Summary: We may not enjoy walking in the valley, but it is a necessary part of our Spiritual growth!
Pastor Allan Kircher
Shell Point Baptist Church
It’s about time, isn’t it? part two
We have seen the symbolism and rich meaning behind the first 3 gates of Jerusalem's 12 gates.
• The sheep gate reminded us of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
• The fish gate speaks of soul winning, being fishers of men.
• The old gate led/new quarter
• Old message never changes, though methods may change.
The next gate to be rebuilt was the Valley Gate .
What does/valley gate mean for us today?
Why the long stretch of wall between old gate and valley gate?
• word "Valley"/used symbolically/Bible/place of sorrow,
• of trials, of humbling experiences:
• "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”
No one ever said/road walked/Christian is an easy one: "In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33).
This must not discourage us however, for Jesus goes on to say: "But take heart! I have overcome the world." (Luke 3:5)
Because we know that suffering produces PRESEVERANCE, perseverance, CHARACTER; and character, HOPE." (Rom 5:4).
We may not enjoy walking in the valley, but it is a necessary part of our Spiritual growth!
Time spent passing through the Valley Gate is never easy
• but remember that, in the natural
• Nothing really grows/mountain top
• The ground is stony and barren.
• The fertile ground is down in the valley.
• So it is in the spiritual.
• It’s never a happy experience to go through the valley
• but it always produces fruit.
II. Time on the Wall
Why so lengthy of a walk to the valley gate?
• When a new Christian comes to the Lord
• God often allows a "honeymoon" type period free of major trials
• God can teach us personally
• Where His presence becomes strong in our lives.
• this "honeymoon" period can go on for quite a while
• purpose/strengthen us in the Lord/our Valley experiences.
Hard times WILL come; but not until God Himself has conditioned us to be able to stand up to them!
• Remember His promise: 1 Cor. 10:13….
• God gives us the opportunities to walk with Him.
• To learn to trust Him in everything.
Take advantage of the lengthy wall sections before the valley.
• Work on a strong relationship with God.
• Build your faith and trust in Him to control you.
• Then when the Valley gate arrives/you will stand up!
• You will have a way out of the gate.
• Swing wide the Gate!
III. Stuck in the valley?
Valley Gate led/two main valleys/defined Jerusalem geographically/historically.
• First the Hinnom Valley.
• Solomon erected high places/idol god/Molech
• children were sacrificed by fire
• Called "Gehenna" name used hell itself, the Lake of Fire.
• Second valley called Kidron Valley
• means "dim, dusky, gloomy
Valley Gate leads to these valleys/Are you stuck in them?
• Represents/dark valleys of life
• Sometimes/God’s directions
• Sometimes by the choices we make.
• It is the valley of suffering and cleansing.
• These can be very long valleys for some of us
• sometimes the trials are fiery and hot
• remember in the valley/garbage in our lives is burned away
• spiritual maturing and growth occurs
• Our hearts become fertile ground in the valley. .
Swing wide the gate>>>>
5. The Dung Gate.
• This was where the garbage was carried out.
• It led to the dump.
• It may not have a nice name but it provided a very valuable service.
• This reminds us of repentance.
• It is important to take out the trash in our lives
Again here there is a great distance to this gate.
• Indicating the valley experience can carry on for some time.
• The result is seen in this gate—the dung gate.
This/gate/used to take all the refuse/rubbish out of Jerusalem, down to the valley of Hinnom to be burned.
• This is what happens in our own life.
• Valley experiences are used/Lord to clear away the rubbish
• So that true faith, refined by the fire
• Can come forth and produce fruit.
Clearing away the rubbish in our lives is never easy
• The benefits of this experience can be seen in the next gate
• As God’s new creation
• We count the shame/ways of the old life as "dung.”
• We must clean out the trash/heart/life/dump all this refuse out at the Dung Gate.
• We begin this cleansing, or sanctification process by casting aside the sin of the old life
• putting on the new man
• And then learning to lean upon Jesus.
After a while we get to the place where living for Jesus becomes easier.