Suggested reading: Nehemiah chapter 3 verses 1-32
As we near the end of our journey, a gate filled with promise stands before us – it is the EAST GATE. Ezekiel provides us with a dramatic description of the Lord leaving Jerusalem by way of the EAST GATE: ‘Then the glory of the Lord departed . . . and the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the EAST SIDE OF THE CITY’, Ezekiel chapter 11 verse 23.
Ezekiel goes on to record: ‘AFTERWARD He Brought me to THE GATE, THE GATE THAT FACES TOWARD THE EAST . . . and the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of THE GATE WHICH FACES TOWARD THE EAST . . . AND BEHOLD, THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TEMPLE’, Ezekiel chapter 43 verses 1-5. God promised through Haggai: ‘I will fill this temple with glory’, Haggai chapter 2 verse 7.
The final Gate we reach is the GATE MIPHKAD. It appears to have been linked with judgment, inspection and review. It was probably the place where the judges sat to administer justice or the soldiers gathered for inspection. When we reach heaven there will be a review for each one of us as to how well we have served the Lord here. We will receive rewards, which will determine our positions in His coming reign.
Fittingly, our journey ends where it began in Nehemiah chapter 3 – at the SHEEP GATE. We will praise the Lord Jesus for all eternity for what He did for us on the cross.
It is interesting to note that 2 of the 12 gates are not mentioned in Nehemiah chapter 3 – the PRISON GATE and the GATE OF EPHRAIM. Ephraim was the proud and disgruntled tribe of the 12 tribes of Israel. There is no room for this kind of attitude in God’s Plan of Salvation. Neither is there the need for a prison – we, the captives to sin and Satan’s power, can be set free through faith in Christ. We can be set free at the SHEEP GATE, never to be imprisoned again!