A guardian is a defender, protector, or a keeper. Guardians defend nations, cities, towns, villages; they also defend belief, philosophy, religion, constitutions, a way of life, the rights of the underprivileged, a minority group or the poor and needy. In short, guardians are defenders of whatever is important to them.
Pastors and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ are called to defend the Word of God; in theological circles it’s called Apologetics. The word apologetics is from the Greek word “apologia”, meaning to speak in defense. It is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of information. Early Christian writers who defended and guarded the faith against critics and shared their faith with outsiders were called apologists.
The practice of guarding and defending the Word of God did not originate with early Christian writers: it began with the tribe of Levi. When Moses went up to the mountain to receive the commandments from the Lord, he was delayed. The Israelites, believing that Moses was dead, convinced Aaron to make an idol in the form of a golden calf, so that they could worship the calf as the one who delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. Upon completion of the golden idol, the people worshipped and celebrated it, all except the tribe of Levi.
God instructed Moses to return to the camp because of the sin of the people. When Moses returned, he saw the people worshiping the golden calf. Only the Levites stood with Moses that day and helped him eradicate the worship of the golden calf. Because the Levites did not participate in the idolatry, God made them the guardians of His Word and Covenant and gave them charge of the secreted things. Read Moses’ last words to the Levites in Deuteronomy 33:8-11(NLT); verse 9 says:
“The Levites obeyed your word and guarded your covenant. They were more loyal to you than to their own parents. They ignored their relatives and did not acknowledge their own children.”
In verse 8 they are called faithful servants because they refused to go along with the others. As pastors and leaders, we are called to be protectors and guardians of the word of God and also of the Christian way of life. Today many are being led astray by the doctrines of men. As Shepherds and leaders of the church, we are called to bring awareness to men and women. We have a responsibility to turn this shift away from the Word of God and the Christian way of living back to the way God intended it to be. Like the Levites, we are the Guardians and the Keepers of the Faith.