Uzzah, Obed-Edom and Jim.
My very first recollections of a Door Keeper take me back to the early 1970’s. This church is where I met The Sweetheart, where we dated, grew up, were married and even dedicated our firstborn. It was a good church with a great pastor who loved people and loved God. The Church was known for having some of the friendliest people in our town and the best cooks anywhere.
We also had a Door Keeper. This is before greeters became a big deal in The Church, before organized and structured welcoming staff were trained and taught that first impressions help to grow your church.
Let me introduce you to Jim.
He was ahead of his time. Jim wasn’t a boy like Jacob that you met earlier. Jim was a grown man with a wife and two sons. He was a student of the Word. He sat on the second row every single service with a large notepad and pen. He took notes the entire service. I always assumed he was writing about the kids, the young people or troublemakers. I thought he was taking attendance and would report to the pastor later on who was there and who was just skipping out. We would joke and dare each other to swipe the book so we could read it and see if our names were in there. He never missed church at all that I remember unless he was very, very sick.
Back in the day, in this country church, we had service on Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. (I know, right?!) Jim was always there, just inside the door with a smile, (always a smile) a welcome, a very firm handshake for one hand and a songbook to put in the other. He wasn’t just dependable, he was constant; he was faithful to God and to his church family.
Jim was just as serious about his service in other areas of the Church as he was at the door to the house of God. He didn’t think he was too good to dig ditches, spread mulch, clean a bathroom, run a vacuum or wash dishes, if need be. Jim was our Sunday School Superintendent for years but didn’t suggest someone else go out and knock doors on Saturday or drive the bus on Sunday. Jim did both. Many weeks he did this all by himself.
I always thought of Jim as someone who guarded the Church, literally and figuratively. He wouldn’t have allowed anyone to disrupt the service or to hurt the man of God. He would have stepped in and protected both in an instant. Yet, in all of his serving he didn’t miss out on worship. He sang with every ounce of his being, hands raised in adoration to the King of Kings, the Word of God right beside him. It reminded me of Nehemiah building the wall, he did the work with one hand and had a weapon in the other.
He didn’t bring glory to Jim; he pointed others to Jesus Christ.
There was another man in the Old Testament who was a doorkeeper for the Presence of God. He didn’t ask to be, that we can tell; greatness was just thrust upon him.
“So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.” 2 Samuel 6:10.
Obed-Edom. Why was he chosen to house the Ark of the Covenant that contained the Ten Commandments? (Aaron’s rod that budded and manna were also inside the Ark.)
King David had decided to bring the Ark (the presence of God) back to Jerusalem. Remember, the Ark was all but forgotten during the reign of King Saul, which sounds unbelievable for something of this magnitude of importance. Yet, the Ark was in the house of Abinadab and had been there a long time, seventy years! David just takes the bull by the horns, so to speak, and sets off to bring it home. It seems he didn’t put much thought into the proper procedures and along the way, Uzzah, the son of Abinadab, was struck dead just for reaching out to steady the Ark!
I have always wondered about Uzzah. If he was Abinadab’s son, wouldn’t he have known how to take care of the Ark? Were they so complacent, so used to having it just sitting around but not being cared for, or used, that they didn’t realize its significance any longer? Treating the supernatural as something common and ordinary? Do we do the same today?
So after this unfortunate occurrence, David was afraid and realized that he must reassess his plan to bring the presence of God back home so he sends the Ark to the house of Obed-Edom for three solid months. Now, Obed-Edom was of the tribe of Levi and we have seen already that the Levites were in charge of the temple and its care. They were also doorkeepers!
It is likely that Obed-Edom was a simple man, probably not wealthy or famous but he had a home that he willingly offered for the presence of Almighty God to dwell in. The Bible says that for the entire time the Ark was in the house of Obed-Edom that they were blessed. “Now King David was told, ‘The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.’” 2 Samuel 6:12 NIV.
This same Ark toppled Dagon and killed Uzzah but it blessed Obed-Edom because of his willingness and sacrifice and he was changed forever. He was a doorkeeper of the Ark of the Covenant, just as we are doorkeepers today of the house of God and the Presence of God! David knew that if he could get it back to its rightful place where it belonged then the entire city would benefit.
1 Corinthians 16:13, 14 ESV. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
Today we stand guard of the house of the Lord, of the Church, the Body, we are all Door Keepers. We don’t need uniforms like hotel bellmen for others to recognize us as such. We do need humility of heart and the love of God to shine forth in our actions and words because we are protectors of the Church…
Keepers of the Door.
Join us tomorrow for Part 5 in our Mini-Series on The Door Keeper. You won’t want to miss meeting the last Door Keeper. Be blessed and feel free to share with us your recollections of Door Keepers in your life.
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