Phil Fischer with Jesus Lives – a devotion on “Gates”
There are more than 300 references about gates in the Bible. What was the significance of a city gate? What can we learn from these Scripture references and can they help us in our Christian walk during present times?
In biblical times, city gates were places of central activity. At city gates, important business transactions were made, court was convened, and public announcements were made. In the book of Ruth (Ruth 4:1-11), Boaz officially claimed the position of kinsman-redeemer by meeting with the city elders at the gate of Bethlehem. This is where the legal matters of his marriage to Ruth were settled. When King David ruled Israel, he stood before his troops to give instructions from the city gate (2 Samuel 18:1-5).
“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
Deuteronomy 16:18 (NKJV)
“These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace.” Zechariah 8:16 (NKJV)
City gates were a city’s protection against invaders. The protection of a city was determined by the strength or power of its gates. In fact, to control the gates of one’s enemies was to conquer their city. Joshua entered the city gates of King Ai and left his corpse at the entrance of the city gates.
And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until evening. And as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his corpse down from the tree, cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones that remains to this day.” Joshuah 8:29 (NKJV)
Revelation 21 speaks of twelve gates, each made from a single pearl. They belong to the New Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven to the new earth. Upon each gate are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.” Revelation 21:12-13 (NKJV)
“The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” Revelation 21:21 (NKJV)
The gates of the New Jerusalem will never be closed. They will remain open at all times because no abomination or thing that defiles will enter, only those who are written in the Book of Life. Kings of the earth will bring glory and honor into the kingdom. There will be no more violence. There is eternal safety and peace in the New Jerusalem; there are no enemies to shut the gates against.
“Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; But you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.”
Isaiah 60:18 (NKJV)
And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
“Blessed [are] they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 (NKJV)
“And he set the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord, so that no one who was in any way unclean should enter.” 2 Chronicles 23:18 (NKJV)
The Bible speaks of listening to God and keeping a daily watch at His gates. These gates are open to the righteous. Clothed in His righteousness, we can enter His gates and worship Him.
“Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at the posts of My doors.” Proverbs 8:24 (NKJV)
“Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.”
Isaiah 26:2 (NKJV)
“Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’”
Jeremiah 7:2 (NKJV)
There will be twelve gates in the New Jerusalem. Jesus mentioned that hell also has gates. These gates represent death. Since Jesus died for our sins and rose again, he conquered sin and death. This is why he told his disciples the gates of hell will not prevail. We have victory in Christ Jesus.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)
We need to keep watch over the gate to our heart. We daily fight a spiritual battle and the enemy wants to enter in to destroy our peace. Ask God to fortify and protect your spiritual gate so that you can fight the good fight and persevere during these challenging times.