The next set of instructions deal with the assignment of gatekeepers at the house of the Lord. Those assigned are repeatedly referred to as “godly men,” “men of great ability,” “leaders of their families,” “rulers of their houses and their fathers’ houses.” One might get the idea that a gatekeeper is one who simply opens the door for all comers, but at the temple the gatekeepers were responsible for who could come in and who could not. We’ll see this specifically detailed in 2 Chronicles also.

Isaiah denounces the gatekeepers in Israel because there were no more standards. Everyone and anyone was allowed to come into the presence of the Lord. God expected some standards to be met.  In Isaiah 1:13, God says “I can’t tolerate the blending of your sinful lives with the solemn assemblies.” There was a discontinuity between peoples’ daily lives in the community and their coming to worship God on the Sabbath. You live one way all week long and then you want to gather with God’s people and worship together. Isaiah goes on to say that this “sickens” God.

Psalm 15 gives us the instructions regarding who can enter through the gates of the Lord’s house worship. It reads, “Lord, who may enter your Holy Tent? Only those who are innocent and who do what is right. Such people speak the truth from their hearts and do not tell lies about others. They do no wrong to their neighbors and do not gossip.” Our relationships with others in our community is a test of our fitness to worship God with His people.

Consider our memory verse below. The gatekeeper standing at the door is the “Judge.”

“Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!”  James 5:9