Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12- Entering Through The Gate

August 12, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:25-40;
Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7

No man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men: neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief. 
 ~John Calvin

Nehemiah 3:15-5:13

Mittens and Molly
For a number of years, we had two toy poodles.  Their names were Molly and Mittens.  I loved those little dogs, but I did not always want to wait outside, while they piddled around trying to figure out when to go to the restroom.  Truth be told, they were a little persnickety.  They would sniff and roam, taking their time, even on the coldest of mornings.  I would stand in my robe saying, "Go potty.  Go potty!"  It didn't matter.  They were gonna do what they wanted.  Finally, I asked my husband to put up a white picket fence in the small side yard between the garage and our back porch.  It was the perfect little area for the poodles to play and do their business.  The fence also protected our little pets while they were outside.  No fence is worth its salt unless it has a gate.  Everyone needs a way to get into the protected area.  Today, we are going to see that the gates that Nehemiah builds and hangs, as he leads the project of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, are pictures of Jesus Christ.

As the story begins, Nehemiah has been granted permission to leave his post as cup bearer to King Artexerxes to go to Jerusalem to repair the broken down walls of the city.  Being a man of prayer, Nehemiah consults God for direction, protection, and correction.  Upon seeing the city walls in ruins and praying to God through the night, Nehemiah proposes to the city leaders that a rebuilding campaign begin immediately.  The leaders agree.  There are ten gates into Jerusalem. As you might have guessed, these gates are symbolic of something more.  The ten gates tell us the story of the gospel of Christ.  Here is a list of the gates and a brief summary of their meaning:
  • The Sheep Gate: This is the gate through which the animals were brought for sacrifice.  Jesus entered Jerusalem through this gate as a walking parable of His purpose on earth.  He was the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  This gate symbolizes the cross of Christ.
  • The Fish Gate: This is the gate through which fish were brought into the city from the Mediterranean Sea.  Fish was a major part of the diet of these people.  This would have been a social gate where friends would gather. It is the perfect picture of the fact that Jesus calls us to be fishers of men.  Bringing people into the kingdom of God is a team effort between God, Jesus, and His Church. Jesus is the chief fisherman among us.
  • The Old Gate: This gate speaks of the ancient old path of coming to God through a Redeemer Child.  Eve was given the promise in the Garden that one of her offspring would defeat Satan and restore fellowship with God.  This is an old truth that is reached through the old gate (Jesus).
  • The Valley Gate: This gate led out of the city of Jerusalem and down into the valley.  This valley gate speaks of Jesus providing our salvation through trial, tribulations, and death.  The valley of the shadow of death, which David wrote about in Psalm 23, speaks of Christ humbling Himself unto death for our sins.  We, too, must humble ourselves in trials, tribulations, and death as we look to our Savior for eternal life.
  • The Dung Gate: This gate is where filth and garbage were carried out of the city.  Jesus Christ carried our sin out on the cross.  1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness."  Honest confession is how to take the garbage out through the work of Jesus Christ.
  • The Gate of the Fountain: This gate refers to Jesus being our Living Water (John 7:38).  Belief in Jesus results in the believer receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. When a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, that person is a fountain of living water able to bless others and quench their spiritual thirst.
  • The Water Gate: This gate was used to bring water into the city. We read that the priest, Ezra, puts up a pulpit at the water gate.  This gives us an indication that the water gate represents the Word of God.  Jesus said in John 15:3, "Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you."  Do you realize that God's Word has a cleansing effect in your life?
  • The Horse Gate:  The horse is an animal of war.  This speaks of our role as soldiers in a spiritual army of God.  As believers we are called to put on the whole armor of God and fight (Ephesians 6:11-12). We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against powers, the rulers of darkness of this world and the spiritual wickedness in high places. Jesus goes before us in battle.
  • The East Gate: This gate was the first gate opened in the morning, because it faced the rising sun.  It is a gate of anticipation. Many believe that this is the gate that Jesus will enter when He returns to earth.  He is the Bright and Morning Star. As believers, we wait in anticipation for Jesus, our Morning Star, to Rapture his saints out of the world before the sun comes up and before the Tribulation that will take place on this earth. This is the next major event for believers (1 Thes. 4). We wait in eagerly for that day.
  • The Gate Miphkad: Miphkad means registry.  When a foreigner/stranger came to Jerusalem, he/she had to register though this gate.  Also, if the army had been out fighting, they passed through this gate. David would greet his battle weary soldiers at this gate to thank them for their service.  This is a picture of the gate of judgment that we, as believers, will experience after the Rapture.  This is not the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) of unbelievers at the end of all time.  This is just for believers to receive rewards for their work on earth (2 Cor. 5:10). Jesus, our king, will reward us for our service in battle.  Have you and I done anything to be rewarded for by Jesus? How appropriate that the tenth and final gate to enter the kingdom of God is the gate, where we are encouraged by Jesus for persevering in our faith.
Jesus said,
"Enter through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is wide, the road is clear and many choose to travel it.  But narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it." Matthew 7:13-14
Have you entered into the narrow gate?  Jesus is our narrow gate.  He is inviting you into God's Kingdom.  You need only to enter through belief in Jesus.

Today, we see that Nehemiah and his fellow Israelites are in a battle against Sanballat, who is determined to thwart the work of rebuilding the wall.  Nehemiah watches and prays.  The Israelites have a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.  This is a picture to you and me that we are to work for God with the sword of the Word of God in our hand.  It is the truth of Scripture that is able to defeat evil in this world.  Are you willing to stand and fight?  Can you work diligently to build the walls of God's Kingdom with a trowel and a sword?

1 Corinthians 7:25-40

Paul is continuing to teach on marriage and singleness.  Paul admits that the Lord has not given him specific instruction on singleness, so he is going to rely on his own wisdom in the matter.  It is Paul's opinion that more work can be done for the kingdom of God by a person, if they are able to live a life of singleness. 

He encourages married people to not become too attached to the material things of this world, but to focus on God's work.  People are encouraged to marry, if they cannot control their sexual passions.  Sexuality should be a part of marriage.  If one is able to control that area of their life, Paul encourages singleness with the idea of complete dedication to God.  Neither lifestyle is elevated above the other.  Neither is considered more spiritual.   Paul states that widows are free to remarry.  Paul thinks it is better if they do not, but this is just his opinion.  Remember, he is trying to take a group of immature Christians and develop more godly life choices in them.

Do you examine your life choices regularly?  Are you controlling your passions appropriately?

Psalm 32:1-11

This psalm is a wonderful psalm about the beauty of confessing sin to God.

Proverbs 21:5-7

"Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity."  These are wise words.

What did you learn today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton
© 2011


  1. I really love the explanations of the different gates. Thank you so very much for sharing their meanings. I appreciate knowing the reasons for each one and also what they symbolize.

  2. I really enjoyed learning about this, also!