“The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.” – Neh 3:3
Today we drew a map of ancient Jerusalem and marked the 12 gates mentioned by Nehemiah. In a walled city you have not just the wall itself, but also gates and watch towers.
If you’ve ever watched war movies, or even the Lord of the Rings recently, you know that attackers focus on the weak part of a city’s defense, which is normally the gates. Gates are where people, horses, wagons, and merchandise come and go. They are easier to breach than a high, thick, stone wall.
Kelly writes, “Jerusalem’s walls meant nothing without fortified gates – every door, bolt, and bar had to be scrutinized and secured. This lead me to think about the “gates” in my life, what I allow to enter my seeing and hearing, even what I taste and touch. I thought about the gates parents are in charge of overseeing for the sake of their children.
The question became, “What am I allowing in and out?”
Have you ever wondered if mindless entertainment might actually be a wide-open gate in your life by which many hurtful and deceiving ideas are sliding straight into your thinking? What about the friendships you keep, the magazines you read, the conversations in which you choose to engage? … All day long we choose what goes in and out of our hearts and minds…”
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Are there some doors, bars and bolts that need tightening? What gates in your life need reinforcement?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
– Nehemiah, a Bible study by Kelly Minter.
*photo of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, http://vicbethlehem.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/old-city-of-jerusalem-walls-and-gates/