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The (in)Visible Invaluable Servants

1 Chronicles 9:28-32 (ESV)

28 Some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they were required to count them when they were brought in and taken out. 29 Others of them were appointed over the furniture and over all the holy utensils, also over the fine flour, the wine, the oil, the incense, and the spices. 30 Others, of the sons of the priests, prepared the mixing of the spices, 31 and Mattithiah, one of the Levites, the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with making the flat cakes. 32 Also some of their kinsmen of the Kohathites had charge of the showbread, to prepare it every Sabbath.

To understand the context of this passage, the chronicler is writing here about the Jews returning from exile in Babylon. When Judah was conquered by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., many Jews were killed, Jerusalem was left in ruins, and worst of all, they destroyed the Temple. The battle left the Jewish people defeated, and many were taken away to live as slaves in Babylon. This is one of the darkest points in Jewish history.

In this passage from 1 Chronicles, the Jewish exiles are finally coming back to Jerusalem after 70 years in exile.

The chronicler is explaining the various duties of everyone that worked to re-establish worship to the Lord in Jerusalem.

This passage can so easily be overlooked, especially in the grand scheme of the return of the exiles. Why do we care that it was someone’s job to count the utensils? Or to prepare the spices? Or to make flat cakes?

We care because these seemingly unimportant jobs were vital to follow the rituals that God had established for worship, sacrifice, and atonement in the Tabernacle that we read about in Exodus 30:23-25 and in Leviticus 24:5-8 (ESV). Without Mattithiah making those flat cakes, the worship would not have been obedient to God.

It’s not uncommon that when serving in the church, we can feel unimportant. We can feel invisible. The Pastor at the pulpit, the band leading worship, and those teaching classes or Sunday School are all more visible than most of the people serving in the church. You may ask if what you’re doing is even noticed or making any difference. When you have those feelings, it’s the enemy lying to you. Satan knows that if he can get you to believe his lies, your joy for serving will fade. Eventually maybe he can get you to stop altogether. Satan knows that your service is making a difference and he’ll tell you any lie he can to get you to stop. Don’t buy what he’s selling!

What we can learn from this passage is that there are no unimportant jobs in the Lord’s service. These servants were not invisible. God saw what they were doing, and he saw their hearts. Their contributions were necessary. They were important. So important that they were actually mentioned by name in the bible! Can you imagine having your name written in God’s book? Well, if you are following Jesus, your name is in his book! Your contributions are necessary. Keep serving the Lord in any way you feel called. Run with endurance the race that is set before (you), looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfector of (your) faith… (Heb 12:1-2 ESV) May God bless you and your ministry!



Foster, Richard (1998). The Spiritual Disciplines (3rd Ed.). New York, NY. HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV Text Edition: (2016). 1 Chronicles 9:28-32, Hebrews 12:1-2. Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.