“The gatekeepers, …who kept watch at the gates, …gatekeepers standing guard at the storehouses of the gates.” Nehemiah 11:19, 12:25
Who are these Gatekeepers? In Nehemiah we read about three distinct groups of clergy: Priests, Levites and Gatekeepers. Gatekeepers, quite simply keep order at a gate, a place of coming and going, a place where if order is not kept then chaos might cause disruption of the flow of traffic. A gate, because it is a smaller opening than the areas on either side can become clogged up if order is not kept. In Jerusalem at this time the gates leading in and out of the walled city had specific purposes controlled by the Gatekeepers and they are symbolic of our life of faith, our life of growing in grace and is a clear order:
The Sheep Gate proclaims forgiveness and grace of God. After we have been saved, we want to tell everybody about Jesus Christ we become fishers of others who come and go from the Fish Gate. We are new persons in Christ out with the old, in with the new - the Old Gate. We journey in new places and meet new people as we journey in the new life with Christ, the Valley Gate leads us off the mountaintop into the valley where we encounter others in need of Christ. On the way to accepting Christ, we realized the sin in us and needed a place to throw it away, the Dung Gate is the place to throw out the garbage. Having taken out the garbage we need someone one to fill up the spaces where the garbage had been stored, we go to the Fountain Gate – to the source of the living water (God in the Holy Spirit). Then we are purified and receive righteousness at the Water Gate so we may live obedient lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. But you know Satan isn’t happy about all this so we mount our steeds and proceed through the Horse Gate to conduct spiritual warfare. God promises Jesus will return the East Gate is the place where Messiah will return to enter the city. It is also called the Muster Gate which reminds us to be prepared to gather for Christ’s return by allowing Holy Spirit to live within us.
Thank God for those he assigns the duty to keep things ion order. My I be one who keeps my life in order, may I always respect and respond to those who hold me accountable, may I not shy away from the duties of the gate to which I’ve been assigned. To God be the glory!