Part of the mystery and wonder of the Old Testament is that it is a reflection of heavenly things and of future events. Often time’s things are represented in a physical sense in the Old Testament of which will later be revealed in future spiritual occurrence. For example, the tabernacle of the congregation, the sanctuary built by Moses under the direction of God. The design of this portable fabric wall and tent (I apologize for the rather primitive description) was modeled after a heavenly design.
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it…..And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.” Exodus 25: 8-9, 40
“A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:2, 5
In the Old Testament a present day physical place or thing represented a spiritual concept to be played out in the future. The application and usage in the physical was meant for the Old Testament times, the spiritual aspect was to be revealed in the future.
A Strong City
“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” Isaiah 26:1-2
It was important to wall a holy city. Both physically and spiritually the walls of a holy city kept sin and sinners out. “We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” Isaiah 26:1
This places great emphasis and significance on the gates of a walled city. Who shall enter into the Holy City? Who shall enter the kingdom? “Open ye the gates”. The gates were a place of public assembly, where trials were held and forums of great judgment. People were literally judged at the gate.
Open ye the gates!
Are we qualified to cry out, “Open ye the gates”! Are we prepared for the judgment of God? Can we enter the Holy City, the very kingdom of Heaven? If God’s words and ways were overlaid on top of us, what would mesh and what would not? How many inconsistencies are there between our ways and His ways? Scrutiny bares all.
It is a righteous nation, a right and holy people that can enter. Righteousness is not confined to borders of a country but is maintained by salvation of the soul. To be saved and right in the eyes of the Lord is to welcome judgment at the gate because it purifies and mends the sin stained soul.
Now here is the key. Only those who, “keepeth the truth may enter in”. We know the truth to be Jesus Christ. But the word for truth used here is the same word used for faith. This is highly significant since the word faith in the King James Bible is only used twice in all of the Old Testament. In fact both faith and belief are rarely used in the Old Testament. Trust, Law and God were the major emphasis. Faith, belief and the promise of Jesus Christ are the emphasis of the New Testament.
“We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” Isaiah 26:1. That strong city was the shadow of what was to come. It was the physical representation of the future spiritual manifestation in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
The city, our Christ, “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” Isaiah 26:4
The city, our Christ has destroyed the enemy, “For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.” Isaiah 25:2
The city, our Christ I will praise. “O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.’ Isaiah 25:1
Judge me! Test and try me! I stand here in the gates of judgment to you the city, to you our Christ. My faith is in you Jesus, the truth, the way and the life.
“Because we the people come to you in truth and repentance the city, our Christ will, “Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.” Isaiah 60:11
Jesus always avails himself to everyone. He is standing at the gates of judgment to the holy city. All we have to do is to repent and have faith and belief in the truth that is him.
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