Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priest went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as The Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them.
Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.
Just a little pre-blurb about Nehemiah. He was cupbearer to a King in a place far away from Jerusalem. His brother came to visit. Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem. His brother gave him the horrible news that the walls were broken down and the gates had been burned. Nehemiah sat down, wept, mourned, fasted, prayed, and then spoke to God. He waited some more. Nehemiah looked sad in front of the king. The king asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah stopped and prayed. Nehemiah told the king what was wrong. The king asked him what he wanted. Nehemiah laid out his vision. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem. They start rebuilding the walls and repairing the gates.
When I think about gates and walls in the spiritual I think like this:
Gates - doors, entrances in and out, allows good or bad to pass through, unprotected burned down gates would allow anything to pass through with no protection, if they were all open and all burned down - trouble.
Walls - security, built for protection, protection for the Temple of God that is inside the walls, if they were broken down there would lots of access points for the enemy, the enemy could see everything going on inside the city easily, enemies could easily slither in.
Restoration and recovery that is what Nehemiah is about.
Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priest went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate.
The first thing that Nehemiah does in his plan of rebuilding the wall and gates in Jerusalem is rebuild the Sheep Gate. Notice it is a gate and not part of the wall. They immediately started fixing one of the gates! That is really important in the recovery / restoration process. You have to repair all your burned down gates in order to restore function of what enters and what doesn't. The gates are your entrances to what goes on in your soul (mind, will, and emotions.) They also dedicated the gate. When you dedicate something you are devoting to one goal, cause, or job. It also means to set aside for a sacred purpose. The Sheep Gate has huge spiritual meaning. The Sheep Gate was used to bring in the animals that were going to be sacrificed in the Temple. Sacrificed for sin. The gate was near the Temple in location. This is the only gate mentioned that doesn't have a "lock" on it. All the other gates in Nehemiah 3 talk about rebuilding it's doors, bolts, and bars. Not this gate though. After meditating on this gate for awhile this is what is in my Spirit.
The first gate repaired is the Sheep Gate. This is the first step in the process of restoration and recovery. It's also the last step. It's also a continuous step. The gate has no lock and is open. This is the open gate of salvation. Jesus was the final sacrifice.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
This is the starting place, salvation. This is the last step, Jesus was the final sacrifice. This is a continually open door place, sheep get lost easily. We loose our way along the way. Some in different ways than others, but at some point most loose their way. The gate is open because we need to come back in sometimes. We might have never entered in and we are a first time salvation. We might have entered in a long time ago and then left, and we don't really know why or how it happened. We might stand at the gate going in and out all the time, never making any ground in our spiritual lives because we leave just as quickly as we enter. Wherever you are in life, it's ok. The gate is open for a reason. Come back through. Go through the steps with me as we restore. It's going to be a process. We can do it though. Nehemiah, along with God's help, accomplished the impossible when he rebuilt the gates and walls of Jerusalem. We can accomplish the impossible, through God, when we rebuild the gates and walls to our lives.
Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!
This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:
I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here: