Rebuilding the Gates of Jerusalem
Do you remember the story of a man named Nehemiah who rebuilt the broken-down walls of a city? The city of Jerusalem had been destroyed and God’s people were taken captive because they had disobeyed Him. That is just like what happens to us when we disobey—we become slaves to sin and the good things in our life are broken down. But the day came when God sent a man to help rebuild the walls and gates, so Jerusalem could be a safe and beautiful city again. His name was Nehemiah. Who is it that God sent to save us from sin and make our lives good and useful again? That’s right, Jesus!
In this Bible study we will look at the first five gates that Nehemiah rebuilt in the wall. Each gate in Jerusalem had a special name and purpose. Let’s see what lessons we can learn from them!
It is so exciting that God had Nehemiah begin repairs at the Sheep Gate! Why was that important? Here are a few verses to give a you a clue. Can you finish them?
Jesus says, “I am the ______ of the sheep.” (John 10:7) Who are the sheep? Then He says that whoever enters through Him “shall be ______.” (John 10:9) Later on Jesus says, “No one comes to the Father [God] except ______ ______.” (John 14:6)ESV Let’s write down our clues. The Sheep Gate reminds us:
And guess what? Eliashib is one of the men that helped build it. His name means “God restores!” Neat, huh? Write down a problem in your life that you want to trust God to fix for you:
The Fish Gate is next. Do you know why it was called that? Did someone say because they brought the fish that they caught through this gate? You are right! They sold it at this gate as well! How cool! After we go through the door to Christ, and are redeemed, Jesus gives us a job. Do you remember what it is? (Matthew 4:19) Write down one way you can do that:
One of the men who repaired this gate was named Meshullam. Funny name, huh? His name has a very special meaning! It means “restitution” (making things right with others). Jesus says that when we want to bring a gift to God, we first must be ______ to our brother (Matthew 5:24). Is anyone at odds with you? How could you make it right with them?
The Old Gate is the third gate. That does not sound too great if you are thinking of worn out and weak. But there is a good sense, too. An old person or thing has been around a long time and has lots of experience and proving out. See if you can fill out the missing words from Jeremiah 6:16: “Ask for the ______ ______, where is the ______ way, and walk therein.” Learning the old ways of truth is very important. God is “the same ______, today, and ______.” (Hebrews 13:8) Do you think His ways are trustworthy? Write down something that God said that you can rely on:
Jehoidiah was one of the repairers near this gate. His name means “whom Jehovah adores.” Wow! Does God really want to love and enjoy being with you? Read John 14:21-23 for a hint.
The Valley Gate is in the fourth section of the wall being repaired. This reminds us of the valley experiences that we go through. Remember from Psalm 23, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of ______, I will fear no ______: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4)? We can think of a valley in our life as a time of humbling and trials. What difficulties or corrections have you had recently?
A valley is also a good place for fruit to grow. What kind of good character fruit does God wants to grow in your life?
Hanun helped with this gate, and his name means “whom God pities.” Hmmm… Psalm 56:8-9 tells us something about that. And here is a familiar verse that you can help finish: “______ yourselves… under the mighty hand of ______, that he may ______ ______ in due time.” (1 Peter 5:5)
The Dung Gate? Yuck! And yes, this is where they got rid of the garbage. It means hill of rubbish and filth, dung hill. You know without me telling you, you smarties, that the trash was burned outside of this gate. Why do you think that is important?
Yes, and it represents stinking sin, and how we need to put it out of our lives. One of the men that repaired this gate was Malchiah. His name means “Jehovah’s king.” Jesus came to be king in our lives, and 1 John 1:9 tells us an important part: “If we ______ our sins, he is faithful and just to ______ us our sins, and to ______ us from all ______.” That means anything that isn’t pure and good in our hearts, because it will ______ us (Matthew 15:18-20).
See also: Part Two