Inspired Housekeeping



Have you ever wondered who cleaned that big, beautiful architectural wonder we know as Solomon’s temple? Did the high priest’s wife sneak an illegal immigrant across the border to do it? Did she hire a troop of maids for minimum wage and no benefits?

Actually, according to 1 Chronicles 23:28-29, the cooking and cleaning were done by (drum roll, please) the male Levites—a chosen tribe within a chosen people.

Housekeeping was one of four occupations assigned to the Levites. It seems to have been considered equally important as the other three occupations, which were musicians, gatekeepers, and officers/judges (verses 4-5). Apparently all were paid the same. And they were not appointed to these occupations because of their individual talents or accomplishments; rather, the assignment was essentially random, based only on which branch of the family they belonged to.

So who merited more honor—the Levite judge, or the Levite who dusted the candlesticks?

Neither. Because “God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted … so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other” (1 Corinthians 12:18-25).

Equality before God is a basic tenet of the Christian faith (e.g., Galatians 3:28). Yet sin has a way of sneaking prejudice into our lives. We may not even be aware of it, but it affects the way we relate to others. We listen attentively to the boring details of our boss’s morning commute but completely ignore his file clerk. We smile and laugh with our friends over lunch, but grumble and grouse at the waitress. We expect to be paid top dollar for our own work, but pay an illegal immigrant less than minimum wage to do our gardening. And when anything goes missing, he’s first on our list of suspects.

In each of these cases, we’re responding to the role someone fills rather than to the person she is. Yet in God’s eyes, our worth is based on what He did for us. And our faithfulness is not evaluated by our position, but by our commitment to carrying out the work He assigned us, whatever that work may be.

Some may consider housekeeping a dull job, one devoid of spiritual significance. Yet we can learn a lot from the way God chose to keep His house clean. He sees the faithful musician, the faithful judge, and the faithful housekeeper all in the same light—each is His child, loved and cherished.

Do we reflect this attitude in the way we interact with others?

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