We’ve read about the calling and the purpose and the calling and now we get into the action of the gate rebuilding process in Chapter 3.
Chapters Thus Far:
1 – Nehemiah broken when learns of state of Jerusalem; because he loves God and hurts to see the state of His people and desires to see His promise fulfilled.
2: 1-10 – Nehemiah desires to bring God glory so much he abandons his Persian palace and heads out to do work in Jerusalem.
2:11-20 – We learn of the calling to Go and Rebuild.
The framework of Chapter 3 lays out the who and the what of the rebuilding of the gate. I’m going to focus on the gates themselves as something very interesting unfolds. Here they are, in the order they are listed:
- Sheep Gate – Top NE corner, sanctified gate where sacrificial sheep would pass.
- Fish Gate – (moving counter clockwise) fishermen pass to/from this gate. It’s a big market in this area, being near water.
- Old Gate – The Original gate put in. Holds tradition.
- Valley Gate – SW corner. Exposed to the outside world, it is isolated and furthest away from any other gate. It stands alone in a lonely place, but is essential to the city.
- Dung Gate – Trash taken out here. Essential to the city, but still…gross.
- Fountain Gate – Pool of Siloach (Jesus later heals a blind man here), a place of restoration; possibly garden’s were here. “Living Water” lives here.
- Water Gate – a place where water was brought in from the outside.
- Horse Gate – lots of uses, but a major one is for battle war. When these gates opened, it was clobbering time.
- East Gate – leads to the temple and faces the sun. A reminder each morning of our creator.
- Inspection Gate – Judgment happens here.
What is so interesting about this layout in this order is how closely it parallels the Christian journey, the Christian life. Check it out :
- Jesus is the ultimate Shepard and the ultimate Sheep (Romans 3:25). His blood poured out for us redeems us back into His glory. Theoretically, Nehemiah could have started at any gate, but he started here.
- We become fisher’s of men (Matt 4:19)
- We have to stay rooted in God. The glory belongs to Him
- There are times we will be alone, feel isolated, in the valley, far away from everything
- We have to continuously purge sin from our lives.
- We are restored in Jesus
- We are filled with Jesus
- With sin and cleansing, we are prepared for serious battle.
- We have to stay rooted in God. His creation is evidence of Him. (Psalm 115:1)
- Someday we will face judgment (Romans 14)
WHAT!? I mean, this is still tripping me out. That God would design a gate system that physically represents the journey we will be one throughout our lives is amazing, beautiful, and awesome.
Nehemiah is feeling more like a book about who I am, about who we are, than it is about the rebuilding of a wall.