The Wall Series
Part 4 The Gates (a)
If you have been a Christian long enough, you’ll know that God likes to hide things. What I mean by that is He likes to hide important truths in places that you wouldn’t initially expect to find them… until you start to dig that is! Nehemiah chapter 3 is one of those places. On the surface it is a chapter discussing 10 different gates of Jerusalem and the specific builders that helped rebuild them. But that’s just the surface. When you lift the lid and look a little deeper you find that God has hidden within those gates significant spiritual truth for an individual’s Christian life. The order and position of each gate is very specific and gives us insight into the journey that God takes each of His children. The next three weeks we will discover these hidden truths together.
Nehemiah 2:15-18 (NASB)
So I went up at night by the ravine and inspected the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work. 17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” 18 I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work.
I pray that today’s message
transition from a head knowledge into a heart revelation
and through the power and the person of the Holy spirit
renew our minds and transform our lives in the name of Jesus.
Story of Nehemiah and his burden to rebuild the wall.
- The Sheep Gate
Nehemiah 3:1 (NASB)
Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel.
NOTICE the high priest and his brothers the priest built this particular gate.
The very first gate mentioned is the sheep gate. It was called the sheep gate because this was the gate which the sheep and lambs used in the sacrifice were bought through.
No prizes for knowing that this speaks of the very first experience we come into in our Christian life – that is, a realization that Jesus was the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The sheep gate then speaks to us of the cross and the sacrifice that was made for our sins. It is the starting point of everything, but you will also notice if you read the entire chapter that the sheep gate is also mentioned at the very end once we have come full circle. That is because everything starts and ends with Jesus’ death on the cross.
- The Fish Gate
Nehemiah 3:3 (NASB)
Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars.
The Fish gate was mentioned next. It was called the fish gate because the fisherman of Galilee would bring their catch in through this gate to be sold.
For us, it speaks of evangelism as we have been called to be ‘fishers of men’ (Matt 4:19). It is a natural progression in our Christian life that after seeing that Jesus died for our sins, we would then want to tell others about it. Surveys have shown that believers who have been saved less than two years win the most people to the Lord. Their simple testimony of what Jesus has done in their lives qualifies them to be great ‘fishers of men.’ So, this is the next step in the Christian life
- The Old Gate
Nehemiah 3:6 (NASB)
Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars.
Following from the Fish gate was the Old gate. Nehemiah is the only book in the Bible where it is called the Old gate and it may have been one of the original gates made.
This speaks to us of the old ways of truth. A young Christian having experienced the sheep gate, then the fish gate, soon sees the need for experiencing the old gate. This means learning the old ways of truth that never change.
Jeremiah 6:16 (NASB)
Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls…”
Too many Christian’s today want something new. The latest teaching, the latest experience… Or they try to change truth to make it acceptable with what the world thinks is right ‘today’ (which may not be the same as what it thinks ‘tomorrow’.) But the Ancient of Days calls us back to His long-established ways that do not change and remain the same yesterday, today and forever.
- The Valley Gate
Nehemiah 3:13 (NASB)
Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars, and a thousand cubits of the wall to the Refuse Gate.
Several valleys surround Jerusalem and this gate apparently opened out to the valley of Hinnom.
Examining the picture above you notice that there is a long distance before you come to the next gate, which is the valley gate. For a new Christian the Lord allows a ‘honeymoon’ type period where He teaches you and His presence is strong in your life. This can go on for some time as indicated by the positioning of the old and valley gates. But sooner or later the valley gate must come. The valley gate speaks to us of humbling and trials – valley type experiences used by the Lord for our personal growth. Never easy but the Christian needs to remember that in the natural nothing really grows on the mountain tops, but it certainly does down in the valleys. So, it is in the spiritual. Never a nice experience but it always produces fruit.
QUOTE: David Jeremiah
“Valley are not defined by the low places within them, they are defined by the high places around them”
Story I am called t the valley and so are you
White out on the mountain and I wanted to look down nut God said look up. I woke up and wanted to return but God said to me, “You’re called to the valley because that’s where people live.”
MY FACEBOOK POST
“Hardly anything grows on the mountain top, it’s in the valley where most growth happens.”
Psalm 23 (NASB)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Invitation for Salvation
Heads bowed, and eyes closed…
I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Did you know that the very first gate mentioned in chapter three, the sheep gate, is also the last gate mentioned? Would you like to know why?
Because everything in our walk leads us back to the cross, back to Jesus.
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away
’Tis all that I can do.
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!