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Friday, December 14, 2012

Nehemiah and the wall and gates Part 6

Nehemiah– Part 6 

I left off last week with the Old Gate. The Old Gate represents putting off our old, sinful, fleshly nature and putting on the nature of Christ and His life-giving Spirit. The Old Gate also represents the older truths. We learn truth from both Testaments but we are not to go back to the old covenant of law. We are now under the new covenant of grace and truth through Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that what happened to the Israelites and Older Testament saints are examples and warnings for us (1 Corinthians 10:11). We learn what they did to be blessed of God and the results of their disobedience. Blessings came through obedience, and captivity and curse from disobedience. God wants to bless His people. There is no freedom in sin, only bondage. So Jesus sent the power of God – the Holy Spirit – to help us put our old sinful ways to death so we will walk in the newness of life in the Spirit through Jesus Christ. Through grace, we don't obey the words of Jesus to earn His love because He gave His love freely and willingly on the cross. We obey Jesus because we love Him. Obeying Jesus is no longer a set of rules and demands, but done from the heart out of love. Jesus said three times in John 14:15; 21; 23 that if we loved Him, we would obey His commands. Jesus made it clear that it was love for Him that would motivate us to obey His Word. This makes perfect sense since God is love.  The constancy of His love for us draws us to faithfully love and obey Him. It becomes a mutual relationship of love, not demand.
This week I want to spend some time on the various workers involved in repairing and rebuilding of the seat of the Governor's (Ruler) throne and the portion of the wall between the Old Gate up to the Broad Wall which means “doubly fruitful.”
The names of the leaders and workers also have a hidden message for us. The Old Gate was repaired by Jehoiada (“God's mercy”) who was the son of Paseah (“lame”or “limping”). Working with him was Meshullam (“friend”) who was the son of Besodeiah (“with the counsel of Jehovah”). The two previous gates were repaired and restored by those who were related. But this Old Gate was repaired and restored by those not related and yet worked together as one. The message conveyed through the names of these fathers and sons is: “By God's mercy and His counsel, the lame and limping (sinners) who are friends of God will, repair and restore this gate.”  The Hebrew for repair is chazaqwhich means to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute.”
Once these leaders restored the door/Old Gate making it strong and firm in the “new” creation, Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, made repairs for the  throne of the governor (ruler). These workers are gentiles. They are not related but are working together with the Jews to repair the throne of the governor and the portion of the wall near it. The throne of the ruler must be prepared for His presence so He can rule and reign over His people.  Those who love and follow Jesus are seated with Him at the throne of God.

Nehemiah 3:7

         Melatiah and Jadon will begin the work. Melatiah means “whom Jehovah freed/delivered.” He was a Gibeonite (a gentile). Joshua had earlier entered into covenant with the Gibeonites. (Joshua 9:3-15) Gibeon was a town built on a hill that was eventually a levitical  (priestly ) city in the territory of Benjamin, which means “son of the right hand.” To paraphrase: The one whom Jehovah delivered will be a priest of the Son of the Right Hand. 
The Gibeonites became servants and water carriers for the Jews during the time of Joshua. Melatiah whom God delivered/set free and his fellow laborers will eventually be joined in the inheritance of Benjamin, the Son of the Right Hand.
          Melatiah and Jadon and their fellow laborers will repair and prepare the throne of the governor who will rule and reign over Jerusalem. Nehemiah. who left his position of honor and glory and had a heart for God, His people and His holy city, will eventually be appointed governor over Jerusalem. Nehemiah is a picture of Jesus who left His place of glory to come to earth to save and make new creations out of mankind who will live and reign with the Son of the Right Hand -- Jesus -- forever in the holy New Jerusalem. It is the servants and carriers of the Anointed Word of God who will prepare others for Jesus who will rule and reign over the earth from the earthly Jerusalem, and who will also rule and reign with the Father over the New spiritual Jerusalem.
Jadon the Meronothite (a gentile) will work with Melatiah along with the men of Gibeon and Mizpah. Jadon means “thankful”and Meronothite means “joyful shouter.” Mizpah means “watch tower.” Jadon and his men have thankful hearts and are joyful praisers. Those who have been set free/delivered will join with those with thankful hearts and true, joyful worshipers to complete the task that God has called them to do. They will be watch towers looking for any enemy who might come against God's repairers and restorers to abort the work.
It is salvation, a thankful heart, joyful praise and the prophetic Word of God that ushers in the presence of God and seats Him on the throne of our hearts. Grace rules and reigns in righteousness and truth. 

Nehemiah 3:8
Uzziel and Hananiah will continue the work of repairing and restoring the wall around Jerusalem. These two Jews – Uzziel, the refiner of gold, and Hananiah, the perfumer, fortified the wall to the Broad Wall. Fortifying God's holy city was more important to these men than their business. They put God and His people first. The Broad Wall is also known as the Double Wall because it was so wide and thick. The Broad Wall was not just repaired, it was fortified so much so that the Chaldeans couldn't bring it down. They left it standing. The fire of the Holy Spirit and the Anointed Word will fortify those who not only hear it, but also do it so that no enemy can penetrate God's holy dwelling place. 
Uzziel means “God is my strength.”  He is the son of Harhaiiah which means “God is protecting.”  Uzziel is working under the power of God who is also protecting him. Uzziel was a goldsmith. A goldsmith is one who refines and shapes a substance of great value by removing impurities. Believers in Christ also work under the power of God and are protected by God. Followers of Christ must also be refined by the fire of the Holy Spirit and Word allowing them to purge and shape us into a person of great value to God and His holy Kingdom. The New Jerusalem in Revelation is made of pure gold. (see Revelation 21:18) and the wall is made of jasper (diamond) which is also pure, brilliant and clear. God wants us to willingly allow Him to purge us of all impurity so we become a precious stone (Revelation 21:19) in the wall around the New Jerusalem who reflects the light and glory of Jesus.
Next to Uzziel was Hananiah which means “God is gracious or God has favored.” Hananiah had the favor of God! He was a perfumer. A perfumer mixes ingredients to make a sweet fragrance. The refiner of gold and the one who makes sweet fragrances will work together preparing and repairing the throne of the governor (ruler).  This is a picture of the preparation of a believer in Christ so Jesus will rule and reign in his or her heart.   After a believer in Christ has been refined by God, he or she becomes a sweet fragrance in the city of our God. By His grace, God will make us a sweet fragrance to Him by the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit mixed with the truths in His Word.   Jesus was a sweet fragrance to the Father because of His obedience to His Father and willingness to die to His flesh on the cross of sacrifice to save the whole world. Perfume was used to prepare a body for burial and also as anointing ointments used in God's dwelling places. These sweet smelling perfumes would cover the stench of death. It is the sweet fragrance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit within us that becomes a sweet fragrance to the Lord. In the Levitical law, when the flesh of the sacrificed animal was put on the brazen altar, it was a sweet fragrance to God. God loves the smell of sacrifice and burning flesh!
In the New Testament, Mary took her most costly perfume and poured it on the head and feet of Jesus, and the house was full of the fragrance of her sacrificial, precious gift. When Jesus was carrying His cross to be crucified, the sweet smell of Mary's perfume permeated the air. God loves the smell of a sacrificial life. Mary showed her love for Jesus by giving Him her very best – her precious and costly ointment. As Mary poured her costly ointment onto Jesus, Jesus poured out His precious oil of anointing –His Holy Spirit—upon all who love and follow Him to help us grow in grace and righteousness so we are a sweet fragrance to the Father.
As the Broad Wall was known as the Double Wall, Christians are doubly blessed with Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds to strengthen and fortify us so we too become the sweet fragrance of Christ before our Heavenly Father. The Broad Wall was wide. Jesus said that the way of destruction is wide and many enter through it, but narrow is the way that leads to life and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14


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