Me with my lovely wife, Kathy:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Westward at Parbar, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar.

I had the priviledge today of speaking at the Chapel service at Appalachian Bible College. I chose the text above, from 1 Chronicles 26:18 as my text because it is a text that speaks of faithfulness. Six of the twenty-four guard stations for the gatekeepers of the Temple area were associated with this place called "Parbar." In 2 Kings 23:11, Parbar is translated as "suburb," or "precinct." I found that it refers to an open area, or maybe a place where mules are kept. Most likely it was an open-sided annex to the Temple, with a road approaching it from the West. At any given time six gate-keepers from the tribe of Levi could be found there. According to 1 Chronicles 9:22 & 26 these gatekeepers occupied an "office of trust." (NASB)
They were expected to be faithful.
For years I had heard people poke fun at this verse. I myself joined in the fun. In fact that characterized part of my message's introduction today. What in the world is a Parbar, and what is this strange line of prose about?
It turns out that the verse isn't about the Parbar, or the causeway (better translation, highway), but about the four and the two--and me and you.
We each have a place to serve, an office of trust.
For me it goes like this: Westward at Parbar, four at the causeway, two at Parbar, and one at Covington.
Find your Parbar and faithfully serve.