's house.