Then I commanded that the gates of Jerusalem should be shut as darkness fell every
Friday evening, not to be opened until the Sabbath ended.
Nehemiah 13:19

Visit the old city of Jerusalem today and you will see the remains of at least five gates—The Jaffa Gate from the Crusader Period; the Zion Gate, which symbolizes the struggle of the Jewish people; the Golden Gate near the Temple area, often used as an image of heaven which Christians have immortalized in songs and verse; St. Stephen’s Gate; and the Damascus Gate from the Roman-Byzantine Period. In ancient days the rulers of a city met at the city gates. It was a place of open forum and actually a place where justice was meted out and laws were upheld. The city elders appointed the gatekeepers, and the gatekeepers determined who could come in and who was repelled and kept out. Some gates were ornate pieces of craftsmanship, and others were utilitarian—strong thick, reinforced structures designed to repel the onslaught of the enemy, but all gates were built with a common purpose—make the people within the gates safe from enemies without. That was bottom line. Long ago, God spoke through the prophet Ezekiel and He lamented the fact that the gates were destroyed, the walls broken down. He said,

“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand before me in the breach before me for the land, that I should not have to destroy it “
(Ezekiel 22:30, ESV)

And what did He find? Sadly lacking were those who would stand and be counted. “But I found none,” God added as a post- script. Gates represent lines that we draw saying, “What is outside is not allowed in our home!” While barbarians are no longer a threat, the media—unwholesome trash do threaten those who dwell within. That’s why you are a gatekeeper. Make sure those who live within are safe.

This excerpt is taken from Strength for Today written by Harold J. Sala and published by OMF Literature Inc. To get the full devotional in print or digital format, please visit any OMF Lit and Passages Bookshop or go