THROUGH the GATE
BY: RAY PRINZING
“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.” (Isaiah 62:10)
Go through - from the Hebrew word “abar” meaning to go over or beyond. There remains with us that biding challenge to reach out, travel on, “then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning.” (Hosea 6:3) Not to exchange the confines of one fenced in pasture for another of like restrictions. Bondages of man-made traditions, programs, ceremony and ritual are daily being stripped away from His elect, that we might go on to perfection, to know Him more and more.
The gates – “shaar” referring to the gate, or door, or the entrance of the city. In Old Testament times much activity surrounded the city gate. (1) The place of public resort, to hear the latest message brought by the messenger from another place, or to glean news of local happenings. (2) The place of justice, the courts, the elders had their seat there, for the defending of rights, transaction of legal business. (3) The public markets, with all the buying and selling.
Many prefer to remain by the gate where the crowds are, rather than to go through and beyond, blazing a trail for others to follow. Once Phillip, involved with a great stirring and joy in the city, was told by the Spirit to go beyond the city gate “toward the south… which is desert.” (Acts 8:26) He obeyed, and came upon the eunuch, to whom he ministered the Christ-life.
We go beyond the place of defending our rights, or even the rights of others – yes, even trying to defend God and why He does, or does not do this and that. We go beyond the “buying and selling” of merchandising of religion. “For I am not a peddler of God’s message, like the most of them, but like a man of sincerity, like a man that is sent from God and living in His presence, in union with Christ I speak His message.” (2 Cor. 2:17, Williams)
Beyond the gate, beyond the strife,
One in His will – o’erflowing life.