In all, there were 212 gatekeepers in those days, and they were listed according to the genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men. These gatekeepers and their descendants, by their divisions, were responsible for guarding the entrance to the house of the Lord when that house was a tent. The gatekeepers were stationed on all four sides—east, west, north, and south. Their relatives in the villages came regularly to share their duties for seven-day periods. . . .
Some of the gatekeepers were assigned to care for the various articles used in worship. They checked them in and out to avoid any loss. Others were responsible for the furnishings, the items in the sanctuary, and the supplies, such as choice flour, wine, olive oil, frankincense, and spices. But it was the priests who blended the spices. Mattithiah, a Levite and the oldest son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with baking the bread used in the offerings. And some members of the clan of Kohath were in charge of preparing the bread to be set on the table each Sabbath day.
(1 Chronicles 9:22-25, 28-32)
Everything relating to worship was carefully prepared and maintained by the gatekeepers so they and all the people could enter worship with their minds and hearts focused on God. Gatekeepers guarded the four main entrances to the Temple and opened the gates each morning for those who wanted to worship. In addition, they did other day-to-day chores to keep the Temple running smoothly—cleaning, preparing the offerings for sacrifice, and accounting for the gifts designated to the Temple (1 Chronicles 9:22-32). The priests and Levites put a great deal of time and care into worship. Not only did they perform rather complicated tasks (described in Leviticus 1–9), they also took care of many pieces of equipment.
Just as we prepare to meet a business associate or invited guests, we should carefully prepare to meet our King in worship. In our busy world, it is easy to rush into our one-hour-a-week worship services without preparing ourselves for worship beforehand. We reflect and worry about the week’s problems, we pray about whatever comes into our minds, and we do not meditate on the words we are singing. How do you prepare for worship each week? What, if anything, needs to change so that worship becomes a wholehearted experience for you?