15 From the Levites:
“Shemaiah son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16 Shabbethai and Jozabad, two of the heads of the Levites, who had charge of the outside work of the house of God;17 Mattaniah son of Mika, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the director who led in thanksgiving and prayer; Bakbukiah, second among his associates; and Abda son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18 The Levites in the holy citytotaled 284.“NIV
How we thank God for the ‘Levites’ who teach the church; we praise Him for that ministry of preaching and teaching which builds up the body of Christ. We are so grateful for those who lead ‘’in thanksgiving and prayer’’ (17). At the same time, how thankful we are for those who deal with ‘’the outside work of the house of God’’ (16) – for the people who faithfully and effectively look after administrative concerns of the church. They take care of ‘paper-work’ and deal with matters of finance and fabric. Oftentimes they work so quietly and efficiently that their efforts are hardly noticed. We see from Acts 6 how important it was for the apostles to be able to give themselves ‘’to prayer and the ministry of the word’’ (Acts 6:4), while other godly men took care of the ‘foodbank’. This was not to be regarded as an inferior ministry. It was to be properly taken care of. But, ideally, in the church, we need a balanced ministry so that each one can give full expression to their gifts.
‘Those who take care of the outward concerns of the church, the serving of its tables, are as necessary in their place as those who take care of its inward concerns, who give themselves to the word and prayer.’ Matthew Henry