Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lessons from the Desert: God’s Protection (City Gate)

This month at Pasture Living, I'm sharing what I learned during my Israel trip and why I think this series is very relevant to healthy living. I believe being physically healthy is important, but being mentally, psychologically, and spiritually healthy is also extremely important for a fulfilling and joyful life. If you missed any of this series, click here.

Advent Day 8

God's Protection

Passage Reading #1: Genesis 19:1

Besides being part of a city’s protection against invaders, city gates were places of central activity in biblical times. It was at the city gates that important business transactions were made, court was convened, and public announcements were heralded. Accordingly, it is natural that the Bible frequently speaks of "sitting in the gate" or of the activities that took place at the gate. In Proverbs 1, wisdom is personified: "At the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech" (verse 21). To spread her words to the maximum number of people, "Wisdom took to the gates."

Solomonic Gate

Passage Reading #2: Revelation 21:25

The above picture is the remnants of the Solomonic Gate. King Solomon built this city gate to fortify the trade route in Gezer, Israel. A city gate was a place for people to encounter the king, for judges to rule, for public speaking, meetings, hangouts, protection from the enemy, and served as a precursor to the synagogue. The city gates closed at night to protect its inhabitants from outsiders. But when enemy comes, even the less fortunate who lives outside the city gate were welcomed into the city gate to take refuge. In Revelation 21:25, it says: "On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there." The glory of God gives it light and there will be no need to close the gate as there will be no more enemies. Isn't it comforting that we have a God who protects us?

We try our best to live healthily because we hope we can live longer and enjoy our lives better on earth. As healthy as our lives may be, we know some illnesses are out of our control and they can just come anytime. It's when we are secured in God's faithfulness, love, and protection that we can still find joy even in the midst of life's storms.

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