The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah was birthed in tears and prayers and fasting.
Nehemiah 1:3a ‘The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things I sat down and wept. for some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.’
Ten gates are mentioned in Nehemiah chapter 3, proceeding counter-clockwise from the north wall of the Temple. The circumference of the walls was approximately two and one-half miles, encompassing, I believe, approximately 220 acres.
The names of the gates looked forward to the gospel and the Messiah Yeshua who was to come. And so we can see how God’s sovereign plan to bring redemption to mankind was birthed from the very beginning.
Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!
5 The Dung or Refuse Gate
Nehemiah 3:14 ‘The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.’
This was the infamous garbage pit of Jerusalem that burnt day and night. Nearby was the Kidron Valley. The prevailing wind would hopefully carry the smells away!
We were all born into unrighteousness.
Psalm 51:5 ‘Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.’
Isaiah 64:6 ‘All of us have become like one who is unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.’
However, mercifully, by sanctification we are cleansed and made pure from the inside.
There is a miraculous process here. As we devote ourselves to the means of grace, by prayer, scripture, worship and wise fellowship, and as we grow closer to the Lord, we find a transformation happening within us. It will probably not happen overnight! But as we walk faithfully with the Lord we will find old habits falling away and old temptations no longer appealing.
There will always be times when we fall over and go backwards, but as we pick ourselves up, brush off the dust and focus our eyes on our Saviour once more, with sincere hearts, then we will quickly make ground and advance along this road of righteousness.
A wise old man once told me that we cannot turn off the darkness. All we can do is turn on the light and allow the light to dispel the darkness.
Hebrews 4:15 ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’
The Dung Gate therefore pertains to the cleansing of the filth of sin. The Holy Spirit begins to cleanse and sanctify us from within.
Psalm 51:7 ‘Cleanse me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.’
Ephesians 5:25 ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of the word...
May the Christians of Afghanistan and Iran be purified as they pass through the straits of persecution and may they shine out as bright beacons in a dark and corrupt world! As I write this, the news of the bombings in Kabul Airport are coming through.
The hour is late and we need to prepare our hearts for the days ahead. Maranatha!
Tomorrow: the Fountain Gate. Get there now by clicking here.
To study the first four gates, please click below:
Gate 1 The Sheep Gate
Gate 2 The Fish Gate
Gate 3 The Old Gate
Gate 4 The Valley Gate
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