And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in. ~2 Chronicles 23:19
Back in the 1990’s healthcare costs were spiraling through the roof and out of control. It was not unusual for employers to see their costs for health insurance increase by 30% or more for several years. The insurance industry developed health maintenance organization product that would curb the increase by requiring primary care physicians to be “gatekeepers” in managing and monitoring how patients utilized their plans. As gatekeepers, an insured could not self-refer for health care and always had to have a primary physician approval. Gatekeepers were rewarded for keeping costs down. This morning let us see how the porters were God’s gatekeepers for the house of the Lord.
We see the role.
The word porter means “doorkeeper” or “guard”. It can also be translated “gatekeeper”. We find this description used 39 times in the Old Testament. A doorkeeper or gatekeeper was an important role in the temple oversight. He was the first point of contact before anyone could enter the temple. A porter at the gate of the city had direct communication with the watchman, and would have the right to the allowance or disallowance of entry. He was an inspector. He was expected to be on alert as to every person who was allowed entry. His role was so favored that David said, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10).
We see the restriction.
“And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in.” As the gatekeeper to the temple, the porter was not to allow anyone who was unclean to enter in. This would include anyone who had contact with the dead, animals or things declared unclean, and lepers. God’s reason for this is to separate that which was holy from that which was unholy. Order needed to be restored in the temple worship and included with this was a return to the high standard of keeping anything and anyone unclean from entering in.
We see the result.
“The city rejoiced….” God’s blessing was restored to the work of God. The curse of God for disobedience was lifted. Holy men of God were allowed to burn incense, do the work of the temple, make the daily and perpetual sacrifices. There was a proper conscience about entering into the holiest. The porter performed his role exactly as given to him. He prevented the unclean from coming in. Can you imagine how difficult it may have been for the porter to do his job? Can you imagine those who were unclean who sought entrance making the porter’s life difficult because they tried to slip through without being clean? The porter placed principle and priority above his personal relationships and did what he was supposed to do.
We see the responsibility.
What does this teach us? We are gatekeepers over our lives to make sure that which is unclean does not defile us. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” “A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.” “Keep your heart with all diligence.” Guard your mind from defiling thoughts that could lead to hurtful words and actions that we will regret.
Be a gatekeeper over area of your life. Don’t give place to Satan in anything!
Have a guarded God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 38-40