[From July 3, 2013]
"David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their kindred as the singers to play on musical instruments, on harps, and lyres, and cymbals, to raise loud sounds of joy.. Obed-edom and Jehiah also were to be gatekeepers for the ark."
(1 Chronicles 15:16, 24b)
One of the first things David does when he becomes king is bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. Attempt #1 does not go well. One of the men helping carry the ark absentmindedly touches it and is instantly killed. So David, fearfully, leaves the ark at the home of a man named Obed-edom. Three months pass. Scripture tells us that God blessed Obed-edom. Then David makes attempt #2... and finally is successful in moving the ark.
2 Samuel 6 is the chapter most go to when reading this story. But it's also recorded by the Chronicler in 1 Chr. 15. Because the Chronicler is interested in liturgy, we get the names of the singers, musicians, and band members who accompany the ark on its journey. Obed-edom is mentioned as part of the lyre troop. Then in verse 24, we're told he's also one of the four "gatekeepers of the ark," as well!
Maybe that's just an insignificant detail. But I find it compellingly fascinating. Obed-edom was a foreign supporter of David who happened to be in the right place at the right time, and through his faithfulness was blessed by hosting the ark. Though the author of 2 Samuel no longer mentions him, 1 Chronicles 15 tells us David gave Obed-edom a future job: gatekeeper! He recognized Obed-edom had a gift of caretaking and he allowed him to continue that.
I love that. So should it be for all of us. May each of us find what we're good at... what brings us joy, honors God, and is a blessing to others. It may take us a few years to figure it out (it's not always discovered in college - though sometimes it is!)... but once we do, what a gift to be able to continue to do that!