Standing by Night

‘Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.‘ ~ Psalm 134:1

During the old testament time, night was divided into three ‘watches’ mainly for soldiers and shepherds. The first shift was from sunset to 10 pm. The second shift was from 10 pm to 2 pm. The third shift was 2 pm up to sunrise. Those put in charge of the night shifts had to demonstrate sacrifice and dedication. They had to stay up while the rest of Israel had a good sleep.

The Levites too had to work during the night. They were responsible in assisting Aaron and Aaronic priests in the ministry of the tabernacle. They had to take care of it. 1 Chronicles 9 records – ‘But the four principal gatekeepers, who were Levites, were entrusted with the responsibility for the rooms and treasuries in the house of God. They would spend the night stationed around the house of God, because they had to guard it; and they had charge of the key for opening it each morning….Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.’ Theirs was a unique calling.  They had no inheritance while all the rest of the tribes got their portions in the promised land. They had to depend on the tithes brought by the people. God says that he had given them as gifts to Aaron to assist him in the work of the tabernacle. But at the same time, they had to only perform the serving role and not cross the boundaries set by God – they could never enter the Holy of Holies or go beyond the curtain, near the Tabernacle furnishings and the altar. The Levites job may seem mundane but it was vital in the everyday life of the Israelites.

As children of God and believers in Christ, we can be called to serve God in ways that are new and different. It may require us to change our mindset, ideologies, priorities and even our lifestyle and value system. Are we ready for something like this? Are we ready to become gifts for others – assist them in serving God like the Levites?

Writing to the Corinthian church, Paul says, ‘So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.’ Further in 2 Corinthians he says, ‘…as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way….poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.’ As Paul says are we willing to spend ourselves on behalf of others, so that they can be spiritually blessed? It may require making others rich while leaving our own wants and needs for  God to handle. Paul’s obedience is a great contribution to the life of billions who are still impacted by the scriptures, even today. Are you willing to stand by night?

Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the great gift of salvation you have given me through Christ Jesus, your son. I give my life to you as an offering. Use it for your glory. Help me  serve you faithfully wherever you place me. Amen.”


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