Do You Take Your Position Seriously?
For in this trusted office were four chief gatekeepers; they were Levites.
And they had charge over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
1 Chronicles 9:26
The beginning of Chronicles isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to read because it gives the genealogy of the Israelites. Yet, I felt a nudge to scan through it and found myself highlighting some areas. Chapter 9 gives direction to the Jews and gives an account of who first took possession of Jerusalem once the Israelites came out of Babylonian captivity and began rebuilding on the old foundation of the temple after it was destroyed when the Babylonians captured the city. As I read through chapter 9, I found the words “trusted office” (NKJV) a few times throughout this chapter when it spoke of the positions of the Israelites, priests, Levites, and the Nethinim (a distinct body of men set apart and connected with the services of the temple). I kept going back to the words “trusted office” and decided to dive a bit deeper.
The New King James Version uses the words “trusted office” to speak about the position of the men assigned to temple duty. The Amplified Bible version calls it an “official duty”. The ESV version calls it “entrusted to be over” and the NIV version states “entrusted with responsibility”. The word trusted, in this situation, means “the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed”. No matter how you phrase it, it speaks about the responsibility of the men and their duties that were assigned to them. These men had a responsibility to the temple as it was being rebuilt and they took their responsibility seriously because they were put into position by God to do so, even if they hadn’t realized it. The temple was just one area in the Bible people were called to be responsible for, but there were many more areas in the Bible which God had called people to or placed them in positions, sometimes due to their situations, which they hadn’t even asked for. Several names come to mind…Gideon, Moses, Joseph, David, the disciples, etc. This led me to think about all of the positions I, myself, have been placed in throughout my life. Some I had asked for and some I had not. Yet I tried to do the best job I could in each position. Sometimes I was appreciated and sometimes I wasn’t, but the fact remains, I had a job to do and for the most part I did it to the best of my ability……and sometimes I wasn’t always at my best.
This further led me to think about this scripture and how the people who were responsible for the rebuilding of the temple, had taken their positions seriously whether they were in charge or simply workers. Every ounce of work done had helped rebuild the temple. No job was greater than another. The only thing that may have separated positions was more responsibility for those utilized by God to oversee others. Still, this did not mean one person was more important than the other or one job was greater than the other. It simply means some were given greater responsibility.
This further led me to think about the positions we hold in our daily lives be it work, school or home. Are we taking our responsibility of where God has placed us, seriously? Are we doing our work to the best of our ability or are we simply filling a position until we move on to something else? Are we working to the best of our ability in our homes or are we shirking our duties? Are we working as though for the Lord in our jobs or are we just doing enough work to keep the job until we find another that we like? Are we working hard in school, or are we doing enough to just get by to pass? Yes, this even includes school because God found education important. Jesus instructed His disciples. Without being taught, we cannot learn. Maybe you aren’t in a favorable place in your life right now due to bad choices or have been falsely accused yet in this place you must work. This is for you too. Joseph found himself in unfavorable situations due to the jealousy of his brothers. He was sold into slavery and then put into prison, yet due to his integrity, he worked to the best of his ability and God honored him for that. In Genesis 39, as a slave in Potiphar’s house, Joseph was placed as an overseer of Potiphar’s house. Verses 2-4 states the following:
The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.
When Joseph was thrown into prison after being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife of taking advantage of her (which he had not done), God honored Joseph there as well as we see in verses 21-23:
21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.
In the worst of situations, Joseph worked as if he was working for the Lord. Colossians 3:23 states the following:
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”
Sometimes we can become so consumed by the fact that we are working for a person, that the desire to work well seems to fade away and we end up just working enough to satisfy them and sometimes, not. Yet, when we work as though working for the Lord, our whole demeanor can change and we can set the proper examples for others, often times encouraging them without even realizing it. Paul even gave instructions to bondservants (slaves) of how they are to conduct themselves with their Masters in Ephesians 6:5-6:
“5Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart…”
1 Peter 2:18-20 also states:
“18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.”
The Lord was giving direction to slaves at a time when slavery was common. He didn’t tell them to rise up against those over their Masters, but to submit to their authority. There is a time to rise up and a time to lay low and this is where we have to seek the Lord. If anyone had a reason to rise up, it was Joseph as he was mistreated by his brothers, sold as a slave and ended up in prison, but he did not allow that to change him and destroy his integrity. He submitted to those who were over him, did not compromise his integrity even when he was in positions of authority, and in the end, God used him greatly, raising him up above those who mistreated him. Joseph proved himself loyal, faithful and reliable and those are godly traits. Do not misunderstand. Joseph did not become so submissive that he followed orders that went against the Bible, but it means he followed the Lord’s commands and God took care of him.
It’s not enough to just work to get by. Nor is it good to seek desirable positions simply to be seen and do anything you can to get them because in time it will backfire on you. In any position God has placed you in, you must work to the best of your ability and with the right heart. You must get your focus off of working for people and on to working as though working for the Lord to the best of your ability. Sometimes it’s not even a job but a situation you are in. You can still walk in integrity to the best of your ability by following God’s commands until He delivers you out of it. Whatever the situation, when you make the switch, you will see things differently and your whole mind frame will change for the better. Wherever the Lord has placed you, work at with as though working for the Lord, even if it is in a place you are not happy in. In time, the Lord will deliver you and move you to a better place. Wherever you are, take your work seriously and God will honor that.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)