Summary: #5 in the Nehemiah Series. Part 3 on rebuilding the gates symbolizing the rebuilding of our lives in Christ.
The Book of Nehemiah Series #5
THE JERUSALEM GATES # 3
The Gates of Spiritual Progression - Part 3
By Pastor Jim May
Last week we started up the East Wall of the City with Nehemiah as they were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. We have spoken already about the Sheep Gate, the Fish Gate, the Old Gate, the Valley Gate, the Dung Gate, the Fountain Gate and the Water Gate. Now we are ready to move on to the third and final phase of the rebuilding of the walls of the city and its gates.
The last three gates that are to rebuilt by Nehemiah and those who worked beside him each have a double meaning to you and I. First they will give us a picture of what is needed in our lives as we complete our service to the Lord. Secondly, they give us a prophetic picture of things that will occur in the End Times. As we draw ever closer to connecting once more with the Sheep Gate and the completion of the wall, we will also see how God’s plan of Redemption is finished and how that God regains control of mankind and all of creation from the devil.
Before we go on, let’s to a quick recap of what has happened so far in the building process.
We enter into this life of service to God through the Sheep Gate that represents our Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrifice upon the cross.
Then we pass through the Fish Gate where we are made fishers of men and we are made over-comers by the word of our testimony and the Blood of the Lamb.
Then we pass through the Old Gate that reminds us to stay true to the truth of the gospel as laid out by our Lord and by his apostles at the very foundation of the church, remembering that the Apostle Paul warned us that many would come preaching a false gospel and lead many astray.
Then we pass through the Valley Gate as we often find ourselves passing through low points and valleys of testing and trials, and even sometimes persecution, for the Lord’s sake. That’s where faith is made stronger.
Then we pass through the Dung Gate where we must cast aside every weight of sin that so easily besets us. We must be like the Apostle Paul and count everything in this world as dung so that we may obtain the inheritance of our eternal home in Glory. At the Dung Gate, the fire of the Holy Ghost will burn away the rebellious nature that tends to cling to each of us, sometimes quickly; sometimes slowly.
Then we pass through the Fountain Gate and we discover the hidden truths of the Word of God as we are cleansed and refreshed by the washing of water by the Word of God. Even as the fountain at this gate never ran dry, we can be assured that not one word of God’s Word will ever fail.
Then we pass through the Water Gate as we continually partake of that Living Water of Life that comes through Jesus Christ. Everlasting joy, peace and mercy are ours. Forgiveness is ever there for those who will be washed in and drink of the Water of Life.
Now let us continue our look at Nehemiah’s work and that of the people who were with him.
The construction continued on the walls of the city and the next gate to be repaired after the Water Gate was the Horse Gate.
Nehemiah 3:28, "From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house."
This was the gate where the Kings of Israel would pass with their chariots and horses as they went to and from the palace. When they left the city to do battle, they would ride out at the head of the army, at least when they were really behaving like a king and not letting the army leave without them like David did.
When the battle was over and the victory was won they would come back in through the Horse Gate either riding in the victor’s chariot or riding on a white charger to signify that they were the conqueror of their enemies.
When you read about horses in the Bible, they represent two attributes in the Christian life:
·Discipline - James 3:3, "Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body."
·Warfare - Zechariah 10:3, "Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle." Song of Solomon 1:9, "I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots."